ITA Regional and National Award Winners

The ITA announced their annual award winners this past month during the championships. Listed below are all players and coaches with Texas ties. An * designates the person also won the national award.

MEN’S DIVISION I ITA REGIONAL AWARDS

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year,
Matt Knoll, Baylor University

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year,
Bob McKinley, Texas A&M University
*Kyle Spencer, Baylor University

TA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship
Southeast, Jamie Hunt, University of Georgia
South Central, Christoph Muller, Rice University

Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year,
Conor Pollock, Texas A&M University

ITA Rookie Player of the Year,
Raony Carvalho, Texas Tech University

ITA Player to Watch,
Northeast, Alexei Chijoff-Evans, Harvard
South Central, Austin Krajicek, Texas A&M University

ITA/John Van Nostrand Memorial Award (regional nominees)
*Conor Pollock, Texas A&M University

WOMEN’S DIVISION I ITA REGIONAL AWARDS

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year,
Colin Foster, TCU

ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship
Macall Harkins, TCU

ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship
Sarah Lancaster, Texas

ITA Rookie Player of the Year,
Marta Lesniak, SMU

ITA Player to Watch,
Jelena Stanivuk, Baylor University

DIVISION II

Coach of the Year (Women)
Russell Sterns, St. Edward’s University

Asst Coach of Yr (Women)
John Walker, Abilene Christian University

Arthur Ashe (Women)
Chrissie Cooper, Tarleton State University

Senior Player (Women)
Irene Squillaci, Abilene Christian University

Rookie Player (Women)
Audrey Tompkins, St. Edwards University

Asst Coach of Yr (Men)
Simon Boyce, St. Edward’s University

Arthur Ashe (Men)
Hutton Jones Jr., Abilene Christian University

Rookie Player (Men)
Eldad Campbell, Abilene Christian University

DIVISION III MEN

Asst Coach of Yr
Russel McMindes, Trinity University

Arthur Ashe
*Dustin Phillips, Univ. of Tyler-Texas

Player to Watch
Robert Sajovich, University of Texas-Tyler

Rookie Player
Max Frey, Trinity University

DIVISION III WOMEN

Player to Watch
Katy Poettcker, Trinity University

Rookie Player
Katie Griffith, Trinity University

JuCo MEN

Coach of the Year
*John Peterson, Tyler Junior College

Asst Coach of Yr
John King, Temple College

Player of the Year
*Moacir Santos, Laredo Community College

Rookie Player
*Cledson Carvalho, Laredo Community College

JuCo WOMEN

Arthur Ashe
Iris Rendon, Tyler Junior College

Player to Watch
Ashlea Baker, Temple College

Rookie Player
Nadia Lee, Lee College

Award descriptions:
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship goes to a player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

The ITA Player to Watch Award goes to a player who has an outstanding season and is expected to perform at a high level the rest of his or her career. This award’s criteria also includes a player’s sportsmanship and character.

The Rafael Osuna Award goes to a men’s player who displays sportsmanship, character, excellent academics, and has had outstanding tennis accomplishments.

The John Van Nostrand Memorial Award is a stipend that goes to an outstanding senior men’s player who plans to pursue a professional career after college.

The Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship goes to a women’s player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team’s performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis.

Osuna and Van Nostrand Award nominees are not regional award winners, but rather nominees put forth by their respective regional committees for the national award consideration.

UT-Tyler’s Launius Named ASC Scholar Athlete

RICHARDSON – Senior Beth Launius was named as The University of Texas at Tyler’s recipients of the American Conference Scholar-Athlete Award by the conference on Wednesday.

Launius, a mechanical engineering major from LaGrange, will graduate from UT Tyler with a 3.83 GPA. She was a member of the 2009 ASC Champion women’s tennis team.

Launius is a two-time Academic All-ASC honoree and was named to the ASC Women’s Tennis Distinguished Student-Athlete team in both 2008 and 2009. She is a four-time All-ASC and All-ASC East First Team selection, a three-time ASC East Player of the Year and a two-time ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District at-large first-team selection

UT Tyler has won an ASC East title in all four years’ of Launius’ tenure and has won the ASC title and advanced the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two years. Launius won the top doubles flight at the ASC Individual Championship in 2006 & 2008 and won the top flight in singles in 2008, as well.

