Weekend Wrap from New Mexico to Midland to Austin

Where to start? Where to start?

Let’s start in New Mexico where several teams were taking part in the Miner Invitational. It looks like Lee College, the defending JuCo Champions will again be strong. Nadia Lee won the A singles draw with a win over Carolina DeLuca of UTEP, who looks to improve on their recent success. Veronika Makashov, a freshman from Canada, took the C singles draw for UTEP over teammate Austin Lavallii of Michigan. Makashov and DeLuca teamed to also capture the B doubles draw.

On the other end of the spectrum, it appears that my former colleague, Sal Castillo, is still just building at Our Lady of the Lake. The girls won only a single game in their combined first round matches. A whole lot of double bagels being served up.

Tarleton State also competed at the event.

FOR A COMPLETE LOOK AT THE DRAWS

Next we head to Midland where a ton of teams were competing for the first time this fall. Top-seed Bruno Rosa of Rice did not disappoint in the men’s draw. As we know, he can beat just about anyone on any given day and his backhand is as sweet as butter. Seriously, I have a man crush on his backhand, but I digress.

The surprise of the tournament had to be the success of Josh Zavala, who defeated in succession third-seeded Alex Llompart (Pepperdine), Julien Bley (Baylor), and second seeded Andrei Daescu (Oklahoma) en route to the finals where he lost to Rosa 57 64 64. The first two wins really don’t surprise me all that much. I personally think Josh has a lot of pride in being a senior.

John Lewis, the transfer from Alabama, now playing for Texas A&M played well this weekend, as well. He upset Attila Bucko (Baylor) and then topped UT freshman Ben Chen in the third round before falling to Oscar Podlewski of Rice. Podlewski is a transfer from Elon who had a great weekend. He beat three Big XII players in a row: David Gonzalez of Texas Tech, Vasko Mladenov and Lewis to reach the semis.

In the dubs, Llompart and Tearney topped Daescu and Beleleu in the finals. Two Texas teams reached the semis, as Mladenov and Zavala, fell to the eventual winners, 9-8, while freshmen Chen and Daniel Whitehead fell 8-5 to the finalists.

FOR A COMPLETE LOOK AT THE MEN’S DRAWS

On the women’s side, Baylor’s Jelena Stanivuk topped Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska 6475.

Texas A&M’ freshman Nazari Urbina reached the semifinals. She beat UNT’s Shannon Mackenzie, Rice’s Julie Chao and second seed, Pichittra Thomgdach of Boise State before falling to Weatherholt, 76 75.

Megan Alexander made her first tournament as a TCU Horned Frog a good one. She and teammate Kayla Duncan cruised through the draw for the title. They defeated Varsha Shiva-Shankar and Rebecca Lin of Rice, 8-5 in the semis, then crushed the top seeds, Thongdach and Lauren Megale of Boise State, 8-1 in the final.

FOR COMPLETE WOMENS DRAWS, CLICK HERE

Now down to Austin, where the wild card tournament was being held for the 10sPortal.com $15k that will be held in a few weeks. I believe there is another WC tournament this weekend.

FOR A COMPLETE LOOK AT THE DRAWS

This event was won by Dimitar Kutrovsky of the Texas, who beat teammate Ed Corrie in the finals, 64 62. Kutrovsky beat A&M’s Elexis Klegou, 46 64 10-4 in a tough semifinal. Corrie beat Peter Czajka, 62 63.

This was a strange tournament, as many WC tournaments can be. Lots of no shows and bizarre results. klegou started slow, giving up three games in the first set against a 14-year old, albeit a very talented one. Then he makes a good run and defeats former UT player Miguel Reyes Varela, 57 62 10-8. Reyes Varela had his own weird tournament, squeaking past Jorge Bouffier, who is very good and beat a few players this summer, but was on the UT Intramural Club team the last few years, 57 63 10-8. He then dispatched of Keyvon Karimi, 76 62.

Corrie and Reyes Varela took the doubles title with a convincing 75 60 win over former Ouachita Baptist star Emilien Rabin and  Robert VanSwelm.

