Singles winners awarded at 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships
Event concludes Sunday with Super Bowl finals
FORT MYERS, FL. (Oct. 12) - Saturday was singles finals day at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at the Three Oaks Tennis Center in Fort Myers, Florida. Eight individuals won national singles titles, thereby advancing to the Super Bowl stage of the tournament with a spot in the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on the line.
Bruno Savi of West Florida won a tight match against Marko Boskovic of Ouachita Baptist in the Division II men's final, 6-4, 6-3, exacting a bit of revenge after Savi and his partner lost to Boskovic and his partner in the first round of doubles.
"It's always tough to play against Marko. He's a good player with a huge forehand," said Savi. "The key for me was to be there fighting for every point."
|Embry-Riddle's Deni Zmak will play in both Super Bowl finals on Sunday|
The first champion of the day wasAbhishek Alla of Carnegie Mellon, who defeated Skyler Butts of Claremont Mudd Scripps 6-4. 6-1 to win the Division III men's singles title. After the match, Alla said, "In the first set I was just trying to be consistent and not miss too many balls. Once I won the first set my confidence went up and I could swing freely and hit a few more winners." Alla did not drop a set on his way to the title.
Michelle Satterfield of Emory was the victor in a match with many swings of momentum, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 over the No. 2 seed, Sonja Meighan of Washington and Lee in the Division III women's singles final. The freshman was playing in just her second college tournament ever and said the match got off to a strange start.
"I got up 3-0 then lost the next six games. Then I got up 4-0 in the second set then I lost four straight games," she said. "I started out trying to be really intense and trying to make every point count. I think I put too much pressure on myself. The third set went a lot better - I was more calm and steadier."
|Niriantsa Rasolomalala of Georgia Perimeter won the JuCo women's singles and will play in the Super Bowl final|
Things weren't going Zmak's way early, as he got behind 4-1, so he decided to change tactics and he rebounded to win the first set in a tiebreak and won an easier second set for a 7-6 (2), 6-3 win.
"I wasn't playing my best tennis and he was playing really good," Zmak said afterward. "He was feeling great on the court - you could really see that. In the second set it was a bit easier."
Theresa Schmaus of Savannah College of Art and Design beatJade Curtis of Auburn Montgomery and in the NAIA women's singles final in a match that came down to the wire. Schmaus won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) and said she was happy and proud of her win.
"It was a very close match and it could have gone either way in the end. This is my first time playing individual singles. I'm a senior so this makes it special too as it was my last chance to do it. I just left everything on the court," she said.
Top seed Mate Cutura kept the JuCo's men's singles title in Tyler Junior College's hands with a hard won victory over Matt Alves of American River, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Cutura admitted afterward what a battle it was. "I didn't know my opponent but he sure came out with some good weapons and put up a good fight on the court. It was a tough match, he said.
Niriantsa Rasolomalala of Georgia Perimeter took out top seed Fausthy Pietersz of Tyler Junior College 6-3, 6-3 to capture the JuCo women's singles final, a day after losing to her opponent in the doubles final.
Rasolmalala said that doubles match helped her in the singles final. "I saw how she played last night; I got to see what her weakness and we had a really close match which helped me a lot today for the singles," she said.
The eight singles and eight doubles winners moved on to compete against other divisions in the Super Bowl event. The first rounds took place on Saturday afternoon and the four finals will take place starting at 9am on Sunday.
The men's singles final will feature Tyler Junior College's Cutura versus Zmak of Embry-Riddle as both players won their first round Super Bowl matches in straight sets. Cutura took out Abhishek Alla of Carnegie Mellon 6-3, 7-6 (3) while Zmak won 6-3, 6-4 over Bruno Savi of West Florida.
The women's Super Bowl final will see Confalonieri of Lynn University taking on Rasolomalala of Georgia Perimeter. Both needed three sets to advance, as Confalonieri dropped the middle set but recovered to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 over Theresa Schmaus of SCAD while Rasolomalala defeated Emory's Michelle Satterfield 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
|JuCo men's singles champ Mate Cutura, who also advanced to the Super Bowl final.|
Embry-Riddle’s Zmak will have a busy Sunday as he will compete in both men’s Super Bowl finals. He and partner Simon Felix toughed out their doubles match with Daniele Piludu and Benas Majauskas of Concordia 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. They will face Middlebury’s Palmer Campbell and Brantner Jones, who advanced to the Super Bowl final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Ronzai Saurombe and Alejandro Gonzalez of Seward County.
It will be JuCo versus Division II in the women’s doubles Super Bowl final as Fausthy Pietersz and Joanna Savva of Tyler Junior College beat Williams College's Kara Shoemaker and Rebecca Curran 6-4, 6-1. They will face Emma Onila and Linda Fritschken of Barry who easily won their match against Kristina Marova and Hui-I Huang of Embry-Riddle 6-1, 6-1.
Sunday is the final day of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, and the action kicks off at 9am.
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