Now that warm spring days have arrived, Audrey Morse can feel the call of the tennis court.
A former professional tennis player who was inducted into the Towson State University Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night, Morse gave up tennis as a career six years ago. She now works as an insurance agent in Havre de Grace, but the sport still holds a big place in her heart if not her everyday life.
"I wish I had the ability to play every day or every other day," said Morse, 38. "I still get a real charge out of hitting the ball well."
When Morse was playing every day, she accumulated quite a resume. She started playing at 12 and won her first state title at 17 inthe girls 18-and-under group.
At Towson State, her career really took off. "At 18, 19, 20, you're skill level could go up quickly, andthat's what was happening to me," said Morse, who had played lacrosse in high school.
"My skill level was getting so much better that I thought I should invest my time in tennis rather than anything else."
In her freshman and sophomore years at Towson State, 1972 and 1973, Morse was undefeated as the Tigers' No. 1 singles player. She won the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association's women's singles title in 1973.
She went on to win the Maryland State women's championship a total of four times and the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association Women's title three times.
In 1973, she turned professional, ending her competitive days at Towson State. She went on to play for the Baltimore Banners of the World Team Tennis League in 1974 and in the U.S. Open qualifying round in 1976.
With the Banners, Morse played a role substituting in mixed doubles.
"They were trying to get some local blood into it, and because in the year previous to it I won the Mid-Atlantic tournament and was the No. 1 player in the region, they drafted me," explained Morse, who played a few competitive matches mostly withAustralian Nails Carmichael.
Morse also spent some time as a coach. In 1975, she was head coach of the men's tennis team at Towson State. She also coached at several racket clubs in Baltimore County. Among her students were professionals Andrea Leand and Elise Burgin.
While she coached, Morse continued to play tournaments. The highlightcame just one year after she graduated from Towson State. Playing a circuit in the Northwest, Morse won a tournament that earned her a spot in the qualifying round for the U.S. Open.
One of 128 players vying for eight qualifier spots, Morse lost her first match. But she still values the experience. "Just to know that I had actually qualified for it was something. A lot of players never even get that far."
The Hall of Fame induction has brought back a lot of memories for Morse, who competed for nine more years after the Open.
"It means I'm getting old," said Morse, laughing. "Really, I feel honored aboutit, but it does make you realize that the years have gone by even though they have been wonderful years doing something you really love to do."
Robert T. Remeto, a former Bel Air resident, also was inducted into the Towson State Hall of Fame Friday. A member of TSU'sfirst intercollegiate football team in 1969, the 1971 graduate ranksthird on the school's all-time list of career receptions with 130.
At Towson, Remeto was selected to both the Mason-Dixon and the Maryland All-Star teams. Remeto was named Most Valuable Lineman in the Mason-Dixon Conference and received the "Doc" Minnegan Award for excellence in athletics in 1971.
Remeto now lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.