Newcomers Shine at Midland Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational; 10sportal.com WC Tourney

Bunches of notes from several schools compiled into one today. Sorry, but I am swamped with other things at the moment and am trying to get out as much information as possible. The Aggie release also lists some info from the 10sportal.com wild card tournament. This USTA Pro Circuit event will be held in a few weeks in Austin and this is the first wild card tournament. Klegou playing Mac Roy is a bit interesting. I am actually shocked the kid got three games, as he just turned 14 in July (hmmm). I hope to have more on this soon, but here’s the link to the tournament site… on tennislink

TEXAS A&M MEN
Lewis Knocks off Bucko

Texas A&M men’s tennis newcomer John Lewis (Birmingham, Ala.) moved on to the round of 16 in singles by pulling off an upset in his Aggie debut on the opening day of the 10th Annual Midland Collegiate Invitational held Friday at the Midland Racquet Club.

Lewis, a sophomore transfer from Alabama, had a first-round bye and knocked off fourth-seeded and preseason No. 85-ranked Attila Bucko of Baylor, 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10), in the round of 32.

Senior Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) also advanced in the singles draw with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Eldad Campbell from Division II power Abilene Christian. He later lost a hard-fought three-set match to No. 40-ranked Andrei Daescu of Oklahoma, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, in the round of 16.

In doubles action, Lewis and Lunt netted an 8-5 first-round win over Bruno Rosa and Oscar Podlewski of Rice. Singles and doubles competition continues tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Klegou, Karimi Advance at USTA Wild Card Tournament…Sophomore Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) and junior Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas) both picked up first-round victories at the USTA men’s future singles wild card tournament held Friday night at the Polo Tennis & Fitness Club in Austin, Texas. Klegou downed Mac Roy, 6-3, 6-0, while Karimi won a third-set tiebreaker over Jon Robert Leonik. Tournament play continues through Sunday.

TEXAS MEN
UT senior Josh Zavala tallies two singles wins to land a berth in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Texas senior Josh Zavala scored a pair of singles wins to reach the main draw singles quarterfinals and lead the Longhorns Friday on day one of the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational.

Zavala opened with a 6-1, 7-6 win over New Mexico’s Carl Ho before defeating Pepperdine’s Alex Llompart, 6-4, 7-6. Texas freshmen Daniel Whitehead and Ben Chen also registered a pair of singles wins to land berths in the round of 16. The Longhorns also secured three berths in the quarterfinals of the main doubles draw.

“Our freshman class is playing well at the start of the year,” UT assistant coach Ricardo Rubio said. Their attitude and effort were outstanding today. They’re excited to get back out there tomorrow.”

TEXAS TECH MEN
Junior David Gonzalez was the only Red Raider to win his opening singles match

With day one of the Midland Racquet Club Invitational in the books, the Texas Tech men’s tennis team had one singles player and one doubles team win their opening match, while the other three players fell in first-round action.

Junior David Gonzalez was victorious in open-round action over Brieuc Hamon (UTA), 6-1, 6-3. He then lost his second-round match to Oscar Podlewski (Rice), 6-3, 7-5.

The three freshmen competing in the tournament all lost their first matches of the main draw. Raphael Pfister fell to Daniel Whitehead (Texas), 6-2, 6-2, and Jeff Bryan was defeated by Filipp Pogostkin (Boise State), 6-4, 6-3, while Jared Hope lost to George Chanturia (Oklahoma), 6-4, 6-1.

Pfister, Bryan and Hope dropped to the consolation bracket after their first-round losses. Pfister was the only player to win his singles match in the consolation bracket as he defeated Matt Neld (New Mexico), 6-2, 6-0. Bryan fell to Phil Anderson (New Mexico), 6-4, 6-0, and Hope lost to Mindaugas Celedinas (UTA), 6-3, 6-1.

In doubles action, Gonzalez and Pfister were victorious in their first match as they beat John Strahl and Ldad Campbell (Abilene Christian), 8-3. Bryan and Hope were defeated by Toby Flood and Artem Baradach (SMU), 8-4.

Play will resume tomorrow as Gonzalez and Pfister will continue on in doubles play, and Pfister will play on in the singles consolation bracket.

Day 1 in the Books at the Miner Invitational

LAS CRUCES, N.M.- The UTEP tennis team opened up the Miner Fall Invite in style by advancing five players into semifinal action of singles play while pushing four doubles squads into the semis at the New Mexico State Tennis Center on Friday. LINK TO BRACKETS

Overall, UTEP fashioned a combined record of 14-2 in what proved to be a strong showing across the board on the initial day of action in the first of four tournaments this fall.

“It was a very successful first day,” UTEP head coach Jamie Campbell said. “Everybody got better with each match. Our goal was to stay focused and get better, and the team did really well with that.”