Launius won the ITA Regionals Doubles Championships in 2008 and advanced to the Small College Nationals, along with partner Michelle Hagler. For winning the ITA regional, Launius will be named as an ITA All-American following the conclusion of the 2009 season. She has also been an ITA Scholar Athlete, a member of the 2008 ASC All-Tournament team and was named as the 2008-2009 UT Tyler Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Launius is a member of the UT Tyler chapter of Chi Sigma Alpha, the national collegiate scholar-athlete honor society.

The ASC Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to one male and one female member of the graduating class who has compiled the most outstanding record in academics, athletics and leadership over their collegiate career. The award is presented annually by the Faculty Athletics Representative at each conference member institution.

Recipients of the ASC Scholar-Athlete Award represent 12 different conference sports and include individuals who graduated with academic honors or hold admissions to graduate-level programs; are members of academic honor societies and campus organizations; competed on conference or division championship teams; earned ASC All-Academic, Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, All-Conference or All-Division honors; and who served as volunteers, tutors and teachers within their campus, community and church groups.

Pollock, Marand bow out; Men’s all-Hottie Team

Both Sanaz Marand and Conor Pollock fell in tough three-set matched Saturday at the NCAA Championship being held in College Station.

 In the final set, Pollock broke to go up 2-1, but Strode answered with a break of his own to even it at two-all. Strode closed out the seesaw match by a count of 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

“It was anybody’s match there for a while,” Pollock said. “I was up a break and I played a loose game on my serve to get broken back. You just can’t do that at this level. My forehand kind of broke down a little towards the end. I missed a lot of balls. Give Blake a lot of credit. He’s a great athlete and played a great match.”

Pollock closed out his storied four-year career in Aggieland as a three-time All-American, three-time All-Big 12 Conference singles selection, two-time All-Big 12 doubles selection, three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Teamer and Wilson/ITA South Central Region singles and doubles champion. He etched his name into the A&M record books tied for 10th all-time with 65 career singles dual victories and fourth all-time with 67 career doubles dual victories. He is one of only four players in program history to garner All-America honors three-or-more times next to four-time All-American Shuon Madden (1998-01), three-time All-American Lester Cook (2002-04) and three-time All-American Grant Connell (1984-85).

“It was a great year and I enjoyed it,” said Pollock who graduated this May with a degree in finance from the prestigious Mays Business School on campus. “I had a great career and I’m going to miss it a lot. But, it’s time to move on and see what the future holds for me on the professional tennis circuit.”

Stay tuned to more news and an announcement about Pollock right here in the near future.

Marand saw her run at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship end Saturday with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 loss to Miami’s Julia Cohen at Texas A&M’s Mitchell Tennis Center. Marand completes her 2008-09 campaign with a singles record of 29-14, including a 20-8 mark in dual match play, and All-America honors in both singles and doubles.

Saturday’s national quarterfinal match with No. 2 overall seed Cohen was tight throughout the first two sets, with both players winning a set, 7-5. After Cohen broke Marand at 5-all in the first, the Miami junior served out the set for the lead. Marand then raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second set and held on to even match at a set apiece.

But Cohen scored an early break in the third and deciding set and quickly led 4-0. With Marand serving at 15-30 in the fifth game of the set, play was suspended due to inclement weather and the two players were forced to endure a delay of more than an hour.

After the break, Cohen completed the break to go up 5-0 before Marand broke back to get on the board and make it 5-1. The No. 2 seed would not be denied, however, and finished off the match with a final break to win, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.

In doubles action Baylor’s Csilla Borsanya and Lenka Broosova remain the only team with Texas ties in the draw. San Antonio’s Jamie Hunt and his partner Nate Schnugg fell, as did Houston’s Lauren Lui and her partner, Georgia Rose.

Pollock and Austin Krajicek came up short with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to No. 17-ranked Clay Donato and Taylor Fogleman of North Carolina in the quarterfinals.

