College Tennis – Southern California Tennis News Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:57:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Ojai ROAD TRIP – A Rite of Passage for Tennis Lovers in the Spring Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:47:56 +0000 Read more »]]> When Scott Cleere first became the Director of Tennis at the Templeton Tennis Ranch back in 2015, he wanted to introduce some of his new members at the new facility just south of Paso Robles to a one-day tennis-watching experience that they would never forget.

And The Ojai ROAD TRIP he and his buddy Franky Curiel had started a few years prior was the perfect fit for his new membership.

Cleere first experienced The Ojai in 2013, and said his first trip to the tournament started in 1896 was something special.

“It was magical,” Cleere said. “The setting, the trees, the tea. It was like something you couldn’t even describe. And then the tennis. I mean, just unreal that you could go to a place and see the Pac-12 Championships, the other colleges, the open players AND SoCal’s top juniors. Libbey Park is a special place. You can feel the history. It’s a place of reverence and deep respect for the most essential heart of the sport of tennis.”

Scott and Franky wanted others to see and feel what he did. So a few years ago, Cleere began talking up The Ojai ROAD TRIP to anyone who would listen. Soon, they filled a van of 12 to 15 local San Luis Obispo County tennis fans who made the three hour one-way trip all day trip on the last Saturday in April. He said his goal is to someday charter a bus and fill it with 50 fans and bring them on The Ojai ROAD TRIP to sip tea from the Tea Tent, and watch tennis all day under the huge oak trees that hang down on Libbey Park.

The Ojai’s PR and Marketing Director Steve Pratt soon learned about The Ojai ROAD TRIP and was eager to help Scott and Franky promote it with discounted tickets, and a special welcoming at the front of the park where Pratt talked about the past history of The Ojai. Both Cleere and Pratt currently serve on the SCTA’s Volunteer Marketing Committee.

Scott and Franky would love to have other tennis clubs or community groups start an Ojai ROAD TRIP, and Pratt said he would assist any way he could. Anything to get more people to experience The Ojai, Pratt said.

If your group is interested in doing an Ojai ROAD TRIP, there is a little time before next week’s tournament, which begins on Wednesday with the finals running till Sunday, April 29. But there’s always next year! Please feel free to contact Scott or Franky if you have any questions.

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SoCal Shines at TOC National Championship Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:14:16 +0000 Read more »]]> Southern California schools were forces to be reckoned with at the 2018 Tennis On Campus National Championship in Orlando. USTA Southern California sent four teams to the event, each of them earning incredible wins during the tournament and making names for themselves at the national level. In the end, three Southern California teams finished in the top eight of the country – a feat not many other sections have ever achieved.

UCSD at the Tennis on Campus Nationals, Lake Nona, Fla.

UC San Diego finished best of the SoCal teams – 4th in the country – after a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals to eventual National Champions Ohio State. A veteran Triton squad earned their bid to Nationals after finishing third at the Section Championship in San Diego back in February. Heading into the tournament, the Tritons looked relaxed yet confident, which might have been their key to success.

On Day 1, UC San Diego was listed as the second seed in Pool “O”. They drew Iowa State and University of Delaware before getting their chance to topple #1 Wisconsin. While the Tritons had not dropped a set through their first two matches of the day, they were wise not to underestimate Wisconsin, the Midwest Section champions. Women’s doubles launched into the match with a dominant win and men’s doubles were able to get the Tritons six more games after a slow start in their set. The team struggled in men’s and women’s singles against two Badger backboards, but maintained a slight lead heading into mixed doubles. That’s when UC San Diego took control of the match. Aggressive net play from Senior Ryan Lee and powerful serves from Mina Vukovic put UC San Diego into the Gold Bracket.

On Friday, UCSD faced University of Pennsylvania, and pulled out a 24-16 win. The match standout was JP Boyd, who posted six unanswered games for the Tritons.

It’s never easy to play a Southern California team at the National Championship, but due to the strength of SoCal teams and their deep runs in the tournament, it happens almost every year. That’s what happened when UCSD and Cal Poly SLO faced off in a critical match, with a semifinal berth in the balance.

UCSD and Cal Poly both wanted the win and entered the match fired up. San Diego started slow in doubles, but managed to pull out victories in both men’s and women’s doubles with big comebacks. Two UCSD women’s singles players got their crack at Cal Poly, but only earned one game all together. Boyd put up another 6-0 win in men’s singles, which helped neutralize the loss on the women’s side. The Tritons had a cushion going into mixed doubles, and sealed the deal, thrusting them into the semifinals against Ohio State.

UCSD at the Tennis on Campus Nationals, Lake Nona, Fla.

Saturday morning was tense. Everyone knew what was at stake. Ohio State had won the Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational earlier that year, so they were ready for battle. UCSD started slow, but kept the doubles matches competitive, losing 4-6 and 5-6. The Tritons faced another backboard in men’s singles and dropped the set 4-6. The match MVP was Smita Sabada, who played incredible tennis against a worthy adversary. She nabbed a 6-4 win, keeping the Tritons within striking distance. Dynamic duo of Ryan and Mina entered into mixed doubles down just three games. A 6-2 win in mixed doubles would win them the match. UCSD had the momentum and was up 3-1 on the first changeover, but Ohio State was not going down easy. The match went back and forth with switches in aggression and dominance, both teams fighting to remain in the hunt for TOC title.

UCSD won the set in a tiebreak, taking the match into overtime. They needed just two consecutive games to take the match to a Super Tiebreaker. They got one of those games, but ended up falling just a few points short. Ohio State went on to play UNC in the championship final and made easy work of the Tar Heels late Saturday night.

The Tritons finished in fourth place overall.

UCLA earned their bid to the National Championship as the Southern California Section Championship winners. They traveled to Orlando this year with most of the same squad from their 2017 run at Nationals – a run that earned them third place overall. Heading into 2018, the Bruins had their eyes on the number 1 spot.

They entered into pool play on Thursday as the top seed in Pool B. They faced Colorado State, University of Rhode Island, and University of Texas at Austin. The Bruins cruised through their first two matches of

Team UCLA at the Tennis on Campus Nationals

the day, but to earn their place into the Gold Bracket, they had to beat a confident Texas team who was ready to battle. The match was close, but the Bruins were up going into mixed doubles. Texas fought back and won the mixed doubles set, sending the match into Overtime. Texas had to win three consecutive games to bring the match to a final Super Tiebreaker, and they looked like they had enough momentum to get it done. UCLA gave up one shaky game in Overtime, but ultimately cut Texas out of the Gold Bracket. Bruins won 26-23.

Friday, UCLA faced Maryland in the first round of the Gold Bracket. Elyse Pham was the MVP of the match. The Bruins subbed Elyse in for women’s singles, and she somehow managed to come back from match points at 3-5 to win the set 6-5 in a tiebreaker. The Bruins never felt threatened though, and earned a comfortable win of 26-19.