Sophomore Martina Trierweiler got things rolling with two dominating victories in Flight A singles. She opened play by trouncing Thea Lonewolf (Our Lady of the Lake), 6-0, 6-0. In the second round, Trierweiler was almost flawless in a 6-0, 6-1 dismantling of Roco Cabanillas (Tarleton State).

Fellow classmate Carolina DeLuca, who had a bye in the first round of Flight A action, cruised past Frederique Sunstrum (Lee) by a final count of 6-2, 6-2.

Trierweiler will look to punch her ticket to the finals when she takes on Nadia Lee (Lee) at 9 a.m. Saturday. DeLuca will be on the court at the same time, in a battle of I-10 which will pit her vs. the Aggies’ Manon Sylvain.

The Miners secured three of the four semifinal spots in Flight C play. Freshman Veronika Makashov showed no jitters in her collegiate debut, as she picked up a pair of straight set triumphs.

She drilled Huong Huynh (Lee), 6-0, 6-3, in her first career match. The native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, was even better the second time out, as she crushed Evgeniya Prokofeva (Tarleton State), 6-0, 6-0

Sophomore and El Paso native Carla Murguia-who also had a bye- then set up a Miner showdown in the bottom half of the semifinal Flight C bracket by bouncing Landry (Lee), 7-6, (4), 7-5.

Freshman Austin Lavallii-who earned a first-round bye- followed suit, by dispatching Eli Rodriguez (NM State), 6-1, 6-1 to surge into the semifinals. She will square off against S. Cassidy of Pac-10 power Arizona at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Ximena Fuentes provided the highlights for the Orange and Blue in Flight B of singles with a thrilling three-set victory vs. Jade Charlot (Tarleton State). The junior rolled to a 6-1 triumph in the first set, but Charlot bounced back on the strength of a 6-2 win in the second stanza. Fuentes regrouped nicely, though, and picked up the match triumph thanks to securing the final set 6-3.

Her aspirations of a semifinal appearance would not come to fruition, though, as she came up on the short end of a three-set match vs. Ginet Pinero (NM State). Fuentes looked good early, with a 6-4 win in the first set but Pinero rallied behind scores of 6-1, and 6-0 in the second and third sets, respectively.

Also in action for the Miners in the flight was junior-college transfer, Alexandra Glebova. She took on the Wildcats Ariane Masschelein, and came up just short, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Following a brief reprieve, action switched to doubles play.

In Flight A double, the Miners’ top tandem of Trierweiler/Glebova downed Joskova/Jolen, 8-5, to set up a semifinal match vs. Sylvain/Pinero of NM State at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Fuentes/Lavallii joined forces to down NM State’s Salum/Rodriguez, 8-3, in opening-round play. The duo then punched a ticket to the semis by virtue of a heart-pounding 9-8 (3) victory, vs. Stephenson/Gomez (Lee).

DeLuca/Makashov teamed up to destroy Huynh/Landry, 8-0, in the first round. The pairing was just getting warmed up, however, as it derailed Charlot/Prokofeva (TSU), 8-5.

Murguia played with UA’s Shannon Cassidy and proceeded to drill Sierra/Holguin (OLLU), 8-1. The triumph pushed the tandem into the semis, as it had earned a bye in the first round.

UTEP will be back on the courts at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

UTEP’s Results
Flight A Single Results
M. Trierweiler (UTEP) defeats T. Lonewolf (OLLU), 6-0, 6-0
M. Trierweiler (UTEP) defeats R. Cabanillas (TSU), 6-0, 6-1
C. DeLucua (UTEP) defeats F. Sunstrum (6-2, 6-2)

Flight B Single Results
A. Masschelein (UA) defeats A. Glebova (UTEP), 6-2, 7-6 (4)
X. Fuentes (UTEP) defeats J. Charlot (TSU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
G. Pineroa (NM State) defeats X. Fuentes (UEP), 6-1, 6-

Flight C Singles Results
A. Lavallii defeats E. Rodriguez (NM State), 6-1, 6-1
V. Makashov (UTEP) defeats H. Huynh (Lee), 6-0, 6-3
V. Makashov (UTEP) defeats E. Prokofeva (TSU), 6-0, 6-0
C. Murguia (UTEP) defeats S. Landry (Lee) 7-6 (4),7-5