The seventh-ranked and No. 5-8 seeded Aggies were only able to break the Tar Heels once in the two-set match, tying up the score at four-all in the first set. Both teams held their serve through the first four games in the second set, but UNC gained the momentum breaking at 3-2 and finished the deciding game on serve. Tournament play was suspended at 12:40 p.m. (CT) after the completion of the men’s singles quarterfinals due to lightning and rain and A&M resumed doubles at 3:15 p.m. (CT) after close to a two-hour weather delay.

“They played well,” Krajicek said. “We obviously didn’t play our best. Give them credit. They didn’t let us get into a rhythm. We had our opportunities in the first set and we just let it slip. Clay (Donato) was returning really well, so he made it tough for us to get into a rhythm. We had some game points that we could have won. We should have broke back in the second game which could have changed the momentum. They just played well and better on big points. We had a great season. Obviously, we wanted to make it a little further in this tournament, but that’s the way it goes. We had a good year in doubles and as a team (reaching the NCAA Sweet 16).”

Krajicek and Pollock ended the season with an impressive 30-9 overall and 22-5 dual record which is tied for fifth best for the most single-season victories in the A&M record books. Last year, the Aggie tandem reached the men’s doubles semifinals for the first time in school history in Tulsa, Okla. Their top eight seed, national ranking and quarterfinal appearance this season earned them All-America distinction for a second year in a row.

“They played lights out,” Pollock said. “We didn’t play that bad of a match. We could have returned a lot better. Obviously, we didn’t return very well. If we could have put more pressure on their serves, we could have turned it around. Give them credit. They played a solid match.”

Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
Sanam Singh (Virginia) def. (1) Arnau Brugues (Tulsa), 6-2, 6-4
(9-16) Steven Moneke (Ohio State) def. (5) Bruno Agostinelli (Kentucky), 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
(9-16) Blake Strode (Arkansas) def. (9-16) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Devin Britton (Mississippi) def. Alex Clayton (Stanford), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4

Women’s Singles Quarterfinals
(8) Chelsey Gullickson (Georgia) def. (1) Maria Mosolova (Northwestern), 6-1, 6-4
(2) Julia Cohen (Miami) def. Sanaz Marand (North Carolina), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1
(5) Mallory Cecil (Duke) def. (3) Aurelija Miseviciute (Arkansas), 6-3, 6-3
Laura Vallverdu (Miami) def. (9-16) Marrit Boonstra (Florida), 6-1, 6-7 (9), 6-3

Men’s Doubles Quarterfinals
(2) Davey Sandgren/John-Patrick Smith (Tennessee) def. (5-8) Steve Forman/Cory Parr (Wake Forest), 6-3, 6-7 (4) 6-3
Tim Puetz/Alexey Tsyrenov (Auburn) def. (4) Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (Georgia), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Dominic Inglot/Michael Shabaz (Virginia) def. (5-8) Omar Altmann/Bassam Beidas (Pepperdine), 6-4, 6-2
Clay Donato/Taylor Fogleman (North Carolina) def. (5-8) Austin Krajicek/Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 6-4, 6-4

Women’s Doubles Quarterfinals:
Csilla Borsanya/Lenka Broosova (Baylor) def. Micaela Hein/Kelcy McKenna (Arizona State), 6-3, 6-0
Natalie Pluskota/Caitlin Whoriskey (Tennessee) def. Josipa Bek/Ina Hadziselimovic (Clemson), 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
(5-8) Hilary Barte/Lindsay Burdette (Stanford) def. Lauren Lui/Georgia Rose (Northwestern) , 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
(5-8) Mari Andersson/Jana Juricova (California) def. (1) Renata Kucerkova/Anastasia Petukhova (Fresno State), 7-6 (1), 6-3

 

MEN’S ALL-HOTTIE TEAM

Again, this was not my doing. It all started with a reader’s list that was passed along to me on the women’s side. Afterwards, I put out a call for any women willing to select a men’s team. I was not disappointed as several came forward to compile this list for me. Unlike the women’s team, where the team had to be in College Station, the men’s team includes anyone who played in CS.

