Divisional Doubles Champions Crowned at 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships
Divisional Singles Finals Set for Tomorrow
MOBILE, AL (Oct. 12) – Eight divisional doubles champions were crowned today at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, AL. Another eight divisional singles champions will be crowned tomorrow, with all of tomorrow’s winners feeding into the “Super Bowl” which will feature all divisional winners (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) in a single bracket to determine four national champions for men’s and women’s singles and doubles across all Small College divisions.
For the second time in three years both Division II doubles championships will go to Armstrong Atlantic as both the men and women clinched doubles titles. This year’s Division II women’s doubles final was a rematch of last year’s as Barbora Krtickova and Aleksandra Filipovski of Armstrong Atlantic took on BYU-Hawaii’s Annie Hwang and Sherry Liu. Last year the duo from BYU-Hawaii downed Armstrong in straight sets, but this year it would be Krtickova and Filipovski who would walk away with the divisional title in straight sets as the pair from Armstrong redeemed last year’s loss with a 6-3, 6-4 win. Like the doubles final, tomorrow’s women’s singles final will also be a rematch from last year’s as defending divisional champion Annie Hwang will take on Barbora Krtickova. Hwang made quick work of her semifinal opponent Kristina Huba of Florida Tech, dropping just a single game en route to the finals, 6-0, 6-1. Krtickova has had a more difficult road to the finals as she survived a three set scare in the first round and then pulled out a tight semifinal victory against Abilene Christian’s Julia Mongin 6-4, 7-6(1).
On the men’s side, Georgi Rumenov and Daniel Regan of Armstrong Atlantic claimed the doubles crown but not without a fight. After winning the first set at 6-3, the duo from Armstrong fell by an identical score in the second to Barry’s Marco Mokrzycki and Fabian Groetseh. However, the third set was tilted in favor of Rumenov and Regan as the pair rolled to a 6-1 showing, solidifying a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win and a spot in the “Super Bowl.” In singles action the top two seeds advanced to the finals. Georgi Rumenov will search for another division title tomorrow as he cruised to the finals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the semifinals. Rumenov has yet to concede a set en route to the finals. He will take on Hans Hach of Abilene Christian, who after dropping the first set of his semifinal match, rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win to advance to the finals.
For the second consecutive year the Division III women’s doubles title will go to Emory as the doubles tandem of Gabrielle Clark and Emma Taylor took the divisional crown in grand fashion. The pair from Emory almost failed to make the finals after a scare in the semis in which the duo survived a three set battle. Nonetheless, Clark and Taylor showed why they deserved a spot in the finals as they dismissed Washington & Lee’s Meghan Buell and Claire Cahill in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 to win the championship. Tomorrow’s singles championship will look exactly like last year’s final as top seeded Gabrielle Clark will take on Lok-Sze Leung of Middlebury in a rematch of the 2011 Division III final. Clark cruised to the championship match with a 6-2, 6-0 win in the semifinals against No. 4 Meghan Buell of Washington & Lee while 2011 divisional champ Leung reached the finals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 3 Brittni Fausett of Mary-Hardin Baylor. Both players have been dominant en route to the finals combining to win 48 of 57 games played.
Williams’ men’s doubles team of Matt Micheli and Trey Meyer took home the Division II men’s doubles title. The duo showed just how tough they could be as came back from a set down in the semifinals, winning 1-6, 6-3, 10-4 just to reach the championship match. In the finals, the duo played a highly competitive match against Whitman’s James Rivers and Andrew LaCava, but it would be Williams’ resiliency that would be the difference as the duo took the doubles crown in straight sets, 7-6(6), 6-3. On the singles side, Trinity’s Aaron Skinner will look to continue serving-up upsets as he took down No. 4 Andy Hersh of Johns Hopkins in the semifinals; Hersh was the second seeded player Skinner has knocked out of the winner’s bracket as he downed the number one seed in the opening round of play. Skinner made quick work of Hersh, taking the match at 6-3, 6-1. He will face North Carolina Wesleyan’s Robert Kjellberg in the divisional final, who, like Skinner, had to knock off two seeded players on his way to the final. In his semifinal match against No. 2 Paul Burgin of Kenyon, Kjellberg had to rally from a set down to secure his place in the finals, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. The Division III men’s final is the only singles final that will feature two unseeded players.