Flight A Doubles
Trierweiler/Glebova defeat Joskova/Jolen (TSU), 8-5

Flight B Doubles
Fuentes/Lavallii defeat Salum/Rodriguez (NM State), 8-3
Fuentes/Lavallii defeat. Stephenson/Gomez (Lee), 9-8 (3)
DeLuca/Makashov defeat Charlot/Prokofeva (TSU), 8-4
DeLuca/Makashov defeat Huynh/Landry (Lee), 8-0
Cassidy/Murguia defeat Sierra/Holguin (OLLU), 8-1

Former UTSA Coach Niemeyer named to Head St. Edward’s Women

AUSTIN — St. Edward’s Athletic Director Debbie Taylor is pleased to announce the hiring of Brenda Niemeyer as the Head Women’s Tennis Coach.

Niemeyer takes over a program that has qualified for the NCAA Tournament eight of the last nine seasons and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2008 before falling to eventual national champion Armstrong Atlantic. Five of the six players that were mainstays in the lineup down the stretch are returning.

“I am honored to be the head coach at such a remarkable university,” Niemeyer said. “I am really impressed with everyone that I have met during the whole process. The SEU Community has a family atmosphere feel. I am excited to work at a place that cares not only about athletic accomplishments but academic ones as well.”

She comes to St. Edward’s after spending the previous three seasons as the Head Professional for the Northside Independent School District and the Annemarie Tennis Center in San Antonio. Prior to that, she was the head coach at UT-San Antonio from 1999 until 2006. While at UTSA, Niemeyer racked up a career record of 91-60. She led the team to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship and first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2002, along with guiding them to a Southland Conference Championship in 2003. She produced 43 all-conference performers and was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2003 as she led the Roadrunners to a 21-4 record.

Niemeyer is very active in the community, having served on numerous boards and committees. She is currently a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association, United States Tennis Association, Texas Tennis Association, and the San Antonio Tennis Association (SATA). She has been recognized for her work by receiving the SATA Community Service Award and the Special Olympics Award for Outstanding Work.

Niemeyer has been active in playing tennis since her high school career including: a junior college national championship, a consistent top-3 ranking in Texas Women’s Singles and Doubles, with a quarterfinal finish in doubles at the National Women’s 35’s Clay Court Tournament.

“We are thrilled to have coach Niemeyer join the Hilltop,” Director of Athletics Debbie Taylor said. “Along with her vast tennis experience, she brings many additional qualities that are valued by the St. Edward’s Mission. Her strong emphasis on community service and commitment to academic excellence will continue to move our women’s tennis program forward.”

Big Names Highlight Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational

MIDLAND – Rice, UT-Arlington, Abilene Christian, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Baylor, SMU, Texas Tech, Boise State, Pepperdine, Texas and Texas A&M highlight the drawS at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational this weekend.

TEXAS NOTES
UT seniors Josh Zavala and Jon Wiegand and freshmen Vasko Mladenov, Ben Chen, Daniel Whitehead and Chris Camillone will represent the Longhorns.

THE 2009-10 LONGHORNS: Texas returns four singles starters from the 2008-09 squad that put UT into the NCAA semifinals for the third time in four seasons. Senior All-American Dimitar Kutrovsky opens the season at No. 6 in the ITA national preseason singles rankings. Juniors Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico rank 46th and 47th, respectively, in the ITA singles rankings. Kutrovsky and senior Josh Zavala come in at No. 13 in the ITA doubles rankings.

TEXAS A&M MEN’S NOTES
senior Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore newcomer John Lewis (Birmingham, Ala.) will participate in both the singles and doubles flights at the Midland Invitational. Lunt posted a 21-17 overall record last season playing primarily at No. 4 and 5 singles for the Aggies. Lewis is a transfer from the University of Alabama who compiled an 8-2 record in fall tournament play a year ago including a singles title at the USTA National Tennis Center Men’s Tennis Invitational.

“Our players have been working on their own all summer, so we are really interested in seeing the progress they have made,” said Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton, who enters his fourth season in Aggieland. “This is the first week of official practice for us and we will go right into fall tournament play. We have a few new players this year, in addition to our returners from last year, so this weekend will be a great way to assess everyone and let them get their feet wet with a little competition.”

