2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships underway in Fort Myers
Regional champions from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA, and JuCo compete
FORT MYERS, FL. (Oct. 10) - The 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships are now underway and will continue until October 13, hosted by the Three Oaks Tennis Center in Fort Myers, Florida.
One of collegiate athletics’ most unique events, the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships date back to 1986, and it is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels. It is also the only tournament that combines all levels of Junior/Community College (NJCAA Divisions I and III, along with the California division).
Each small college division (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) features eight singles players and eight doubles pairs who earned spots into this national event by winning their respective USTA/ITA Regional Championships held over the past four weeks throughout the country. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships held at 85 different college campuses across the country.
The singles and doubles champions at each divisional level will then compete to become the overall "Super Bowl" champions. The "Super Bowl" champions earn wild cards into the 2013 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center November 7-10.
The most unique element of the USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Championships program is the fact that all levels of varsity college tennis (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) are competing in one comprehensive event, and any ITA varsity student-athlete has the opportunity to play and win at the prestigious USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
A number of the best teams in the nation have sent their players to this year's event, including defending Super Bowl champion schools Armstrong Atlantic and Tyler Junior College.
In Division II, Lewis will be represented in women’s singles and doubles as well as men’s singles as they won three of four events at the Division II USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships. West Florida will have the top seeds in both men’s singles and men’s doubles.
Division III features teams such as Emory, who are represented in both singles draws as well as women’s doubles, while the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has presence in men’ singles, men’s doubles and women’s singles after winning three of four titles at the Division III USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships.
In NAIA action, Auburn-Montgomery will try and best its wins last year as they won two titles at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. This year they have participants in women’s singles, two in men’s singles and a men’s doubles team.
In the JuCo draws, Tyler Junior College will be the top seeds in three of four events after sweeping the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships. Seminole State has two players in the women’s singles draw as well as the top seeds in women’s doubles and No. 2 seeds in both men’s singles and men’s doubles.
Thursday's action starts at 8am with men's singles for Division II, Division III and JuCo leading off the day's schedule.
For complete coverage of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, including access to updated draws, please visit the tournament area on ITAtennis.com. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Fort Myers (search for the hashtag #SmallCollegeNationals) or like us on Facebook to see photos.