Seeds Mostly Take Care of Business on Day One of USTA/ITA National Small College Championships
Divisional doubles finals set in the women’s draws
Day one is in the books at the 2011 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., and for the most part, the seeds were able to advance with little trouble. On the men’s side, one round of singles and one round of doubles were contested. The women also played one round of singles, but completed two rounds of doubles on the day, setting up the divisional finals in each draw.
Division II singles action was a breeze for almost all seeded players, as Lynn’s Ioana Ivan was the only of the eight seeds to drop a set. She lost a close opening set to Zsofia Kranczicki of Lewis, but did not drop a game the rest of the way en route to a 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 victory. The men’s doubles draw saw the No. 1 seeds (Attila Toth and Nikolaj Wulff of Queens) and the No. 3 seeds (Domingos Carissimo and Jorge Margiotta of Southwest Baptist) fall into the consolations after the opening round. Toth and Wulff dropped a grueling three set match, losing 10 points to five in the super tiebreak, while Carissimo and Margiotta were defeated 6-2, 6-2. Lynn’s Ivan and Sabine Krause, the No. 2 seeds in the women’s draw, also went down in a super tiebreak, while the No. 4 seeds Martina Rubesova and Franziska Steinhardt of California (PA) lost in two tight set 6-4, 7-5. Armstrong Atlantic’s Barbora Krtickova and Aleksandra Filipovski, the top-seeded duo in the draw, will take on BYU-Hawaii’s Annie Hwang and Sherry Liu, seeded No. 3, for the divisional title.
In Division III play, the men’s seeds all ran into trouble except top seed Dillon Pottish of Emory, who cruised through his first match 6-2, 6-2. No. 2 seed Alex Lane of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was also able to advance, but had to bounce back after dropping a second set tiebreak to win the third 6-2. No. 3 seed Joey Fritz of Amherst and No. 4 seed Amrik Donkena of Gustavus Adolphus both fell in the opening round in straight sets. All four seeds remain alive on the women’s side in Division III. Middlebury’s Lok Sze Leung, the No. 4 seed, was the only one who struggled, needing three sets to put away Washington and Lee’s Sonja Meighan. The Division III men’s doubles draw provided perhaps the most entertaining match of the day, as No. 3 seeds Max Frey and Erick De La Fuente of Trinity found themselves in a battle with the unseeded tandem Matt King and Eric Shulman of Christopher Newport. The Trinity pair claimed the first set 7-5, but dropped the second 6-2 to push the match into a decisive super tiebreak. Neither team gave away anything, as it took 30 points to decide a winner, with King and Shulman prevailing 16 points to 14. In the women’s draw, Laura Chen and Courtney Chin of Carnegie Mellon (seeded No. 1) will face off against Gabrielle Clark and Zahra Dawson of Emory (seeded No. 3) for the Division III women’s doubles championship.
Opening round play in NAIA produced only a single upset in the four draws combined, as men’s singles No. 4 seed Vladislav Khudziy of Huntington fell 6-2, 7-5 to Lindsey Wilson’s Fernando Bogajo. The top four seeds in the women’s draw were seemingly on a mission in their first matches, dropping a total nine games in advancing to the semifinal round. The men’s double seeds were almost as dominant, with 6-4, 6-4 being the closest match of the day. In the women’s doubles draw, the seeds reached the semifinals with ease. It may not have been a surprise that No. 3 seeds Marie Boura and Erika Januskova of Fresno Pacific took down the No. 2 seeds Yi Ching Chen and Josefine Strom of Embry-Riddle, but the fact they didn’t drop a game in doing so was stunning. Top seeds Ana Veselinovic and Jade Curtis of Auburn-Montgomery also failed to advance to the final, dropping a three set match to Oklahoma Christian’s Hermon Brhane and Lucie Sipkova. The top seeds rebounded from a sluggish first set to win the second 7-5, but couldn’t complete the comeback in the super tiebreak, losing 10 points to six.
The JUCO men’s singles draw lost the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the first round, as both at-large selections pulled off upsets. Ismail Lemtouni of Georgia Perimeter claimed a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-2 win over the No. 3 seed Admire Mushonga of Seminole State, while Laredo’s Jair Assuncao had little trouble in knocking off No. 4 seed Andre Almeida of Fresno City 6-4, 6-2. None of the four matches were competitive in the women’s singles draw, but No. 2 seed Greta Veinberga of St. Petersberg did go down in defeat 6-1, 6-0 to at-large selection Barbora Bozkova of Laredo. In doubles, Copiah Lincoln’s Marco Kenezevic and Mario Huljev, the No. 4 seed in the draw, dropped a tiebreak in each set seven points to five to become the only seeded duo to lose in the opening round of the men’s draw. Seminole State at-large pair Chloe Murphy and Taylor Spradlin breezed past No. 2 seeds Greta Veinberga and Yurina Kunishima of St. Petersberg, the only upset in the draw. The top-seeded team of Diana Davitaia and Zsofia Biro of Cowley will meet No. 3 seeds Kerrie Cartwright and Audrey Leitz of Tyler in the divisional championship match.