TEXAS TECH MEN NOTES
The Red Raiders will send four players to Midland – junior David Gonzalez and freshmen Raphael Pfister, Jared Hope and Jeff Bryan. Gonzalez posted an 8-10 record in singles last year, going 5-4 in tournament play in the fall of 2008. Pfister, Hope and Bryan will be making their Tech debut, as Pfister arrived on the South Plains in August and Hope and Bryan redshirted the 2008-09 season.

In first round singles action, Gonzalez will face Brieuc Hamon (UTA), and Pfister plays Daniel Whitehead (Texas) while Hope and Bryan take on George Chanturia (Oklahoma) and Filipp Pogostkin (Boise State), respectively.

Gonzalez and Pfister will team up for doubles play and face John Strahl and Ldad Campbell (ACU) in their first match, while Hope and Bryan will play Darren Walsh and Toby Flood (SMU) in the first round.

TEXAS A&M WOMEN NOTES
Six members of the Texas A&M women’s tennis team begin fall tournament play this weekend at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland, Texas.

Aggie freshman Nazari Urbina (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) is the No. 7 seed in the 64-player singles draw that gets underway Friday and runs through Sunday. Others competing in singles are A&M senior Christina Amo (Fort Worth, Texas), junior Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and sophomores Sheri Olivier (Topeka, Kan.), Lauren Santacroce (Spring, Texas) and Ashley Turpin (New Braunfels, Texas).

In addition, Olivier and Urbina will team together in the 32-team doubles bracket, as will Davidson and Santracroce, as well as Amo and Turpin.

“This tournament will give us a good idea of where we stand,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “We are off to a quick start after having only a few days of team practice, but this will tell us a lot as far as where we are and what we need to work on.”

SMU WOMEN’S NOTES
Four Mustangs will participate in the event – senior Sophie Quist, sophomore Aleksandra Malyarchikova, and newcomers Claudia Hildago and Shahzoda Hatamova.

“We are excited to start our fall season,” SMU head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “It will be interesting to see how our two freshmen match up with players from around the region and it will also be good for me to evaluate where our returnees are at this early point in the fall.”

Last spring, Malyarchikova finished her first season on the Hilltop with a dual match singles record of 14-1, falling only against No. 5 Baylor in the NCAA Team Tournament Second Round. She also saw action in the NCAA Doubles Championship and was named first-team All-Conference USA.

UTEP To Host Miner Fall Invite

EL Paso – The UTEP women’s tennis team will open up its 2009 fall season by playing host to the Miner Fall Invite at the New Mexico State Tennis Center in Las Cruces Friday-Sunday. LINK TO DRAWS

The format for the tournament will be three flights of singles and two of doubles, with action contested in a compass-style draw. Joining the Miners in the field will be Arizona, Lee College (Baytown), New Mexico State, Our Lady of the Lake (San Antonio) and Tarleton State (Stephenville).

Action will commence at 9 a.m. each day, and is slated to conclude around 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and around 12 p.m. on Sunday.

“The first tournament of the fall is a great way to take the rust off and start building match toughness,” UTEP head coach Jamie Campbell said. “We have good field of competitors and we’re looking forward to the competition and look to get better each day”.

UTEP’s tennis program has made plenty of strides in recent years under Campbell’s direction. The Miners set school records for best winning percentage (.696), longest win streak (seven) and best home mark (9-1) while equaling the program standard for single-season victories (16) in 2009. The effort capped the most successful four-year stretch (in terms of number of wins) for Miner tennis since its inception in 1983.

Campbell and assistant coach Victor Aguilar are not thinking of the achievements as the end of an era at the institution. Rather, they have ambitions that those accomplishments will serve as a launching point toward turning the program into a perennial winner.

UTEP will feature a young, but talented squad in 2009-10, with senior Marina DeLuca stepping to the forefront. She will take aim at concluding her career with a third successive 20+ win season, something which has been accomplished by only one other player in program history.

Ximena Fuentes, who has been a steady player in her two years in the Sun City, will assist in the leadership department as the only other returning upperclassmen on the squad.

Martina Trierweiler and Carolina DeLuca, the younger sister of Marina, both showed signs of greatness during their freshmen seasons. Each finished with winning records despite holding down the No. 2 and No. 3 slots in singles. El Paso product Carla Murguia, who made great improvement throughout the year, returns as well.

Campbell also inked three quality players to national letters of intent over the summer. Austin Lavallii (Mason HS, Mason, Mich.), and Veronika Makashov (Thornhill HS, Richmond, Hill, Ontario,Canada) will enroll as true freshmen while Alexandra Glebova will have two years of eligibility after starring at Florida Community College in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Miner Fall Invite is the first of four tournaments for UTEP. Dual-match play commences in late January, and it will be highlighted by 13 home matches.