Their next opponents, however, were not going to roll over. The UNC Chapel Hill team is no stranger to the National Championship and the Tar Heels were just as hungry for the National Title as the Bruins. Every set was close, winning or losing by one or two games. Heading into mixed doubles, UCLA was down one game. They faced a fierce mixed doubles team and ended up losing the set, sending them into a playoff for 5th place.

UCLA took out Cornell Friday afternoon and faced Midwest Section runners up Illinois Saturday morning. The Illini wanted 5th place and put up a serious fight against the Bruins who mixed things up in their line-up giving graduating seniors a chance to play for their last TOC match of their career. In the end, the Bruins got the “W” after a close mixed doubles set to a team who hadn’t lost during the whole tournament. UCLA finished 5th in the nation.

Cal Poly SLO at the Tennis on Campus Nationals

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo finished 2nd at the Section Championship and was excited for play to start in Orlando. The team had a mix of veteran TOC players and some fresh blood who proved to be serious assets during the tournament.

In pool play, Cal Poly faced Northeastern, Rice, and University of Maryland Baltimore County. They cruised through all three matches and found themselves in the Gold Bracket on Friday morning playing against the 2016 National Champion Auburn. Many credited Auburn’s 2016 victory to the strength of one former varsity player who was dominant in women’s singles and mixed doubles through the tournament. By the end of day 1, everyone at the tournament site knew this girl was back, and that she brought her little sister to the team with her.

The Mustangs knew what they were up against, both with Auburn and their history at the Championship. For the past three years, Cal Poly had lost in the first round of the Gold Bracket, but the Mustangs were determined to break the streak. President Alex Braksator loaded the team up with Starbucks early Saturday morning, so the Mustangs started the match caffeinated and ready. Women’s doubles pulled out a quick 6-0 win. The team struggled in Men’s Doubles, but turned things around after a mid-set substitution. The match standout was Jenna Bloom, who played women’s singles against the feared Auburn player. She played hard and fast from the baseline, and earned a 6-1 win. Adam Langevin played an arduous match in men’s singles, but was able to add six games to the Mustangs’ lead. Cal Poly closed the door on Auburn in a fiery set of mixed doubles, breaking the three year curse in the Gold Bracket.

Their next opponent was UCSD, which the team ended up losing in a hard-fought battle. They played Illinois and Cornell in the Northern portion of the Gold Bracket backdraw. Cal Poly went into these matches focusing on the team camaraderie and allowing all players to compete in the final matches. The Mustangs finished 8th in the country.

San Diego State at the Tennis on Campus Nationals

San Diego State earned their bid to the National Championship at the 2017 Spring Invitational. While the Aztecs were not playing with the complete roster from the Spring Invite, this group of Aztecs did not disappoint. Since the team did not earn a bid to the championship from their finish at the Section championship, the Aztecs were placed as the number 4 team in their pool. In their first match of the tournament – an early 8 a.m. match – the Aztecs played the number one team in their pool Columbia. They ended up winning this match in a Super Tiebreaker. They then had to face the eventual national champions Ohio State, where they put up a good fight, but lost 16-24. They finished out pool play against Colorado School of the Mines, putting the Aztecs into the Silver Bracket.

First up, the not to be underestimated 2017 Gold Bracket semifinalists Minnesota. Not a problem. Aztecs win 26-18. In the quarterfinals, they faced a rowdy team from Rutgers and won without dropping a set. In the semifinals, Wisconsin was the team’s next victim. It was a much tighter match, but the team came together and pulled out a 26-24 win. In the final, San Diego State battled against Florida, but one player from the Gators proved to be too much in men’s singles and mixed doubles. SDSU fell to Florida in the final of the Silver Bracket, but finished as the 18th best school in the nation.

In the end, the Southern California teams left Orlando with a lot to be proud of. The tennis was incredibly memorable, but it’s the time spent with their teammates that TOC SoCal players will take with them forever.

For more information on the USTA’s Tennis On Campus National Championship, click here.

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CTC Program visits UCLA, meets top-ranked Bruins Fri, 13 Apr 2018 20:16:08 +0000 Read more »]]> Some of the most talented young tennis players in Southern California recently enjoyed a visit to Westwood and L.A. Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, where they got a first-hand look at one of the finest college teams in the country.

As part of the USTA Competition Training Center (CTC) program – an elite team training and competition for youngsters ages 10-13, comprised of six SoCal regional teams – two squads from Central Coast and Orange County competed against each other on UCLA courts. Following their games, both teams enjoyed a Meet & Greet with Bruin players before settling in to experience a showdown between top-ranked Men’s UCLA Bruins and the California Golden Bears.

Yet while the on-court competition was engaging, these young boys and girls gained valuable experience when meeting with coaches and players from UCLA. Head coach Billy Martin talked to the youngsters about maintaining school grades and working towards a college experience, before the CTC players found themselves hitting live ball and drills with Bruin players.

“That’s the best part of the program, to be honest with you,” says Hank Lloyd of Costa Mesa Tennis Center, who leads the Orange County CTC squad. “The players are great. They just grab a kid to go out and hit. Imagine going out on the court with Martin Redlicki (UCLA’s top singles player) to hit live ball. That’s interaction you can’t buy.”

Other college programs, including Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine, have also welcomed CTC players to experience college tennis.

“All the Bruin players were having as much fun as the kids were during the hitting sessions,” says Mark McCampbell, who heads up the Central Coast team. “(The kids) enjoyed rooting for the Bruins… and truly enjoyed hitting with the team.”

The collegiate players themselves are no strangers to CTC tennis, as many of them (including UCLA associate head coach Grant Chen) have emerged from CTC teams. Pro names like Steve Johnson and Taylor Dent have also been part of the CTC program.

To learn more about Competition Training Center in Southern California, please contact Megan Heneghan at

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San Diego Christian College Men’s and Women’s Teams in the Hunt for Conference Championships Thu, 29 Mar 2018 17:30:12 +0000 Read more »]]> The San Diego Christian College women’s team recently defeated Arizona Christian College, 6-3, thanks to “Team Sarah.” The freshmen duo of No. 1 Sarah Schaerer from Switzerland and No. 2 Sarah Urbanek from Germany helped the Hawks to their 4-0 record in the Golden State Athletic Conference this season. San Diego Christian College is 7-5 overall, and are the defending GSAC Conference Champions.

With the season coming to a close, San Diego Christian College Women’s Coach Jim Bodor has encouraged his team to keep playing solid tennis. The Hawks previously lost, 6-3, to Arizona Christian College in an earlier match to even out their meetings 1-1 this season, and were thrilled with this victory.  The San Diego Christian men’s team defeated defending GSAC conference champion Arizona Christian College, 6-3, in an upset victory. They are now 6-5 overall, and 3-1 in conference.  