So, with no further ado:

Austen Childs, Louisville, Sophomore, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

Diego Cubas, South Carolina, Junior, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Clay Donato, North Carolina, Junior, Toronto, Ontario

Blake Strode, Arkansas, Senior, St. Louis, Missouri

Devin Britton, University of Mississippi, Freshman, Jackson, Mississippi

Brad Cox, Kentucky, Sophomore, Duluth, Georgia

Christian Rojmar, Texas Tech, Senior, Stockholm, Sweden

Houston Barrick, Virginia, Junior, Brentwood, Tennessee

Brett Helgeson, Notre Dame, Senior, Overland Park, Kansas

Christian Vitulli, Georgia, Junior, Mombasa, Kenya

Pollock and Marand advance; DIII championship news

Conor Pollock and Sanaz Marand continue to have a great week at the NCAA Individual Championships in College Station.

Pollock rallied to defeat Dean Jackson of the University of San Diego in three sets, while Marand crushed Laura Gioia of Furman, 6-1 6-1. The win is huge for Marand, who struggled to find her form earlier in the year, but has been on a tear lately. Since March 27th, she has won 13 of 14 matches. Her only loss was to Mallory Cecil of Duke. Sanaz now faces Julia Cohen, who beat her back on March 20th.

Pollock is the player still in both draws.

Men’s Round of 16
(9-16) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Dean Jackson (San Diego), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Devin Britton (Mississippi) def. Bruno Rosa (Rice), 6-3, 6-4

Women’s Singles Round of 16
Sanaz Marand (North Carolina) def. Laura Gioia (Furman), 6-1, 6-1

Men’s Doubles Round of 16
(4) Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (Georgia) def. Geoff Chizever/Pedro Zerbini (California), 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4
(5-8) Austin Krajicek/Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Robert McKenzie/John Peers (Middle Tennessee State), 6-3, 6-4
Dominic Inglot/Michael Shabaz (Virginia) def. Raony Carvalho/Christian Rojmar (Texas Tech), 6-3, 6-4

Quotes
(4) Jamie Hunt (Georgia):
“California (Geoff Chizever and Pedro Zerbini) was a really good team. We didn’t play them in doubles early in the year, but we did see them play singles, so we knew they were very capable. They came out and played well and got up a break early, but we managed to fight back and get that break back. We played very well in the tiebreaker. In the second set, we had a lot of chances, but they played well when they needed to. In the third set, we went up two breaks and we played a good game to get it back. Luckily, Nate (Schnugg) has a big serve and we held to win it.”

(5-8) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M):
“We had a tough match yesterday, but sometimes that happens where you have a tough first round. A lot of times you get a rhythm with that and start playing really well and have a good tournament. Hopefully, that’s the case for us. We tried to come out a lot more intense today, focused on our serve and tried not to make any mental errors. We are at our best when we are playing well on our serve games. We did a good job today of not only getting the break, but also holding it. We did a better job of that, than we did yesterday.”

Women’s Doubles Round of 16 Results:
Csilla Borsanya/Lenka Broosova (Baylor) def. Kristi Boxx/Karen Nijssen (Mississippi), 7-6 (6), 6-2
Lauren Lui/Georgia Rose (Northwestern) def. Carolina Escamilla/Caroline Lilley (Kentucky), 6-3, 6-1
Josipa Bek/Ina Hadziselimovic (Clemson) def. Macall Harkins/Anna Sydorska (TCU), 7-6 (5), 6-4
(5-8) Hilary Barte/Lindsay Burdette (Stanford) def. Marta Lesniak/Aleksandra Malyarschikova (SMU), 6-2, 6-0

DIII ACTION

In Division III action,  senior Dustin Phillips (Houston) of The University of Texas at Tyler men’s tennis team fell to Charlie Cutler of Washington-St. Louis, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round of singles competition at the 2009 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis National Individual Championships on Friday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont.

Later in the day, Dan LaFountaine and Nate Fox of Grinnell rallied from one set down to eliminate Phillips and his partner, junior David Ashlock (Arlington), from the doubles competition, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Phillips ends his season with a record of 25-5 in singles competition and, with Ashlock, a record of 20-6 in doubles action.

Phillips concludes his UT Tyler career with an outstanding singles record of 45-11 and will end his partnership with Ashlock having amassed an equally impressive 35-9 record.