Simpson Joins Horned Frog Legends in TCU Hall of Fame

Doubles All-American was a leader for the Frogs from 1984-88

FORT WORTH — Former Frog Rene Simpson became the first women’s tennis player inducted into the TCU Letterman’s Association Hall of Fame Thursday night at Brown-Lupton University Union. Simpson was honored alongside J.J. Henry, Khadevis Robinson, Dennis Nutt, Michael Reeder and Marshall E. Harris to make up the 41st Class.

Following her standout career at TCU, Simpson competed for her home country of Canada at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The former TCU standout competed for over a decade on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour where she was ranked as high as 32nd in the world in doubles’ action as well as 70th in the world in singles’ competition. Simpson also represented Canada in the Fed Cup for 11th and captured the 1992 Canadian Singles’ Championship.

Simpson was a fixture at the NCAA National Championships in each of her final three seasons where she competed in both singles’ and doubles’ action. During her senior season, Simpson capped off a historic season by becoming the first of two players in program history to capture All-American accolades in both singles’ and doubles’ action and was selected as the Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year.

As a senior, Simpson captured the Southwest Conference singles’ title and was chosen as an All-Southwest Conference award winner in both singles’ and doubles’ action. The former TCU standout currently holds four program records in career combined victories, career singles’ victories, single-season combined victories and single-season singles’ victories as well as ranking third with 99 career doubles’ victories.

US Open Qualies and ITA Rankings

I have been preoccupied with things for the past few weeks and I apologize, but with schools opening their door these past weeks, it is time to get back to business.

I am currently in NYC attending the USTA Semi-Annual Meetings and U.S Open. Upon arriving, I checked in, then raced out to the USTABJKTC to try and catch some of the junior qualies. I arrived as Texan Mitchell Krueger was taking the court against fifth-seeded Tristan-Samuel Weissborn of Austria. Krueger is growing and playing some good tennis, but he was just muscled off the court today. There was a bit of wind and Weissborn’s groundstrokes forced Krueger to force the issue, which didn’t go well. Weissborn eventually won 63 63. Krueger is only 15 (Jan 12 – shares my youngest brother’s bday) and has plenty of time ahead of him.

The match everyone was talking about was Nathan Pasha’s 46 64 75 win over sixth-seeded John Morrisey of Ireland. All reports spoke of Pasha’s gritty performance despite suffering from some physical issues late in the match that last about three hours.

Another match I caught some of was the Alexios (Alex) Halebian against 13th-seed Ahmed El Menshawy of Great Britain. Halebian, who just turned 15 in June, won the first set 61, but fell behind 5-2 in the second. He showed some real grit, winning the final five games and the match. He now plays third-seeded Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan.

ITA Rankings Released

There were a ton of coaches out there today watching the play and eagerly awaiting the main draw. While they were chatting, the ITA was releasing its new rankings for the upcoming season. Here’s some of the release:

The nation’s top collegiate tennis players are slated to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) first national events of the 2009-10 season, as selections for the D’Novo/ITA Men’s All-American Championships and the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, have been announced by the ITA. Many of the events’ top seeds are also featured in the Campbell/ITA preseason singles and doubles rankings.

Both tournaments include six rounds of prequalifying and qualifying matches beginning Saturday, October 3, 2009. The Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships are hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. for the 25th consecutive year while the D’Novo/ITA Men’s All-American Championships, are hosted by the University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Okla. for the third straight year.

Highlighting this year’s men’s singles field is top seed and 2008 Runner-Up, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. The 2009 Campbell/ITA National Men’s Player of the Year resumes his spot atop the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings where last year he became the first OSU player to top the ITA rankings since Pavel Kudrnac in 1998. The senior compiled a 35-7 singles record in 2008-09 while playing a ranked opponent in every match except three. The ITA National Men’s Player to Watch won his second consecutive Big 12 Player of the Year award and advanced to the NCAA Singles Championship Round of 16 for the second straight year.

Also highlighting this year’s men’s field and rounding out the top 10 of the Campbell/ITA men’s singles preseason rankings (in order): John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, Robert Farah of USC, Nate Schnugg of Georgia, Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech, Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas, Alex Clayton of Stanford, Jean-Yves Aubone of Florida State, Sanam Singh of Virginia and Saketh Myneni of Alabama.