Schaerer and Urbanek, also nicknamed “Team Sarah,”are excited to be living in San Diego and experience life in the United States. Both enjoy playing on California hard courts  in the sunshine.

“I grew up playing on outdoor clay and indoor carpet,” said Urbanek, from Hamm, Germany. “It’s nice to have a consistent bounce on the hard surface and I’m glad I don’t have to think about sliding.”

Other observations from “Team Sarah” include playing sports at the university level, which is not available in their respective countries. San Diego Christian College offers athletic scholarships as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) association that promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, fairness and doing one’s best regardless of the outcome.



“Back at home we play on our own,” said Sarah Schaerer. “Here we play for our team and we are part of something really great. There are people who care about you. It’s like having a family in America.”

San Diego Christian College hosts Hope International University on April 7 at Lake Murray Tennis Club in San Diego. The GSAC Tournament will be held on April 19-20 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“Every match is so critical,” said Bodor, also the San Diego Christian College men’s head coach. “We have a shot at a repeat (conference) title but much depends on what happens with the next few weeks.”

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SOCAL’s #1 Junior: Build A High IQ Tennis Player Tue, 27 Feb 2018 01:35:53 +0000 Read more »]]> Cali Jankowski of Southern California is SoCal’s #1 ranked junior as well as the #5 nationally ranked junior. She recently shared her College Administration Essay, when asked to write about the college admissions process. Her message? Build a high IQ tennis player, and the results will follow. Here’s a look at Cali’s insightful essay!

Photo Credit: SD Union Tribune

College Admissions

As an athlete, my college admissions experience was incredibly different from the average teen. I was fortunate enough to receive multiple full scholarships offered to me by the best universities in the country. My college search started during my freshman year, as I began researching schools that had both a competitive tennis program and good business program.

To anyone who is starting the process, I recommend beginning the search process by creating a list of everything you want in a university. What kind of weather is most comfortable to you? Which majors are most appealing to you? Is a big city or a small college town more desirable to you? Are you more comfortable with a small or large school? Does the school have a strong football team which affords more money to other sports? What kind of academic support do the athletes receive? Outlining your “dream school” makes it is easier to eliminate schools. The smaller your pool of schools, the less overwhelming it will be to find a good match.

Once I identified the schools that I was most interested in, I started sending out emails to express my interest in their school and hopefully get an idea if I was on their radar? (High-performance athletes often are known entities to college coaches.) I carefully formulate an email that outlined my tennis and academic successes, what I was looking for in a school, and why I was interested in their school. Taking the time to create a thoughtful email shows a strong work ethic and responsibility- two crucial life skill sets college coaches look for in recruits. Be sure your email is written by you, the athlete, and not the parent. One final piece of advice in regards to sending out emails is to include a tie to the university if you have one.
Luckily, I did get some responses, and I was able to call a few schools to set up unofficial college visits. (Note: that a school cannot legally call you back if they miss your call until September 1st of your junior year.) A few months into my sophomore year, I took unofficial visits to two of my top schools Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Arizona (U of A). I loved both schools.

Fast forward to my junior year; I received dozens of emails and letters from schools like UNC-Chapel Hill, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Virginia, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia, Michigan and many others. My parents made it clear from the beginning that they could not afford to visit all the schools on my list and so I needed to narrow down my list. I started to nitpick schools and became more precise about what I wanted. I took the time to respond to all emails to let them know my level of interest. (Remember to be responsible: All offers need a response- positive or negative. Politely rejecting a college coach’s offer allows them to move on to the next recruit.) At this stage in the process, all signs pointed to Arizona, Arizona State and Ohio State. I then arrange for an official visit all three schools.

I walked away from my first visit to U of A absolutely in love. Then, I visited ASU a week later and to my surprise, ASU topped U of A. I couldn’t make a final decision just yet, as I still had one more visit to Ohio State planned two months later. Despite having one more school to visit, I was feeling destined to be in Tempe, Arizona at ASU. So, I cancelled my visit to Ohio State. My parents encouraged me to take some time to think through my choice to make sure I wasn’t making a rash decision. So, I had been thinking about it for about a week, when my father received a call form a university coach questioning my interest? The coach told my father that I seemed distant… At this point, I decided it was time to pull the trigger and make my decision known. My heart was set on ASU and I felt terrible stringing along the other schools. So that night I called the head coach of ASU, Sheila McInerney, and happily accepted the scholarship. I haven’t looked back since.

The college search process for an athlete is much easier when the athlete has taken the time before the college search process to develop their game and become an accomplished athlete- working hard for countless hours on-court and off-court refining their physical, mental, emotional and athletic skill sets. College coaches are aware of accomplished athletes and their potential contribution to their team and school, making the search process much simpler for the elite athlete.

So to all the parents reading this: If you build a high IQ tennis player, the college coaches will come by the masses. I thank my parents for supporting my athletic dream and helping me maximize my potential in every aspect of the game, but, not demanding perfection. There should be no part of their game that can break down by counter punchers, cheaters or pushers- the “gate-keeper” of elite junior tennis development.

While the college search process is a stressful time, parents, coaches and children alike should enjoy every second, as it is an unprecedented process that many families may never get the chance to experience. It’s not every day that universities throw scholarships at you!

Now, in the second semester of my senior year of high school, I can proudly say I was accepted to the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. I will be majoring in Sports and Media Studies with the hopes of becoming a sports agent or working on the marketing side of a professional sporting organization. I have no regrets as to how quickly I chose a college because it took a massive weight off my shoulders which then caused my tennis game to improve immensely. I cannot wait to begin my new journey of being a college athlete. Go Devils!

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UCLA Takes TOC Section Championship Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:53:48 +0000 Read more »]]> At USTA Southern California, Assistant Director of Adult Tennis Madeline Segura is the face of Tennis On Campus. After a raucous weekend in San Diego for this year’s Sectionals, Madeline found time to decompress after a wild weekend and provide a glimpse at the TOC experience that led to UCLA and Cal Poly SLO in a battle for Sectional bragging rights…

I could not have asked for a better weekend for the Tennis On Campus Section Championships. A small contingent of SCTA staff and volunteers arrived midday Friday at San Diego’s Balboa Tennis Club to prep the site. The sun was shining and the courts were busy as we started setting up. Dozens of players drilled and rallied throughout the 25-court facility. Members relaxed and watched Tennis Channel in the Club Lounge. Facility staff chatted with passersby near the reservation desk. It was the typical Friday afternoon at Balboa. Despite the activity, there was a casual and routine calmness in the air. I knew, however, that in less than 24 hours, Balboa would feel like a completely different place. The grounds would be filled with more than 250 club tennis players, friends, and family. The place would be buzzing with excitement and fiery competition.

