SURPRISE, Ariz. – With trips to the 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on the line, 12 players took the court for the last time at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex to play in the 2016 ITA Oracle Cup championship matches.
Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions were repeat winners from 2015, with Georgia Gwinnett’s Kevin Konfederak and Jordan Cox joining Lynn’s Diana Bogolii and Rosalie Willig in returning to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, New York. The 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships will be contested November 3-6, 2016, and the champions from the ITA Oracle Cup received wild card entries into the field.
Konfederak and Cox, who were pushed to their limits earlier in the tournament in a three-set 10-point tiebreaker, found their groove on Sunday versus Seward County’s Carlos Anez and Ondrej Nice, taking the match in straight sets 6-2, 6-0.
“The conditions were tough in the beginning, but then we adapted and stepped our game up,” said Konfederak, who defeated his doubles partner for the NAIA divisional singles title here in Surprise. “We played amazing (Sunday).”
The experienced team is looking forward to testing its mettle against the country’s top Division I players in just over two weeks.
“We’re excited,” said Cox. “We both had the taste of it last year, playing against really, really tough competition and we came back to this tournament with that goal in mind of getting back to New York. We’re ready to compete hard and hopefully better our result from last year.”
In the women’s doubles final, Bogolii and Willig took on Emory’s Bridget Harding and Katarina Su. After a quick 6-2 first set for Lynn, play settled down in the second and Emory pushed the score to 5-5 before Bogolii and Willig rattled off the next two games to clinch the set and the match 7-5.
The women’s singles final saw SCAD’s Camile Gbaguidi take on State College of Florida’s Maria Medina. Gbaguidi jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back, taking the match 6-3, 6-2 to claim the Oracle Cup women’s singles title and a trip to New York City.
“Honestly, I can’t believe it,” said Gbaguidi. “I was only thinking about winning (the NAIA) national championship, and then I got into the (Oracle Cup) and I just said I was going to have fun and try to do my best, and well now, I’m going and it’s just crazy. I’m very happy and I’m going to give it my best when I get to New York.”
Gbaguidi said that facing new opponents in the Oracle Cup semifinals and finals enabled her to relax and focus more on her game.
“I know everyone in (NAIA) and we know each other so well that we want to beat each other,” said Gbaguidi. “In the Oracle Cup, I had someone as an opponent that I didn’t know, so I just wanted to play my tennis and not play what she was enforcing on me.”
Azusa Pacific garnered the final Oracle Cup championship of the day, as Oliver Frank took the men’s singles final over Tyler Junior College’s Jorge Martinez 7-5, 6-1. The win culminated an impressive showing from Frank, who dethroned defending Oracle Cup singles champion Konfederak in Saturday’s semifinal matchup.