For Immediate Release
Date: October 17, 2015
Contact: Laura Schuessler, Coordinator of New Media (505) 917-6949
Top Seeds Prevail On Day Three Of USTA/ITA National Small College Championships
SUMTER, S.C. – On an eventful third day of competition at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, top-seeded players came out ahead in both divisional match-ups and Super Bowl play.
In divisional singles championship action, No. 1 seeds claimed six of the eight titles.
In women’s singles, the top seeds swept the entire competition.
After dropping the first set 6-0, No. 1 seed Alejandra Cisneros (Armstrong State) made a valiant comeback to defeat Saint Leo’s Natalie Siedliska, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Division II women’s final. In the DIII match-up, No. 1 seed Eudice Chong (Wesleyan) defeated third-seeded/defending champion Ashnaa Rao (John Hopkins) 6-1, 6-1. Chong, who also won the DIII doubles title with Victoria Yu, lost only a total of four games in her three singles matches in the DIII bracket.
No. 1 seed Valeria Podda (Georgia Gwinnett) posted a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Camile Gbaguidi (Savannah College of Art and Design) to claim the NAIA women’s singles title. In JUCO play, top-seeded Macarena Olivares (ASA Miami) defeated No. 2 seed Gabrielle Andrews (Tyler Junior College) in straight sets to win the championship.
On the men’s side, two top-seeded players also found success.
Azusa Pacific’s No. 1 seed Jan Meyer took out Pablo Gor (Armstrong State) 7-6, 6-2 to win the DII men’s singles final. Georgia Gwinnett’s Kevin Konfederak, top-seed in the NAIA singles draw, fought through a tough 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 match against teammate/No. 2 seed Jordan Cox to win the title.
In JUCO action, fourth-seeded Ferran Calvo (Tyler JC) handily defeated Hironori Koyanagi 6-1, 6-0 to win the championship. In the DIII men’s singles final, unseeded Noah Farrell came away with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Rafe Mosetick (Emory).
The divisional singles champions didn’t have much time to rest as Super Bowl semifinals matches got underway shortly after.
In the women’s DII vs DIII Super Bowl battle, Armstrong State’s Cisneros defeated Chong (Wesleyan) 6-1, 6-2 to earn a spot in the Super Bowl final taking place on Sunday morning. Cisneros will face ASA Miami’s Olivares, who booked her spot in the final after defeating Podda (Georgia Gwinnett), 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 in the JUCO vs NAIA match-up.
In men’s singles play, Konfederak survived his second three-setter of the day defeating Calvo 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the NAIA vs JUCO match-up. Konfederak will take on Meyer in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Meyer advanced past the semifinals after defeating Farrell, 6-3, 6-2, in the DII vs DIII battle.
Singles Super Bowl matches are set to begin at 10 a.m. ET at the Palmetto Tennis Center.
Super Bowl semifinals rounds for doubles play also took place on Saturday.
Olivares (ASA Miami) and teammate Megane Bianco teamed up for a 6-4, 6-1 win over Katie Wilson and Lucia Solis of Indiana Wesleyan to advance to the doubles Super Bowl.
Olivares and Bianco will meet Lynn’s Rosalie Willlig and Diana Bogolii in the doubles championship. Willig and Bogolii defeated Chong and Yu 7-6, 6-3 in the semfiinals on Saturday.
In men’s doubles, Jui Mao and Ofir Ginat (Concorida NY) rallied through a tightly-contested 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 match against Trinity’s Matt Tyer and Adam Krull to claim the first spot in the Super Bowl.
Mao and Ginat will face Konfederak and Cox in the final. The Georgia Gwinnett duo came through with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Seminole State’s Ismael Mzai and Guy Iradukunda in semifinals play.
The four Super Bowl champions (one men’s singles, one men’s doubles, one women’s singles, one women’s doubles), garner wild cards into the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, held Nov. 12-15 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, New York.
To see complete draws for each division, check out the NSCC Championship Central page http://www.itatennis.com/Events/USTA-ITA-Championships-Events/SmallCollege.htm.
James O'Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award
The James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship awards were also handed out on Saturday. Chong (Wesleyan) received the award on the women’s side while Konfederak (Georgia Gwinnett) earned the honor on the men’s side.
The James O'Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award honors players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships hosted by the Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter, SC. To be eligible for this award, the players must reach the finals in their divisional draw.
Chong claimed both the DIII women's singles title and DIII women's doubles title, while Konfederak won both the NAIA singles and doubles men's championships.
Both Chong and Konfederak represented themselves and their schools in a very positive manner this week as they played with poise in tight situations and always showed their opponents great respect.
The award is given in memory of Jim Sargent, former Media Manager for Rolex Watch, USA, who was the victim of a fatal car accident in 2000. Jim was a great friend of college tennis, an ITA All-American who competed with outstanding success and sportsmanship at Lynchburg College, and afterwards continued as a special partner to the ITA in his role with Rolex.