Friday’s appearance marks the second straight season that Phillips has competed in the singles tournament and that Phillips and Ashlock have competed in the doubles event.

 The Trinity Tigers sophomore doubles team of Bobby Cocanougher of Southlake; and Cory Kowal of Austin (Anderson); advanced to the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships doubles quarterfinals Friday.

The Tiger duo came from behind to defeat Andrew Thompson and David Farah of Middlebury College 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 at Biszantz Family Tennis Center. Cocanougher and Kowal, who became All-Americans last fall by winning the ITA regional doubles crown, were on the ropes in the second set as the Middlebury team was serving for the match.

Cocanougher and Kowal will take on top seeds Mike Burdakin and John Kauss of Gustavus Adolphus College Saturday in the quarters.

Earlier, Kauss, the No. 1 seed in singles, beat Trinity first-year player Max Frey of Broken Arrow, Okla. (Tulsa Holland Hall), 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round.

Frey captured Southwest Region singles title last fall in San Antonio, and earned All-America honors. He went on to the National Small College Championships at Mobile, Ala. Frey was also elected the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Player of the Year.

Trinity University Tigers first-year player Katy Poettcker of Colleyville (Heritage), won her first-round singles match, but lost the second Friday at the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championships.

Second-seeded Kendra Higgins of the University of Chicago beat Poettcker 6-1, 6-0 in the round of 16 at Collins Hill Athletic Club. Poettcker won her opening-round match with a 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-2 victory over Ariel Lewis of Oberlin College.

Poettcker earned All-America honors with her performance. Prior to the NCAAs, Poettcker was named the ITA West Region Player to Watch.

The National Individual Championship field is comprised of the top 32 singles players and top 16 doubles teams in all of Division III.

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS

Tomorrow – the Guys All-Hottie Team, as compiled by some female readers

Everbody’s an All-American, it’s getting hot in here and recruiting

Thursday was a decent day for players from Texas or Texas teams. In singles it represented a big moment for several players, as All-American honors are earned for those reaching the round of 16 in singles, who were not already in the top-16 in the country. Tomorrow is the day for doubles as players must reach the quarters.

MEN’S SINGLES (Round of 32)
Singh (Virginia) def. Kutrovsky (Texas), 6-2, 6-0
Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Gooch (Elon), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2)
Rosa (Rice) def. Bowles (Florida State), 5-7, 7-5, 6-0

WOMEN’S SINGLES (Round of 32)
Marand (North Carolina) def. Marks (Arizona), 6-3, 7-5

MEN’S DOUBLES (Round of 32)
#4 Hunt/Schnugg (Georgia) def. Barrick/Singh (Virginia), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Carvalho/Rojmar (Texas Tech) def. Cubas/Machado (South Carolina), 6-4, 7-5
Krajicek/Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Benneteau/Burkhardt (Florida), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
#2 Sandgren/Smith (Tennessee) def. Galic/Rux (Baylor), 6-4, 6-2
Farah/Johnson (Southern California) def. Brighiu/Simon (TCU), 6-2, 6-4

WOMEN’S DOUBLES (Round of 32)
Harkins/Sydorska (TCU) def. Alexander/Revzina (Florida), 7-5, 7-6
Borsanyi/Broosova (Baylor) def. Mijacika/Wong (Clemson), 6-1, 7-6
Lui/Rose (Northwestern) vs. Gloria/Rowe (Fresno State), 7-6, 6-4
Boonstra/Mather (Florida) def. #4 Grabinski/Marand (North Carolina), 6-2, 6-2

Sanaz Marand looked great in her match this morning. She was pretty much in control all of the first set, but got down an early break in the second. She remained calm, eventually breaking at 2-4, then again at 5-all to secure the win by serving it out. I got some photos of her that I will add tonight.

Conor Pollock did not play his best tennis today, but that’s how it goes sometimes. He overcame his shaky play, however, to win it two tiebreakers.

Dmitri Kutrovsky played what can only be described as his worst match of the year. Sanam Singh played a heck of a match, but Kutrovsky never challenged him.  Give credit to Singh though as he served about as well as he can and just never stopped attacking.

