They are among the best of the beginner players, which may not sound like much, but it has earned a women's team from the Charleston Tennis Club a trip to California.
This morning, the tennis club's 2.5 women's team - already the U.S. Tennis Association Midwest Section champs - begins competing in Palm Springs for a shot at the national championship.
The trip is the culmination of a season of victories and it's the first time a beginner-ranked team from the tennis club has made it this far in about 10 years, said coach Scott Zent.
The team members range from 23 (Maddie Mayo) to 43 (Noelle Evans). Beth Trethewey juggles tennis with a career and raising four children. Others on the team are Christie Goldman, Allison Ballard, Allison Westerman, Lilah Michael, and Michael's sister-in-law, Andrea Mitias.
Some of the women played when they were kids. Others have played off and on. But all picked up the game in earnest just in the last few years or so.
Truth be told, each says exercise was the first goal, along with the fun that comes from playing a group sport.
Zent, tennis pro at the club, says he won many of the women over through his cardio tennis classes, designed more for the exercise than perfecting the finer points of the game.
"I suckered them into it," he jokes about their playing.
As the women improved, they started competing. And once they got over the nervousness of competing and having other people watch them compete, they found they liked it. A lot.
They say Ballard is their most competitive. But she's not the only one.
"I really hate to lose," said Evans, the elder of the group. She points out that winning requires having your mental game in the right place.
"My internal monologue is exhausting," she said.
Zent said the women became among the best of the beginners for two reasons.