Saturday morning came and so did the hordes of Tennis On Campus enthusiasts. 14 schools and 24 different teams took to their courts. The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego – deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster. As adoring fans settled into their viewing areas, off we went into pool play. With three teams in each pool, their finish in pool play decided their respective placement into bracket play Saturday afternoon.

The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego. Those teams were deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster.

For most of Saturday, the energy around the grounds was high-spirited and busy. When the teams weren’t battling on court, they found themselves in a haven of activity – posing for crazy team photos, snapping selfies for tournament contests, purchases TOC swag from the NetKnacks booth, and playing intense games of giant Jenga or water pong.

Once pool play ended, teams advanced into brackets: Gold for each pool’s first place finisher. Silver for each pool’s second place finisher. And Ruby for each pool’s third place finisher.

Heading into Gold were UCLA, Cal Poly SLO, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, USC, University of San Diego, and San Diego State.

Into Silver went UCSD-B, UCI-B, UCLA-B, UCLA-C, Pepperdine, USC-B, UCSB-B

UCR, Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly SLO, Cal State Fullerton, USD-B, LMU, Pepperdine-B headed to Ruby.

The sun began to set as the first matches of bracket play went to court. The atmosphere had an edge to it that was absent during the day. In the Gold Bracket, three bids to the National Championships were at stake and all eight teams wanted them.

After the first round of play, the tournament’s four seeds remained. UCLA would play UCSD and Cal Poly would play UCI. All four teams competed at the 2017 National Championship, which at this point, seemed like a distant memory. It was there that UCI and UCLA finished 2nd and 3rd in the nation respectively. So, as our final four Gold Bracket teams headed into the semi-finals, all four knew that just one more win would ensure their spot back at the National Championship.

It was UCLA and Cal Poly SLO that came out victorious. They were slated to face each other in the Southern California final for the third straight year. In the past two contests, Cal Poly came out on top. However, it was UCLA that was better prepared for battle this year. The Bruins took the Gold Bracket trophy, dropping only one set and finishing 25-16.

UCI and UCSD dueled for the third and final Nationals bid. In the end, the Tritons claimed the W beating UCI 30-8.
In the Silver Draw, UCLA-B took down UCSD-B in the final. That win earned them paid entry to the 2018 Spring Invitational, which will take place in March in Surprise, Az.

Cal Poly-B won the Ruby Bracket, which earned them a case of balls and a gift card for the team.

Though competition ended Sunday afternoon, it did not mark the end of the Tennis On Campus season. There were still several events for students to look forward to as they left the courts at Balboa Tennis Club. USD will host their first section tournament at the end of February. A handful of schools will compete at the Spring Invitational in Surprise, AZ in March. And of course, for UCLA, Cal Poly, UCSD, and SDSU (who earned their own bid to Nationals from their 2nd place finish at the 2017 Spring Invite) are heading into a busy training season before Nationals.

The 2018 Tennis On Campus National Championship will run April 12-14 at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, FL. Follow our teams on Twitter (@ustasocal) as they represent Southern California on the grandest scale this spring!

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Fun and Fierce Competition at the TOC 2018 Sectionals Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:12:05 +0000 Read more »]]> Fun and Fierce Competition at the Tennis on Campus So Cal Sectionals in San Diego

After a successful junior tennis career, Carissa Bernhardt of San Diego decided to focus on academics when she attended San Diego State University.

Now a sophomore, she’s back on the court competing for SDSU in its Tennis on Campus program recently at the TOC Southern California Sectional Championships at Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego.

Bernhardt, a two-time CIF San Diego Section Doubles Champion, is in her second TOC season. She helped her team qualify for USTA TOC Nationals on April 12-14 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

“I like TOC because it’s competitive but it doesn’t have the same time requirements as a Division I team,” Berhnardt said. “It’s a good balance.”

For Bernhard, however, Tennis on Campus is a family affair. Her brother, Christopher, will be representing the University of Arizona at the upcoming TOC Nationals. Christopher, architecture major, is the captain of his team.

“You make a lot of friends from all of the other schools,” Bernhardt said. “The tournaments are great because you get to see them all at the same time. I am super excited to go to nationals with my family.”

A total of 13 different schools sent 24 teams to compete in the recent Southern California Sectional Championships. The top 3 finishers qualified for Nationals. UCLA beat Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the final, and UC San Diego clinched third over UC Irvine. San Diego State University qualified at the 2017 Spring Invitational. Other participating schools included the University of San Diego, USC, Pepperdine, Claremont College, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara.

SDSU qualified for TOC Nationals in April.

Off the court social activities were plentiful with fun photo props, water pong and a giant game of Jenga. While waiting to play teams mingled and enjoyed lunch on a beautiful San Diego weekend.

“The competition was as fierce as always in So Cal,” said TOC Tournament Director Madeline Segura. “There was a different kind of buzz throughout the grounds this year.

Whether the teams were on the court or battling in an intense game of water pong, there was great energy the entire weekend.”

Special thanks go to Balboa Tennis Club for hosting the event. Great appreciation to Balboa Tennis Club Director Colleen Ferrell, whose kindness and hospitality made it a fantastic experience for all. For more event photos, please go to  Good luck to the four teams who will represent So Cal in April.

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USTA’s College Knowledge Inspires Players and Parents Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:11:58 +0000 Read more »]]> What does it take to get a college tennis scholarship? Outstanding answers came from tennis professionals at the recent College Knowledge Workshop held at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. The event was sponsored by the USTA and organized by USPTA Pro Amanda Fink, a former tour player and ITA All-America pick. The goal was to hear from the professionals about many types of tennis opportunities at the collegiate level including NCAA Division I, II & III schools, USTA’s Tennis on Campus program, NAIA opportunities, the importance of fitness, and the benefits of Community College tennis.

Over 50 coaches, parents and players attended the free workshop. It was a great opportunity to ask key questions to expert panelists including USC Assistant Women’s Coach Chris Wootton, San Diego Christian College Women’s Coach Priscilla Jensen, USD Assistant Men’s Coach Rich Bonfiglio,  San Diego City Men’s and Women’s Coaches Brandon Lupian and Jami Jones, Andrea Tyndall of Athletic Evolution, and Madeline Segura of USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC).

Fink opened the workshop by sharing her personal story of how tennis helped her in college and beyond, as she now holds a prestigious teaching position at the Santaluz Club in San Diego. She works with high school athletes on and off the court.

