Doubles Champions Crowned, Singles Finals Set at ITA National Small College Championships

Doubles Champions Crowned, Singles Finals Set at
ITA National Small College Championships

MOBILE, Ala. – The men’s and women’s doubles champions were crowned Friday night while tomorrow’s singles finals matches have been set in all four divisions at the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships.

These championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), are being hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center, the world's largest public tennis facility, for the third consecutive year.

MEN’S DOUBLES CHAMPIONS

WOMEN’S DOUBLES CHAMPIONS

NCAA DIVISION II
Andrey Boldarev/Alex Grubin – Concordia (1)

NCAA DIVISION II
Yuan Jia/Seul Ki Chin - BYU Hawaii (1)

NCAA DIVISION III
Andrew Thomson/Andrew Lee – Middlebury (2)

NCAA DIVISION III
Julia Browne/Meghan McCooey – Tufts (2)

NAIA
Alberto Gonzalez/Michael Johnson - AUM (2)

NAIA
Katia Sabate/Vanessa Heroux - Fresno Pacific (1)

JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Kirill Sinitsyn/Joao Nogueira - Fresno City

JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Jillian O’Neill/Olivia Howlett – Hillsborough (1)

In a tournament in which commonly is known to have a few upstart doubles teams pull off a couple of upsets en route to the men’s and women’s doubles championships, for the most part, the top seeds were able to march through their respective draws unscathed.

Of the 16 total men’s and women’s doubles teams seeded No. 1 or No. 2, 13 participated in today’s doubles finals. Half of the top-seeded squads went on to capture the title, while three of the second seeds were declared champions. In fact, the only duo to win their respective divisional doubles title was in the JUCO men’s draw, which saw Kirill Siritsyn and Joao Nogueira of Fresno City knock off the top-seeded Laredo team in the semifinals before coming back to win the final two sets against the second-seeded Seminole State team in today’s final.

The most surprising upset belonged to the Chicago duo of Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu, who won the NCAA Division III Doubles title just five months ago. They were not only upset by an upstart doubles team from The College of New Jersey in the first round, but were also knocked off by Lorne McManigle and Zahra Dawson of Emory, finishing in seventh-place in the Division III women’s doubles.

Before the doubles champions were crowned Friday evening, the men’s and women’s singles semifinal rounds kicked off the day’s action and setting up the following finals matches to be played tomorrow morning.

MEN’S SINGLES FINALS

WOMEN’S SINGLES FINALS

NCAA DIVISION II
Philip Pakebusch – Valdosta State (1)
vs.
Andrey Boldarev - Concordia College (2)

NCAA DIVISION II
Sona Novakova - Armstrong Atlantic (1)
vs.
Yuan Jia - BYU Hawaii (2)

NCAA DIVISION III
John Watts – Washington (1)
vs.
Andy Peters – Middlebury

NCAA DIVISION III
Elizabeth Lewis - Chapman
vs.
Kendra Higgins – Chicago (2)

NAIA
Caio Claudino - Lindenwood
vs.
Alberto Gonzalez - AUM

NAIA
Katia Sabate - Fresno Pacific (1)
vs.
Hillary Collins - SCAD

JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Damian Hume – Collin (1)
vs.
Cledson Carvalho – Laredo (2)

JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Jillian O’Neill – Hillsborough (1)
vs.
Nadia Lee – Lee (2)

The singles finals, like in doubles, feature a large majority of the top seeds still remaining, with 11 of the 16 vying for a singles title tomorrow. In fact, in Division II and JUCO, the singles final will pit the No. 1 seed against the No. 2 seed.

The NAIA men’s draw was the only division to not include at leat one of the tournament favorites. Lindenwood’s Caio Claudino, a freshman from Brazil, took top-seeded Remy Caffardo of Graceland University in round one en route to his championship run while local favorite Alberto Gonzalez of the highly-successful Auburn-Montgomery program, who also captured the doubles title today blanked Matthijs Bolsius of Azusa Pacific, in the first round.

This event, administered by the ITA, dates back to 1986 and determines national champions for NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College men’s and women’s singles and doubles during the first two-and-a-half days of play. Those champions then compete to become the overall national small college champs (for all divisions) on October 17-18 in the ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis.

This year’s format has the Division II champions squaring off against the NAIA champions while the Division III champions will take on the JUCO champions. Semifinal single matches are 2:00 pm (CDT) followed by doubles semifinals at 4:00 pm (CDT) tomorrow.

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