Rice’s Bruno Rosa played the strangest match of the day. He was down 7-5 5-1 before turning things arouns and winning 12-straight games and the match. Rosa saved five match points, two at 5-1 and three while Clint Bowles was serving at 5-3 40-0.  I think the third set took maybe 15 minutes. I had packed my things to leave, stopped to speak with Colette Lewis from Zoo Tennis, went to the restroom. When I walked past the court, it was already 5-0. By the time I got to my car, they were shaking hands.

wow.

Obviously I didn’t catch much doubles.

HOTTY TODDY, GOSH ALMIGHTY

No, I am not going to talk about Devin Britton-berg’s win over Inglot, although Inglot’s brother is obnoxious to say the least and was in full form during the Singh-Kutrovsky match. I am talking once again about the all-hottie team.

Chris from Texas A&M would like to add Mallory Cecil from Duke to the squad. The freshman from Spartanburg, SC was somehow missed during the initial selection. Se has also been mentioned by several others who follow the women closer than I.

I have also been informed that the men’s all-hottie team will be sent to me soon by fans longtime college tennis fans. I have been told that Blake Strode of Arkansas will be on the list, LINK  and LINK with dreads.

RECRUITING CLASS RANKINGS
It is my understanding that TennisRecruiting.net will be releasing their rankings soon. I cannot wait to see where the UT and Texas A&M classes end up. Both had a good year of signings and I did participate in the rankings. I will be doing an article for that website in the near future on both of their classes.


Singles first day, a good man is hard to find and Conor wins cash

Here are the results involving Texans or players on teams in Texas from today’s singles matches.

MENS SINGLES (ROUND OF 64)
Kutrovsky (Texas) def. Berg (Mississippi), 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
Singh (Virginia) def. Muller (Rice), 6-3, 6-1
Cubas (South Carolina) def. #4 Lucaks (Baylor), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
#5 Agostinelli (Kentucky) def. Spencer (Texas A&M), 6-1, 6-3
Bowles (Florida State) def. Carvalho (Texas Tech), 6-4, 6-3
Clayton (Stanford) def. Rux (Baylor), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Donato (North Carolina) def. Krajicek (Texas A&M), 1-6, 6-4, 7-6
Rosa (Rice) def. #8 Farah (USC), 7-5, 7-6
Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Seleznev (Old Dominion), 6-2, 6-4

WOMENS SINGLES (ROUND OF 64)
#7 Barte (Stanford) def. Broosova (Baylor), 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
#4 Mijacika (Clemson) def. Lesniak (SMU), 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5
Marand (North Carolina) def. Rose (Northwestern), 6-2, 6-4
Eichkorn (Miami) def. Ormond (Baylor)
Gioia (Furman) def. Munch-Soegaard (TCU), 6-4, 6-1

Fairly incredible. On the women’s side, we only have Sanaz left and on the men’s side it is Conor, Dimi and Bruno. How Lukacs lost is beyond me, but so did Farah of USC, who played well all week. I figure Farah was as they say in the NBA injury report, “suffering from flu-like symptoms.” Hell, I would too if I had just clinched the title. I may just be going to bed right now. Don’t get me wrong, Bruno is good and I would kill for his backhand, but he hasn’t had the year we all expected from him.

Broosova and Lesniak got rough draws, Ormond looked average all week and Munch-Soegaard has been injured and really hasn’t played enough to be ready for this.

This is a rough tournament and we always see some strange results. I cannot wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Conor plays The Gooch. Rosa plays Clint Bowles, whic should be a good match. Dimi plays Singh and should run him. A win would likely set up a rematch with JP Smith of Tennessee.

Sanaz plays Natasha Marks of Arizona, who beat a seed today. I like her draw.

A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND

I am not really a pig. cashAs far as  the all-Hottie team was concerned, I thought it was a fun idea that some college kids came up with and decided to post it. For the most part, this has been very well received, however, the major criticism I got from women was there was no all-Hottie of men. I have received several suggestions, but no team has been compiled just yet. If anyone is up to the task, let me know.

CONOR AWARDED ITA/John Van Nostrand Memorial Award

Conor Pollock was awarded the ITA/John Van Nostrand Memorial Award Tuesday. he John Van Nostrand Memorial Award is a stipend that goes to an outstanding senior men’s player who plans to pursue a professional career after college. 