Unseeded Olivet Nazarene’s Seraphine Buchmann and Aurelie Hascoet would have walked away with the NAIA women’s doubles crown but SCAD-Savannah’s Maja Plavsic and Theresa Schmaus had other plans. Plavsic and Schmaus took the opening set of the championship match at 6-3, but Olivet Nazarene would force a third after converting a late break in the second set. The third set was up in the air and came down to a single break of serve for SCAD-Savannah, who, would claim the doubles title by a score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The top seeded women in the singles draw prevailed as Tiffany William of Auburn Montgomery and Tetiana Kovalska of St. Thomas reached the divisional final. Neither player has dropped a set in the tournament. William, the No. 1 seed, was a straight set winner today, beating Evangel’s Amy Grossklag 6-3, 6-3. She will look to become the second straight player from Auburn Montgomery to claim the divisional title. Kovalska, the No. 2 seed, was also a straight set winner today. After pulling out a close first set, Kovalska put together a solid second to defeat Cumberlands’ Neesha Thirumalaichelvan, 7-5, 6-2.
The NAIA men’s doubles championship match featured top seeded Embry-Riddle and No. 3 Auburn Montgomery. In the championship match, Auburn’s Nicolas Pinones and Tim Hewitt converted on a late break to claim the first set at 7-5. The duo carried the momentum into the second set as they clinched the championship by a single break of serve at 6-4. With the win, a team from Auburn Montgomery has won the men’s doubles title four of the last five years. Like the women’s singles draw, the men’s singles divisional final will feature the number one and two seeds. Top seeded Nicolas Pinones has faced little resistance on his way to the finals. Pinones has won 24 of 27 games played in the singles bracket including a 6-0, 6-0 showing against Northwestern Ohio’s Daniel Rueda in the semifinals. He will take on Patrick Besch of Embry-Riddle in a mini-rematch of today’s doubles final. Besch, who after surviving a first round scare, has made his way to the finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win the semifinals against Fernando Bogajo of Lindsey Wilson.
The top seeded doubles team of Fausthy Pietersz and Nelo Phiri of Tyler Junior College brought home the JUCO doubles title. The duo refused to relinquish a single set en route to the title and won the championship by defeating Chloe Murphy and Lai Wei from the state College of Florida, 6-3, 6-4. Pietersz will also be looking to capture the singles title tomorrow after piecing together a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win in the semifinals over Johnson County’s Shannon Beckett. A win from Pietersz would make it three consecutive divisional titles for Tyler Junior College. Standing in her way will be second seeded Chloe Murphy. Like Pietersz, Murphy battled her way through a tough three setter in the first round of singles play but today she was able to walk away with a straight set win against Georgia Perimeter’s Niriantsa Rosolomalala, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the championship match.
For the second straight year a team from Collin College has claimed the JUCO men’s doubles title. This year’s winners from Collin College were Donovan McSeverey and Brady Bohrenstedt. The pair from Collin had a relatively easy path to finals as they won 24 of 30 games played and they looked to be on a similar path in the championship match as they rushed to 6-1 victory in the first set. However, the second would prove to be more challenging as the duo was pushed to a tiebreaker. Ultimately, McSeverey and Bohrenstedt proved to be too much for Seminole State’s Tendai Tapfuma and Wikus Myburgh as Collin College took the match, 6-1, 7-6(2). Moving to singles play, Adrien Berkowicz will look to become the first player from Tyler Junior College to win the divisional title since 2002. Berkowicz made his way to the divisional final by taking out Olivier Snaider of ABAC in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. In the title match, Berkowicz will face Jerel Pleasant from Geogia Perimeter. Pleasant had to fight his way to the finals as he needed three sets to advance to the championship match, defeating Tendai Tapfuma, 4-6, 6-4, 5-4 (ret.).
Tomorrows matches will begin at 8:30 a.m. CDT with the finals of all singles matches in both the men’s and women’s draw.