Eight players earn singles titles at 2014 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

2014 NSCC Scroll_version 2
Eight players earn singles titles at 2014 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

Zmak (Embry-Riddle) and Confalonieri (Lynn) defend singles titles on Saturday 

 


SUMTER, SC (Oct. 11) - Eight players claimed national singles titles on Saturday at the 2014 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter, S.C. Semifinal Super Bowl action also took place, with the finals set for tomorrow morning starting at 8:30am.  
Confalonieri won two long three-set matches on Saturday to earn her place in the Super Bowl women's singles final

Defending Super Bowl champs Deni Zmak of Embry-Riddle and Valentine Confalonieri of Lynn each started their day by defending their divisional crowns, then followed it up with wins in the Super Bowl semifinals. Both players will take the court tomorrow morning to defend their second titles of the weekend. The full list of divisional winners is listed below:

 

Division II Women's Singles: Valentine Confalonieri (Lynn)

Division II Men's Singles: Fernando Bogajo (Armstrong State)

Division III Women's Singles: Ashnaa Rao (Johns Hopkins)

Division III Men's Singles: Nicolas Chua (Chicago)

JuCo Women's Singles: Joanna Savva (Tyler Junior College)

JuCo Men's Singles: Guy Iradukunda (Seminole State)

NAIA Women's Singles: Nour Abbes (Xavier (LA))

NAIA Men's Singles: Deni Zmak (Embry-Riddle)
 

Two of the eight divisional finals went the distance, including Confalonieri's match with BYU-Hawaii's Dallas Zhang. The Fighting Knight won a tight first set, 6-4. Zhang battled back to force a third set, but Confalonieri prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

 

The other three-set final came in Division III women's singles, where Johns Hopkins' Ashnaa Rao defeated Wisconsin-Whitewater's Megan Humphrey's 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Onila (pictured) and partner Fritschken will defend their title tomorrow at 10:00am

 

In Super Bowl semifinal action, Barry's Linda Fritschken and Emma Onila were first off the court with a decisive 6-0, 6-4 win over Tyler Junior College's Joanna Savva and Paige Murdock. The defending champs advance to play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Caroline Ward and Katie Kuosman in the final. Ward and Kuosman won the first set and trailed 4-1 in the second, before rallying to win six of the next seven games for a 7-5, 7-5 triumph.

 

"I think the difference was that we are able to hold the second time around (in the second set), so we were only down one break," Kuosman said. "We went for volleys we weren't necessarily going for this tournament. We pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and we covered each other."

 

In men's doubles action, Zmak and partner Jaime Sanchez-Canamares Rios lost the first set to the feisty Trinity pair of Aaron Skinner and Jordan Mayer. The Eagles earned a 3-1 lead in the second set, then saved a break point to hold for 4-1 en route to a 6-2 win in the second set. With momentum on their side, Zmak and Sanchez-Canamares duplicated their second set result to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Zmak won three matches on Saturday

"Those guys were playing really good," Zmak said. "They are an excellent team and they challenged us to the limit. We both stepped up, picked up our level in the second set and the third, especially."

 

The Eagles will face Lynn's duo of Daniel Riggs and Paolo Volpicelli, who also needed three sets to get through a tough semifinal against Georgia Perimeter's pair of Celestin Nkoueleue and Sam Slade. After winning the first set, the Fighting Knights lost the second in a tiebreak, but broke midway through the third for a 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win.


For complete coverage of the 2014 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, including access to updated draws, please visit the official tournament page on ITAtennis.com. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Sumter (search for the hashtag #SmallCollegeNationals) and like us on Facebook to see photos. 

 

About the Palmetto Tennis Center

The Palmetto Tennis Center is located inside Palmetto Park in Sumter, South Carolina, and is home to 24 state-of-the-art tennis courts, with lighting available for night play. Three on-site tennis pros and a progressive training program teach players from beginner to advanced levels spanning from players aged five and older. Other amenities include ball machines, stringing service, and a pro shop. Admission for regular play is free of charge. Visit the Palmetto Tennis Center website and follow tournament updates on their Facebook page.

 

About the ITA

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is www.itatennis.com.

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