“Parents this is your chance to get real answers from some of the best,” Fink said. “You can ask the coaches questions in general but can’t specifically ask about your child.” General information that was shared includes the following:

  • Women’s NCAA Division I and NAIA programs offer full scholarships where Division II schools typically offers partial rides to female athletes. Men’s Division I and II colleges usually offer partial rides. Men’s and Women’s Division III schools can’t give athletic aid.
  • Community Colleges are great opportunities to get an almost free education and play college tennis while in pursuit of an Associate Degree or transfer to a four-year school.
  • USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC) is a USTA Program at 25 colleges across the country, and they offer great tennis at a high levels while not being a varsity sport. Perks include great competition and travel. Scholarships are not needed to play TOC.

“The level of commitment is the biggest difference between Division I, II and III schools,” Wootton said. “Tennis is a fulltime job in Divisions I and II. In Division III, academics come first. “

All coaches on the panel agreed high school athletes making the transition to college need to learn how to find balance in their lives. Organizational skills and learning to live away from home are big adjustments.

Questions included: What is the recruiting process to identify players? All agreed they look at a combination of USTA rankings, UTR ratings and TennisRecruiting ‘s star system.  However, there are additional factors.

Jensen said  her NAIA program in San Diego can offer scholarships and it is typically for those suited to those seeking a smaller private school. “We are looking for that unique individual who has tennis skills plus the right personality to make it a perfect fit,” Jensen said.

Jones, the San Diego City College Women’s Coach, suggested Community Colleges are great options for many student-athletes. “It’s the perfect time for recent graduates to grow as individuals and players in lower pressure atmosphere.”

Segura is the Assistant Director of Adult Tennis at the Southern California Tennis Association. She said TOC is a step down from NCAA varsity tennis yet a step up from recreational club tennis. They are student run programs that are lively and social. Practices are held during the week and players participate when it works into their schedules.

Another angle of preparing for college tennis includes fitness, which is an area of specialty for Andrea Tyndall, a strength and conditioning coach based in San Diego. She has worked with other high profile programs such as Tennis Australia.

“If tennis is your toolbox, fitness is a massive part of your program,” Tyndall said. “If you can’t get to a ball it doesn’t matter how good you are.”

Other tips came in the form of how to contact coaches, when players can expect responses, questions to ask coaches, and  the importance of creating players’ resumes. One reality changer included player behavior off the court.

“I’m looking for good character,” Bonfiglio said. “A tennis team is a culture. We are looking for players who really like tennis. I know that sounds silly but it’s not always the case. Some players have a long list of accomplishments but there are over the process by the time they get to college. We want players who will take it upon themselves to get better. That reveals a high level of character.”





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Sip N Serve Returns To Westside Sat, 11 Nov 2017 19:59:33 +0000 Read more »]]> After a successful run in Santa Monica last month, Sip ‘N Serve is back to the Westside with another series for millennial tennis players in Marina del Rey.

Sip ‘N Serve is a non-competitive tennis program that encourages networking and fun tennis. The series is open to anyone and everyone who loves tennis or is looking to learn how to play.

Some programs are geared more heavily toward match-play and some are structured like an adult clinic with drills and games. No matter the format, after tennis the group heads to a local bar for more socializing.

The Marina del Rey series runs like a high-energy tennis class with music and group games. SNS: MDR will take place Thursday nights at Marina City Club (4333 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292) November 2nd through December 7th. The cost is $25 per session for non-members and $80 for the full series. After the tennis each night, players are invited for drinks and grub at the MCC restaurant.

The Sip ‘N Serve Series is USTA Southern California’s take on a nationwide initiative to engage young adults in tennis. No USTA membership is required to participate and all levels are welcome.

Keep up to date on all of the Sip ‘N Serve happenings around Southern California on Facebook and on the program website. Contact Madeline Segura for any additional information on USTA Southern California’s young adult initiatives.

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College: Sanchez brings tennis back to Marymount Wed, 08 Nov 2017 21:53:20 +0000 Read more »]]> On the campus of Marymount California University, at the peak of a hillside overlooking the Pacific with Catalina Island imposing off the coast, four newly surfaced tennis courts sit in waiting. In less than a year, the courts will gladly welcome back groundstrokes, service aces, and overhead lobs for the first time in over a decade. Mariner Tennis is returning to Rancho Palos Verdes, and head coach Jamie Sanchez is hard at work building a Men’s and Women’s tennis program scheduled to play its first collegiate matches late in 2018.

Marymount has grown substantially since ending its tennis program in 2006. Enrollment has doubled, with about 1500 students from more than 20 states and 20 countries, and with a multi-tiered campus of classrooms and apartments both atop the hill and along the waterfront. With its pristine surroundings, Marymount aims to increase the daily activity of its student body, and the resurgence of athletics is a substantial move in that direction.

With soccer, baseball, cross country, and golf programs firmly in place, Marymount will look to volleyball, lacrosse, and tennis as the next wave of opportunity for scholar-athletes. Having evolved from a two-year college program to a four-year university, athletes seeking a bachelor’s degree can now consider Marymount as an ideal venue to remain competitive in sports while gaining a high quality education.

For Sanchez, the process is long and arduous. A longtime tennis coach and administrator with Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Sanchez has no trouble selling his love for the sport. But a brand new program at a small, discreet university may well be his biggest challenge.

“I have experience doing this sort of thing,” says Sanchez, who started Loyola Marymount’s women’s program in the 1970s and logged 40 years at the helm, including 21 years in the dual role as Men’s/Women’s head coach. In the first year at Marymount – what he calls the first of three “stages” in developing a new program – Sanchez firmly believes the Mariners “could be winning our conference. The recruits who write back to me ask that question. We’re going to compete to win (in the first year), to win our conference.”

The tennis program would play under the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) umbrella, an alternative to NCAA competition which includes schools like Westmont College and Hope International University. Competing within NAIA paves the road for a diverse spectrum of players, from polished competitors to developing talent.

“The larger schools (like UCLA or USC) naturally target a certain level of player,” says Sanchez. “A program like ours affords many opportunities for players of all skill levels. There are so many players in Southern California who don’t achieve the high level they could, because they don’t have the opportunity. This is the opportunity.”

Sanchez will spend the bulk of early 2018 reaching out to schools, parents, and students who would be ideal for the Marymount program. Junior college athletes, players in need of guidance and development, and high school tennis programs are on his immediate radar, with hopes of introducing Marymount California University to athletes who will inaugurate the school’s modern foray into competitive collegiate tennis.

“I want players who love the game, and who want to improve competitively,” Sanchez says. “I have no hesitation showing them how to win, but players are the ingredients.”

Of course, Sanchez’s new role also marks his return to on-coaching, and he’s clearly motivated by the challenge and looking forward to next fall.

“I’ve missed it,” he says of coaching. “Once you do it and love it for so long, the reward is intangible. Awards and results, they are tangible. But the experience is intangible.”