Here’s the note on him: Pollock was named All-Big 12 in singles for the third-straight year and also received his second career nod on the All-Big 12 doubles team. He currently ranks 18th all-time with 60 career singles victories and 10th all-time with 63 career doubles victories in the A&M record books. Pollock is a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection and three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team scholar.

Thoughts on the finals and the All-Hottie team

THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIPS

I really don’t have a whole to say on the subject, since no Texas teams were there, but I had a feeling that USC was going to win. I thought that before the Ohio State-UCLA match ended, but after the way that one finished, it seemed obvious that Ohio State was going to be tired. That semifinal had to have taken it out of them. I saw too many guys in the training room afterwards.

It was nice meeting the OSU coaching staff on Wednesday and was sorry I couldn’t spend more time with them, but we both had places to be. Maybe later this week. That’s really the great thing about having the men’s and women’s all at one spot. There are so many coaches, players, fans, staff and writers just hanging around, you get to meet so many cool people… well, and some strange ones too.

I guess the big question circulating the event now is whether Chase Buchanan will go back to school in the fall or just turn pro. I know there was a lot of discussion all spring on the topic of him being able to register and be eligible in the third quarter.

THE 2009 NCAA TEAM TOURNAMENT ALL-HOTTIE TEAM

Another byproduct of having all of the men and women together is that there are a lot of college kids around.

I need to stress that I had NOTHING to do with the selection of this team. I am in my 40’s, happily married with two kids. I was handed this information by a student named Chris, who is working the event. It is my understanding that this was compiled by several college guys working the event, but spearheaded by Chris.

To be eligible a student-athlete had to be a member of a women’s team that reached the round of 16 in College Station. To be honest, I had no idea who many of these women were until I did the background research to find the links to their bios, which you get to by clicking on their names. I also found a few extra links for some of the girls.

Joanna Mather, Florida, Fr., Duluth, Georgia
more at Gatorcountry.com – LINK

Claudia Wasilewski, Miami, Jr., Boulogne, France
more at flickr – LINK

Kate Lukomskaya, Arkansas, Fr., Minsk, Belarus

Stephanie Wetmore, UCLA, Jr., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Yvette Hyndman, Georgia, Jr., Bradenton, Florida

Kristy Frilling, Notre Dame, Fr., Sidney, Ohio

Kelsey Tefft, Notre Dame, Senior, Enid, Oklahoma

Bojana Bobusic, Cal, Senior, Perth, Australia
Life magazine – LINK

Lee College women claim national title

The Lee College Lady Rebels won their third national championship since 2002 last week at the Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona.

The Lady Rebels finished with 39 points, eeking out the slimmest of margins against the defending champion, runner-up Hillsborough College of Tampa, Florida. Tyler Junior College finished third with 36 points.

Audrey Hernandez, a sophomore from La Feria and freshman Francesca Bassoo of Clear Brook won singles championships in Flights three and five. Other members of Lee College’s champions include Brittany Tobin, Chelsea Creed, Fredericque Sunstrum and Huong Huynh.

The Lady Rebels are coached by Jason Haynes.

“We’ve got a bunch of happy campers,” Lee College coach Jason Haynes said. “There was an upswell of emotion at the end of Francesca’s match. The girls realized they had won the title.”

Laredo CC wins fifth-straight national title

The Laredo Community College Palominos captured their fifth-straight national title, edging Tyler Junior College at the 2009 NJCAA Men’s National Division I Tennis Tournament held in Plano this week.

Three of the top four team were from Texas, with Laredo CC leading the way over Tyler JC (second) and Collin County CC (fourth).

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS:
1) LAREDO CC-46
2) TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE-43
3) ABRAHAM BALDWIN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE-37
4) COLLIN COUNTY CC-29

Laredo CC is coached by Jaime Donjuan.

Moacir Dos Santos-Filho and Cledson  Carvalho were recognized as the regional and national recipients of ITA Player of the Year and ITA Rookie of the Year, respectively.

“I’m elated that Moacir is the first Palomino to win the highly coveted national ITA Player of the Year award, and that Moacir and Cledson are the first in college history to win both national and regional awards,” Donjuan said.