The doubles field includes Tennessee’s top-ranked duo, Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith, who were named the 2009 ITA Men’s Doubles Team of the Year.

Headlining this year’s Riviera All-American field is Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova. The 2008 ITA National Women’s Player to Watch also started out atop of the 2009 spring rankings and ended the year ranked No. 2. With 2009 Campbell/ITA National Women’s Player of the Year, Mallory Cecil, having left the college game early to join the pro circuit, Mosolova has reclaimed the top spot in the Campbell/ITA women’s rankings. Rounding out the top 10: Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, Marritt Boonstra of Florida, Jana Juricova of California, Hilary Barte of Stanford, Laura Vallverdu of Miami (FL), Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State, Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech, Josipa Bek of Clemson and Fani Chifchieva of Auburn.

The doubles field includes 2009 ITA Women’s Doubles Team of the Year, Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. The duo captured the doubles title at the 2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.

Former Aggie Gray Named TCU Women’s Tennis Assistant Coach

ray Named TCU Women’s Tennis Assistant Coach
Frogs add a seasoned tennis player with extensive collegiate experience and international exposure to staff
FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond announced the hiring of Sarah Gray as the new assistant women’s tennis coach Friday. Gray, a former collegiate tennis standout at Kentucky and Texas A&M, and Hammond will look to lead the Horned Frogs to run for the NCAA Championships this season.
“Sarah was an outstanding college player and brings an amazing amount of experience to the team,” Hammond said. “She has made it as deep as the NCAA quarterfinals, was an All-American and brings with her an invaluable familiarity with what it takes to be among the best. I’m looking forward to working with Sarah and to having a great year”
Formerly Sarah Foster, the Lexington, Ky., native spent her first two collegiate seasons at the University of Kentucky, earning ITA doubles All-American recognition in 2005. She also helped to lead the Wildcats to its first-ever SEC Championship and NCAA Elite Eight finish. Gray picked up SEC Freshman of the Year and ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year honors.
After transferring to College Station in 2006, Gray’s success followed by earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year accolades. She enjoyed a 20-15 singles ledger in her first year as an Aggie, while also donating a 23-15 record in doubles to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championships alongside partner Tifffany Clifford. In her senior campaign, Gray earned All-Big 12 honors and collected the Aggie Spirit Award. She returned to the NCAA Doubles Championships with Clifford in 2006, totaling a 23-11 doubles clip for the year.
After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in communications, Gray went on to play professionally on the WTA circuit in 2008 and traveled to France to compete for T.C. Vignes until June 2009. Gray also has coaching experience from her time as a teaching pro for the Bluegrass Tennis Club in Lexington, Ky.

Frogs add a seasoned tennis player with extensive collegiate experience and international exposure to staff

FORT WORTH — TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond announced the hiring of Sarah Gray as the new assistant women’s tennis coach Friday. Gray, a former collegiate tennis standout at Kentucky and Texas A&M, and Hammond will look to lead the Horned Frogs to run for the NCAA Championships this season.

“Sarah was an outstanding college player and brings an amazing amount of experience to the team,” Hammond said. “She has made it as deep as the NCAA quarterfinals, was an All-American and brings with her an invaluable familiarity with what it takes to be among the best. I’m looking forward to working with Sarah and to having a great year”

Formerly Sarah Foster, the Lexington, Ky., native spent her first two collegiate seasons at the University of Kentucky, earning ITA doubles All-American recognition in 2005. She also helped to lead the Wildcats to its first-ever SEC Championship and NCAA Elite Eight finish. Gray picked up SEC Freshman of the Year and ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year honors.

After transferring to College Station in 2006, Gray’s success followed by earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year accolades. She enjoyed a 20-15 singles ledger in her first year as an Aggie, while also donating a 23-15 record in doubles to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championships alongside partner Tifffany Clifford. In her senior campaign, Gray earned All-Big 12 honors and collected the Aggie Spirit Award. She returned to the NCAA Doubles Championships with Clifford in 2006, totaling a 23-11 doubles clip for the year.

After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in communications, Gray went on to play professionally on the WTA circuit in 2008 and traveled to France to compete for T.C. Vignes until June 2009. Gray also has coaching experience from her time as a teaching pro for the Bluegrass Tennis Club in Lexington, Ky.