Armstrong Atlantic Dominates USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

Armstrong Atlantic Dominates USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

MOBILE, Ala. - After dominating play at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, Armstrong Atlantic State University nearly swept the Super Bowl finals on Sunday afternoon.

 

The 2010 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships took place October 14-17 respectively, hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama, the world's largest public tennis facility, for the fourth consecutive year. 

 

The event's final day of action featured the ITA "Super Bowl" of Small College Tennis, where the NCAA Division II and III, NAIA and JUCO singles and doubles title-winners faced off to determine the overall champions. This year's format had the Division II champions squaring off against the Division III champions while the NAIA champions took on the JUCO champions in yesterday's semifinals.

 

In the opening round of play, all of the seeded players in both NCAA Division II and NAIA men's and women's singles went unbeaten. The trend continued in Super Bowl play as the Division II singles and doubles winners steamrolled over their Division III counterparts. On the other side of the draw, the NAIA singles and doubles champs were also able to cruise to victory over the JUCO singles title-holders, pitting the two divisions against one another in today's finals.

 

Armstrong Atlantic had a chance to capture three of the four Super Bowl titles with the men's doubles team of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja and the women's duo of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova looked to take home the doubles title while Muller Wehlau also competed for the women's singles title.

 

Muller-Wehlau became the fourth straight AASU player to earn the DII women's singles title and seventh overall, following Sona Novakova (2008, 2009) and Iuliia Stupak (2007). Muller-Wehlau and Krtickova also became the fourth AASU women's team to capture the Division II doubles title.

 

In addition to Muller-Wehlau's Division II singles and doubles titles, she was also presented with the prestigious James O'Hara Sargent Sportsmanship trophy which was awarded to one men's and one women's player who displayed outstanding sportsmanship and exemplified the spirit of college tennis during the course of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.

 

She continued her quest to reel in more hardware in today's Super Bowl play but came up just short in a hard-fought singles match versus Point Loma Nazarene's Kirstin Strimple in a three-set thriller. After receiving a brief break, she took the court again to compete for the doubles Super Bowl title, where the Pirate duo showed no signs of exhaustion, issuing a 6-4, 6-0 defeat over the NAIA champions from Embry-Riddle.

 

The AASU men's dynamic duo of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja, who captured their own divisional doubles title in yesterday's finals, made quick work of the doubles tandem from the nearby top-notch program, Auburn University-Montgomery, who had a very similar run through the National Small College Championship a few years back.

 

Rounding out Sunday's championship matches saw Kirill Sinitysyn, a sophomore from Canada, who came into the tournament seeded third in the NAIA divisional draw and proved to be deserving of a much higher ranking by steamrolling over the Division II champion, Emanuel Fraitzl of the defending NCAA Men's team champions, Barry University, by a score of 6-1, 6-2.

 

All of today's Super Bowl champions will be representing the small college divisions in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, taking place November 4-7 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York against the top men's and women's players from Division I.

 

MEN'S SUPER BOWL FINALS

WOMEN'S SUPER BOWL FINALS 

SINGLES 
Kirill Sinitysyn (Fresno Pacific)
(NAIA)

def.
Emanuel Fraitzl (Barry)
(Division II)

6-1, 6-2

SINGLES 
Kirstin Strimple (Pt. Loma Nazarene)

(NAIA)

def.

Alida Muller-Wehlau (Armstrong Atlantic)
(Division II)

7-6 [4], 3-6, 6-4

DOUBLES 
Array/Irdoja (Armstrong Atlantic)
(Division II)
def.
Savi/Andrade - AUM
(NAIA)

6-3, 7-5

 DOUBLES

Muller-Wehlau/Krtickova (Armstrong Atl.)
(Division II)
def. 
Chen/Strom (Embry-Riddle)
(NAIA)

 

6-4, 6-0

 

Each small college division (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) featured eight men's and women's singles players and eight men's and women's doubles teams who earned spots into the national event by winning their respective USTA/ITA Regional Championships held over the past three weeks throughout the country. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships held at 86 different college campuses across the country.

The USTA/ITA National Small College Championship, which dates back to 1986,  is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels. It is also the only tournament that combines all levels of Junior/Community College (NJCAA Divisions I and III and the California division). The singles and doubles champions at each divisional level will then compete to become the overall "Super Bowl" champions. The "Super Bowl" champions earn wild cards into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with the opportunity to win the culminating event held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The most unique element of the USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Championships program is the fact that all levels of varsity college tennis (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) are competing in one comprehensive event, and any ITA varsity student-athlete has the opportunity to play and win at the prestigious USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.

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