Carvalho is the No. 2 player for LCC, but in national polls he is ranked first because of some key wins he achieved over his teammate, Santos, last semester.

In addition to winning the doubles championship at the ITA small college tennis tourney, Carvalho went on to defeat Santos for the top singles title. Santos and Carvalho are nationally ranked first in doubles.

“Santos and Carvalho have both had a great year and are very deserving of the recognitions they have received,” Donjuan said.  “I’m proud that Moacir is the first Palomino to be recognized as the national Player of the Year because as a student-athlete, he not only has excelled on the courts but in the classroom.  Moacir has been an excellent role model for the team and he truly represents the high caliber of men’s junior college tennis programs nationwide.”

Donjuan also praised the accomplishments of Carvalho.

“I’m confident in saying that LCC is fortunate to have the top two men’s junior college tennis players in the nation,” Donjuan said.  “Cledson has done an outstanding job during his freshman year and we look forward to a brighter future next season.”

Semi Tough, Looking towards 2010 and Twitter

When Texas head coach Michael Center sat down in the press room, he asked me what I was going to write.

My response, “that you got beat by a very good team”.

And that was true.

USC was a team on a mission, playing very high-level tennis. Robert Farah and Steve Johnson played some of the best tennis I have seen in awhile. When that happens, and you don’t get it done on the other doubles lines, you are giving up three points.

Kutrovsky and Corrie were just outclassed in singles today. Early I thought Kutrovsky had a chance, especially when Farah was pissed about everything and anything, but he seems to thrive on that.

Corrie never looked in the match. He has struggled ever since his huge win over Shabaz March 15th. Since that time, he has gone 4-9, winning only against OU, OSU, Nebraska and TAMU-CC.

Kellen Damico tried his best to put the Longhorns on his back. He played well at times in doubles to keep it close, then crushed Jaak Poldma in singles. Damico has won his last 12 matches, dating back to March 29th. Back then, he was at his nadir, losing on March 27th at #5 singles at Oklahoma State.

Olivier Sajous gave another tremendous effort and rallied from a set down to get back into the match at #4 singles. He was down a set and a break, but never gave up and my guess is he was going pull it out.

Josh Zavala seemed out of sorts in the beginning at #5. The second set was different and he really took it to Matt Kecki, but after the break Zavala appeared to run out of gas. He was never in the third set, as Kecki made him hit a lot of balls on every point.

A big disappointment was Miguel Reyes Varela’s play at #6. After getting down a quick break, he got his game together, only to fall apart in the tiebreaker. He then faltered late in the second set and would’ve been the clinching match, but he stalled as much as possible with an injury timeout and switching racquets.

I really don’t have a lot to say about this other than UT got beat. Could they have won? Of course, but there is certainly no shame in another final four appearance. Since Baylor’s back-to-back finals appearances, Texas’ run at the NCAAs is the best of any Big XII team.

THE OUTLOOK FOR 2010

The future for Texas should be good. They lose Reyes Varela, who has immense talent, but replaceable. Damico has to put in the work. For Texas to be successful down the road, he must play ahead of Corrie. A healthy and hungry Damico can win at any line. Corrie will struggle up there against the top talent. My guess for how the lineup will be next year is this…

1. Kutrovsky
2. Damico
3. Vasil Mladenov
4. Corrie
5. Zavala
6. David Holiner or Sajous

That lineup has the strength at the top and some great depth at the bottom. If Josh Zavala gets stronger over the summer, he could be unbeatable at #5. Corrie and line 4 is a luxury.

UT will also have to work on their doubles, which was key to their success in 2008. The top two teams can stay the same, but a team of Holiner/Camillone or one of the upperclassmen with Camillone will likely be at line three.

I will work on this over the summer and expend.

TWITTER

If you don’t get my twitter feeds, you should. LOL. I am hoping the next year will be even better on this front. There are already some great feeds to follow, including zoo tennis, Jason Nguyen (UCLA), OSUTennis (Ohio State), vttennis (Va. Tech) and aggietennis1. I have been fortunate to meet most of these folks and that has been a lot of fun.