Learn more at

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SoCal Athletes to Rep U.S. at Global Collegiate Tourney Tue, 31 Oct 2017 16:51:18 +0000 Read more »]]> SHIBAHARA, HOLT, REDLICKI TO HELP LEAD U.S. IN 2017


 Americans Look to Win Seventh Straight Master’U Title

November 30-December 3 in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., October 30 2017 – The USTA today announced the top American collegians selected to represent the U.S. in the annual Master’U BNP Paribas International Collegiate Team Competition November 30-December 3 in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France.

Competing for the U.S. are: Ena Shibahara (Soph., UCLA; Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s No. 1-ranked women’s singles player; Ashley Lahey (Soph., Pepperdine; Hawthorne, Calif.), the ITA’s No. 3-ranked women’s singles player; Alle Sanford (Fr., UNC; Westerville, Ohio), women’s singles champion at this fall’s Oracle ITA Masters event; Brandon Holt (Soph., USC; Rolling Hills, Calif.), the ITA’s No. 11-ranked men’s singles player and 2017 Oracle ITA Masters men’s singles champion; Alfredo Perez (Jr., Florida; Miami), the ITA’s No. 7-ranked men’s singles player; and Martin Redlicki (Sr., UCLA; Chicago), a 2017 ITA Men’s All-American Championships singles finalist.

Boise State men’s coach Greg Patton and Ohio State women’s coach Melissa Schaub will travel with and coach the team, which will compete against teams from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia. Last year, Shibahara was a part of the U.S. contingent that won its sixth straight Master’U title and seventh in the last eight years. Past U.S. representatives in the Master’U competition include Steve Johnson, Irina Falconi, Austin Krajicek, Maria Sanchez, Mackenzie McDonald, Danielle Collins and Chris Eubanks.

“Master’U is the Davis Cup and Fed Cup of college tennis, and we are excited to have another strong group of student-athletes and coaches to represent Team USA,” said USTA Collegiate Tennis Director Stephen Amritraj. “Being part of Team USA has evolved into a rite of passage for the best American collegiate players, along with the goals of winning an NCAA team and individual title.”

Each team match consists of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one women’s and one men’s doubles match and a mixed doubles match. Complete results from all three days can be found by visiting the Master’U BNP Paribas website.

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Azusa Pacific’s Oliver Frank notches upset at SoCal Intercollegiates Mon, 30 Oct 2017 22:27:22 +0000 Read more »]]>

Finalists Oliver Frank (APU) and Brandon Holt (USC) at the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships.

After an entertaining weekend of Men’s singles action at the 2017 SoCal Intercollegiate Championships, Monday’s finale featured a perennial NCAA Division I favorite and an underdog from Division II Azusa Pacific University (APU).

The unique format provided such an opportunity for APU’s Oliver Frank, the 6’1” native of Germany who holds the Cougar’s all-time record for combined winning percentage in singles and doubles (46-4, .920). In this week’s event at Marks Stadium at USC, the unseeded Frank notched main draw wins over three seeded opponents – all of them USC Trojans, including #2 Laurens Verboven. In the final, he faced another Trojan, the top seed Brandon Holt.

Holt, a sophomore from Palos Verdes, is a familiar name in collegiate tennis. He ranks in the top 20 nationwide both in singles and tandem play, was an All Pac-12 First Team selection in his second year, and is widely regarded as an exceptional talent headed to the professional ranks.

Still, the day belonged to Frank, a straight set victor in the championship finale. Both players held serve early, focused on fundamentals and methodic play. The big, muscular Frank punished the ball with heavy groundstrokes while Holt moved fluidly and seemed unfazed by his opponent’s command of both the baseline and the net.

The first dent in armor came at 4-3 in the first set, when Holt committed a double fault to give his opponent two critical game points. Frank prevailed for a 5-3 lead, and combined the finesse of drop shots and a powerful forehand winner to tally the first set, 6-3.

In the second frame, Holt came out strong and looked to regain momentum with an easy hold. The two would remain on course until Frank broke the Trojan serve for a 3-2 lead. But Holt, his team’s primary number one player, was quick to answer. At break point, Frank ripped a ball off the net cord, leaving an easy winner in Holt’s wheelhouse, at the set was even at 3-3.

Holt pushed even harder on his next service game, running Frank side to side, stroking winners into the open court and adding pace to his service game. At 4-3, Holt looked poised to force a third set.

Frank thought otherwise, holding serve at 4-4 and then breaking Holt for a 5-4 advantage. By the tenth and decisive game of the second set, Frank continued to pound away at groundstrokes, surging to victory with a powerful forehand that sealed the win, 6-3, 6-4.

The All-USC doubles final at the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships.

“I knew it would be faster than D2,” said Frank of the challenge facing and ultimately dispatching upper echelon opponents. “(Holt) is a great player in Division I and in California. I like to play those opponents, when I’m the underdog. I play way more loose. I knew I needed to move better and be more focused. If I lose focus, I lose momentum.”

Concurrently on an adjoining court, four Trojans battled for the doubles title in an all-USC final. Laurens Verboven & Tanner Smith earned a convincing 8-3 win over teammates Jake DeVine & Logan Smith.

“We just know each other’s games really well,” Tanner Smith said after the match, complimenting his USC Trojan squad. “We had three of the four finalists (today), everyone’s playing well, and we’re seeing great results.”


The Trojans move next to Indian Wells for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Oliver Frank and Azusa Pacific return to action in the new year, facing CalTech in February.

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What A College Athlete Eats For Peak Performance Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:07:01 +0000 Read more »]]> By Lucas Chmielewski

It’s anything but junk food and empty calories for college athletes looking to perform at their peak.

Today’s ultra-competitive college environment requires banking every advantage you can get, and a nutritional diet in combination with a fitness regime is essential to generating the best results.

Now imagine being a competitive junior tennis player newly arrived at college, endlessly tempted by late-night dorm and party food, but with the added challenge of having Crohns Disease, requiring you to eat small healthy portions every few hours, while altogether avoiding so many foods that are not healthy to consume. Welcome to the world of college athlete Lucas Chmielewski!

Formerly a top-ranked player at La Canada High School and now a freshman at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, CA, Lucas has been playing tennis since the age of four, training locally with long-time coach Tomas Bubilek at iTennis Arroyo Seco Racquet Club. During his junior playing career, Lucas was fortunate to travel and compete throughout the U.S. and internationally, gaining a well-rounded perspective on dietary habits and options from around the world to manage his condition. “It’s really enlightening to see how food is purchased and prepared in countries other than the USA” Lucas says. “There’s so much more availability to fresh produce and non-processed foods which are much healthier for athletes, and in turn can result in better performance”.

