Final day wraps at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

Final day wraps at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships

Super Bowl champions crowned, earning a berth at indoor championships


FORT MYERS, FL. (Oct. 13) -  The Super Bowl champs have been crowned at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at the Three Oaks Tennis Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The four champions now advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships to be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY from November 7-10. 

 

Valentine Confalonieri of Lynn University

The singles finals were very competitive, with both champions needing three sets to claim victory.

In the women's Super Bowl final, Valentine Confalonieri of Lynn University became her school's first singles Super Bowl champion with a hard-fought 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2 over Niriantsa Rosolomalala of Georgia Perimeter.

It was 
Rasolomalala who got off to a great start, leading 5-1 in the first set. But Confalonieri settled in and rallied to tie the set at 5-5 before eventually dropping the set in a close tiebreaker, 7-6 (6).

 

"I think the first set was very difficult because I was nervous so I couldn't play my best tennis," Confalonieri said. "She was tough. She really wanted to win."

But Confalonieri would send the match into a third set, breaking her opponent at 5-4 to take the second set, 6-4. From there, Confalonieri was the less weary of the two players, and she was able to clinch the title 6-2 in the third set and her spot at the intercollegiate championships.

Deni Zmak of Embry-Riddle 

 

The men's singles Super Bowl final was even tighter, as both men battled hard in hot conditions. Deni Zmak of Embry-Riddle ended up the victor in a tough 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Mate Cutura of Tyler Junior College. Zmak said he felt neither player got off to a great start, attributing that to both playing long singles matches the day before.

 

"We started a little bit slow and he was better at the end of the set," Zmak said. "But little by little I got pumped up and I managed to win the second set 7-6, but it wasn't looking good I was 0-3 down in the tiebreak."

 

After forcing a third set, Zmak said he felt his opponent's energy drop as he went up a break, but Cutura broke right back to prove he wasn't going away. Zmak managed to get another break and he held on to win the Super Bowl title.

 

Zmak was back on the court an hour after finishing his singles final to contend for another Super Bowl title with partner Simon Felix. The duo faced Middlebury's Palmer Campbell and Brantner Jones.

 

Simon Felix and Deni Zmak of Embry-Riddle

The Embry-Riddle team served well to put the pressure on their opponents, but the Middlebury team held onto their serve early despite facing multiple break points. The Eagles proved too strong tho and they won the Super Bowl title 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the fifth title for their team at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.

Embry-Riddle's Head Coach Dave Paschal said five titles was not something he expected.

 

"It's pretty surprising," he said "Coming into it we expected Deni would have a good tournament, but obviously winning the Super Bowl titles is really tough. To win three of the four NAIA titles and Super Bowl titles is as good as we could do. It was a wonderful weekend - it was a great experience for Embry-Ridddle."

 

Emma Onila and Linda Fritschken of Barry

Emma Onila and Linda Fritschken of Barry won their school's first Super Bowl title with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Fausthy Pietersz and Joanna Savva of Tyler Junior College.

 

 "It feels really amazing, especially because we won two big important titles," said Fritschken. "It's the first time in our school's history that someone won the Super Bowl."

 

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. Use the hashtag #SmallCollegeNationals for all tweets about to the event, or search the term "SmallCollegeNationals" to find others who are tweeting about the event. Like us on Facebook to see photo posted daily throughout the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.

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