Meet the Schludeckers

The Schludecker family has purchased "The Bubble" indoor tennis and pickleball center, operating it now for a month. Shown are (from front to back) Brent Jr., Melinda, Brent, Rachel, Nathan and Matthew.

A Terre Haute couple is working to keep indoor tennis in play for the Wabash Valley.

In September Brent and Melinda Schludecker formed BMS Holdings LLC, which stands for Brent Melinda Schludecker, purchasing the indoor tennis facility known as “The Bubble,” at 311 W. Honey Creek Parkway.

The couple purchased the indoor facility from Brickway Realty LLC, which previously purchased the Wabash Valley Tennis Club from Jami Patterson in February 2020. BMS Holdings closed on the indoor facility on Oct. 21. Vigo County property records show the facility was purchased for $265,000.

“We have been going to the Bubble… and we saw this opportunity that presented itself. We wanted to make sure indoor tennis stays here in the community and decided to purchase it and give it a go,” Melinda said.

“It was Brickway Tennis & Pickleball center, so we dropped the Brickway and put in the name Terre Haute. We wanted something that when people hear the name, they know where it is located,” Melinda Schludecker said of the business now called The Terre Haute Tennis & Pickleball Center.

The couple has had about a month to volley the business.

“We have been trying to figure things out. We never ran a business like this before and even though my husband and kids all play tennis, they are average players, so not like tennis stars,” Schludecker said with a chuckle.

“It has been a huge learning curve, but we felt up to the challenge and there is still a lot for us to learn.

“So far, it has been great. There are so many wonderful people who are just happy to be able to play indoors now that the weather is getting colder,” Schludecker said.

The indoor facility’s director is Dallas Kelsey, while Jordan Kelsey serves as manager. Both serve as tennis professionals for the indoor facility.

“They are working on putting a program together for us to bring the schools in,” Schludecker said of attracting tennis teams in the Wabash Valley to the facility.

“We do have a youth tennis tournament that is tentative for Dec. 17 for ages 12 to 18,” she said. “We are trying to get USTA (U.S. Tennis Association) approval for it now to be a sanctioned tournament.”

The facility also has a pickleball league that “is going on now. They come in every Monday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., so it is three hours a week, and runs for six weeks,” Schludecker said. “We are about half way through that program now.”

The Schludeckers first moved to Terre Haute in 2004, after Pfizer closed a Michigan facility where Brent Schludecker worked. He then applied for and moved to Pfizer’s facility, then located in what today is the Vigo County Industrial Park II.

Since 2008, the couple has owned Midwest Compliance Laboratories, LLC. in Vigo County.

“We test pharmaceuticals. My husband is a chemist and I used to teach biology and chemistry (until 2021). My last position was at (Terre Haute) South (Vigo High School),” Melinda Schludecker said, adding she worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for about 10 years.

Ironically, Melinda is the only member of the family who does not play tennis, she said, having tried it years ago, but giving up the sport.

Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter @TribStarHoward.

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