Balancing his Chrons Disease with a tennis player’s elevated need for proper nutrition and high energy, Lucas regularly follows a strict diet regimen that includes lots of simple proteins like chicken, fish or pork, carbs in the form of rice or potatoes, and always a portion of veggies for essential vitamins. He specifically avoids consuming beef, eggs, gluten and dairy because of headaches, tiredness and overall sense of heaviness on court.

Before a workout or match Lucas typically eats a light meal, usually a small portion of chicken and rice. Meals cannot be heavy because they take too long to digest and decrease speed or reaction time. During a match Lucas consumes Gatorade gels, bananas and nut bars with dark chocolate, the latter providing a much-needed dose of replenishing sugar to maintain energy levels. Following or in between matches, Lucas would repeat the same menu as above as part of his program for nutritional restoration and recovery.

The bottom line? If you want to compete as a tennis player in the college ranks you’ll need every advantage you can get, avoiding all those collegiate temptations and focusing daily on a healthy regimen that pays dividends. Fuel for the body, as well as the mind, is an essential component to on-court success, and Lucas Chmielewski follows best practices on all fronts to compete at his peak!

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World University Games a Special Trip For Coach Chen Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:30:53 +0000 Read more »]]> Community Spotlight: Grant Chen

Being a part of Team USA this summer and coaching at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, had extra special meaning for current UCLA associate head men’s coach Grant Chen.

Chen traveled with four UCLA players – Logan Staggs, Martin Redlicki, Terri Fleming and Jada Hart – and the Bruins represented the United States admirably, with Staggs and Hart taking home the bronze medal after falling in the semifinals to Slovakia, 10-7, in a super tiebreaker after splitting sets. Staggs and Redlicki advance to the Round of 16 in singles and doubles and Fleming and Hart won two rounds in singles.

Grant Chen, centered, coached UCLA’s Jada Hart and Logan Staggs to the mixed doubles bronze medal.

“I was very proud of how our players represented themselves and country—on and off the court,” Chen said. “While tennis was why we were there, the trip also gave them an opportunity to experience a different culture.”

It was also meaningful for Chen, whose family is from Taiwan, it represented a home away from home.

“It was very special for me because I have family in Taiwan,” Chen said. “My mom came out to practice the first day and I had dinner with my cousins. My uncle is a physician and was in charge of the sports medicine for the entire 20-sport event.”

The World University Games are held every two years and are a mini version of the Olympic Games. Chen said experiencing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were the highlights, as each of the countries marched into the stadium in front of 40,000 or so fans.

“When the guys and girls weren’t playing they watched table tennis, basketball, baseball and softball,” Chen said. “We stayed in the Athlete’s Village and were roommates in the dorms with other athletes. The athlete dining area was the size of two football fields and you got to dine with other countries and other athletes who have excelled in their sport. So that was pretty fun.”

Chen is a familiar face to UCLA tennis fans as he has been associated with the program now going on 17 seasons having entered the program as a freshman in 2000. In fact, Chen has attended the NCAA Championships all 17 season’s he’s been a part of the program. As the student manager as a senior in 2005, the Bruins won their first NCAA team title under longtime Coach Billy Martin. Elevated to assistant coach by Martin five seasons ago, Chen watched as the Bruins fell to the University of Virginia after holding championship points in his first season as an assistant.

“I had no intention of coaching college tennis,” Chen said. “But Billy took me under his wing as a mentor, and we’ve maintained a friendship and working relationship that we hope and think is helping these student-athletes grow as players and men.”

Chen has helped coached two Bruins to NCAA national singles titles the past few years in Marcos Giron and Mackie McDonald. “I’ve been very lucky to work with some tremendous student athletes at UCLA. Former players who are now competing for Grand Slams and many from our own backyard of Southern California,” Chen said. “To be able to be a part of this tennis journey with these players and helping them reach their dream of playing collegiate and eventually professional tennis has been very rewarding for me.”

The Bruins finished No. 5 in the nation last season and are loaded up once again this year, including four incoming freshman from SoCal. “I am a product of So Cal tennis having grown up in Santa Barbara. We’ve been able to keep a lot of the SCTA kids close to home,” he said. “It’s been great to recruit in our own back yard.”

Chen called the two weeks at the World University Games, held every two years , an “unbelievable experience and one of the most amazing multi-sport events I’ve ever been a part of.

“It’s something the athletes will remember forever.”

As will Chen.

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Oracle ITA Masters gathers best college players Sept 21-24 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 21:19:33 +0000 Read more »]]>

Get your tickets to watch the 2017 Oracle ITA Masters – Reserve Your Seat Now!

This national tournament features the rising stars of tennis – 32 of the top men’s and women’s singles players in the United States. These elite college tennis players will face off in singles and pair up in mixed doubles over the course of the weekend. Matches begin daily at 10:00 AM at the Malibu Racquet Club and Pepperdine University.

September 21 – 24, 2017
Malibu, CA

Click here for ticket information. 
ITA Master Schedule

Match Locations:

Malibu Racquet Club
23847 Stuart Ranch Road
Malibu, CA 90265
(Open Seating)
Pepperdine Tennis Center
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
(Open Seating)

Malibu Racquet Club has limited seating – ticket required for entry.
Tickets include access to marquee singles and mixed doubles matches.
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NCAA Championships Update – Men’s & Women’s Finals 2017 Fri, 26 May 2017 07:56:30 +0000 Read more »]]> The downpour in Athens, Ga., continued into the final day of the NCAA Team Championships, which caused the men’s final to be pushed back three hours and to the indoor courts at the University of Georgia.

The women’s final was delayed three hours as well, but the conditions outside were perfect for an intense match under the lights.

With a live national audience on ESPNU getting a taste of the action, it was No. 2 Virginia which claimed its third consecutive national title with a 4-2 victory over No. 9 North Carolina. And in the historical matchup on the women’s side, No. 1 Florida took down No. 7 Stanford, 4-1, in the 10thall-time meeting in the NCAA finals between the two schools.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

With the team finals in the books, attention now turns to the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships which begin on Wednesday in Athens.

Women’s Singles & Doubles Bracket

Men’s Singles & Doubles Bracket

Highlights from May 23

MEN – Virginia vs. North Carolina

Virginia Men’s Tennis Homepage

In the first all-ACC final in NCAA men’s history, fans packed the indoor facility, enough to where security could not let any more spectators inside. As lines gathered outside, the energy rose on the courts as fans clung to every point. Doubles play featured Virginia claiming a win at No. 3 and UNC being victorious at No. 1. At No. 2, UVA’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alexander Ritschard faced UNC’s Jack Murray (Beverly Hills, Mich.) and Simon Soendergaard, and the Cavaliers held a 5-4 lead and three match points on Soendergaard’s serve. The Tar Heels saved the first two, then on the no-ad deuce point, Kwiatkowski’s return went straight at Murray at the net who defensively got enough on it to drop it just over the net.

Both doubles teams held to force a tiebreak, and Virginia never led until it was 6-5, and on the fourth match point, Ritschard’s serve set up a soft volley winner from Kwiatkowski to clinch the doubles point.

With just four courts, the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions would have to wait their turn. However the wait time for two courts to open went by fast as UVA’s Ritschard defeated Ronnie Schneider (Bloomington, Ind.), 6-1, 6-3, at No. 1 to make it 2-0, and UNC’s William Blumberg(Greenwich, Conn.) took down Kwiatkowski, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 2 two minutes later.

Virginia stretched its advantage to 3-1 at No. 4 singles when Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) served up a monster ace on match point to defeat Soendergaard, 6-3, 6-1. The Tar Heels’Robert Kelly (Chapel Hill, N.C.) fired in some solid first serves of his own to close out his 6-2, 6-4 decision No. 3 against Carl Soderlund.

It would be awhile until the champion would be crowned as No. 5 and No. 6 were early in their first sets. Needing just one more point to hoist the trophy, Virginia’s J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) went on fire in the first-set tiebreak, winning the first six points en route to jumping ahead one set to love against Murray. The Cavaliers also secured the first set at No. 6 where Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) was ahead of Blaine Boyden (Raleigh, N.C.). Aragone and Wiersholm then both broke early in the second sets, as Aragone was virtually unstoppable. The Virginia senior stretched his lead to 5-2 with a textbook lob over Murray. On the first championship point, Aragone converted it immediately for a 7-6(2), 6-2 triumph, and the celebration was on for the Cavaliers.

WOMEN – Florida vs. Stanford

Florida Women’s Tennis Homepage

Tuesday marked the 10th meeting in the NCAA Finals between No. 1 Florida and No. 7 Stanford, two teams that have created a cross-country rivalry that produces a memorable match every time they tangle. For this edition, the Gators blitzed the Cardinal in doubles for a 1-0 lead. They locked up a 6-1 win at No. 1 from Ingrid Neel (Rochester, Minn.) and Anna Danilina as well as a 6-1 win at No. 3 from Josie Kuhlman (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) and Belinda Woolcock.

Holding the 1-0 lead entering singles, Florida’s Kourtney Keegan, a senior from Roswell, Ga., faced off with Stanford freshman Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.), owner of a 22-match winning streak. The senior was not affected by the fact Higuchi had not suffered a dual-match loss this spring, flying to a 6-0, 6-0 victory at the No. 6 position to double UF’s advantage to 2-0.

The Gators were rolling, with matches at No. 1 and No. 5 having match points at the same time. Over at No. 5 on the no-ad point, Stanford’s Emily Arbuthnott kept her match alive againstBrooke Austin (Indianpolis, Ind.). However at No. 1, the Cardinal were not as lucky as Woolcock came through on her second match point when Caroline Doyle (San Francisco, Calif.) fired a forehand into the net, closing out Woolcock’s 6-1, 6-3 victory.

Since UF could only convert one of those two match points at 1 and 5, the evening continued with the top seed ahead, 3-0. And Stanford was not ready to go away so easily. Back on court 5, Arbuthnott battled back from being down match point to force a third set, courts 3 and 4 also were in third sets and court 2 witnessed Stanford’s Melissa Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.) trying to serve out her match in straight sets vs. Kuhlman at 5-4. They eventually traded breaks before Lord cut into the Florida deficit with her 6-4, 7-5 win.

After Stanford’s Taylor Davidson (Statesville, N.C.) got back on serve against Neel at No. 3, all three remaining matches were on serve in the third set. The momentum started to possibly shift to the Cardinal when they posted breaks on 4 and 5, yet that was short lived when Florida broke at 3 and Neel ultimately went up 5-2. On Davidson’s serve and the second championship point, Neel erupted when Davidson’s forehand went wide. The 4-1 win was complete, as was the Gators’ seventh title in school history, and first since 2012.

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NCAA Championships Update – Men’s & Women’s Semis 2017 Wed, 24 May 2017 07:49:30 +0000 Read more »]]> NCAA Finals: Virginia vs. North Carolina (men) & Florida vs. Stanford (women)

It was a crazy day in Athens, Ga., when the men and women held their semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Championships Monday.

The men were up first on the outdoor courts, and with No. 2 Virginia holding a team match point against No. 3 Ohio State as well as No. 13 Georgia putting together a memorable comeback bid vs. No. 9 North Carolina, the rain came. And it stuck around.

NCAA mw_tennis_vp

After a lengthy delay, the two semifinal contests wrapped up on the four indoors courts at UGA with Virginia (4-2 win) and North Carolina (4-3 win) providing heart-pounding victories to land spots in the finals.

The Tar Heels will be making their first trip to the NCAA Finals in school history. The Cavaliers barely defeated UNC in both meetings in 2017 by identical 4-3 margins, and they will be looking to claim their third straight NCAA title (and fourth in the last five seasons).

With rain in the forecast for the rest of the day, the women were moved inside with No. 1 Florida and No. Vanderbilt staying put in Athens and No. 3 Ohio State and No. 7 Stanford forced to drive out to Atlanta and Georgia Tech’s facility.

Florida avenged two losses to Vanderbilt in the regular season and SEC Tournament to take down the Commodores, 4-2, Monday night. The Gators are set to make their first appearance in the finals since 2012 when it shut out UCLA.

Close to midnight, Stanford and Ohio State went all of the way to a third-set tiebreaker on the final singles court until the Cardinal’s Taylor Davidson’s (Statesville, N.C) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) win wrapped up a 4-3 decision. That will now set up the 10th all-time meeting in the NCAA Finals between the Gators and Cardinal, two teams that competed in the College MatchDay series at the USTA National Campus this past spring.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

Highlights from May 22

MEN – North Carolina vs. Georgia

North Carolina’s Recap & Stats

Even though Georgia had the benefit of playing on its home courts and for its raucous fans, North Carolina had enormous support as well. The doubles point came down to No. 2 where UNC broke serve at 5-5 and Jack Murray (Beverly Hills, Mich.) held to capture the victory with partner Simon Soendergaard, giving UNC an early lead.

The Tar Heels reeled in the first singles result with a 6-3, 6-2 win by William Blumberg(Greenwich, Conn.). At the same time of court No. 2 shaking hands, courts 1 and 6 were in first-set breakers. As those were motoring along, Georgia finally got on the board on a straight-set triumph at No. 5 from Walker Duncan (Atlanta, Ga.). But UNC’s Robert Kelly (Chapel Hill, N.C.) fired in an ace on match point for his victory on court 3.

With a 3-1 cushion, UNC witnessed Georgia take second-set leads in the remaining three matches. Attention turned to court 4 where Soendergaard was up 6-4, 6-6 and 4-0 in the breaker. Georgia’s Jan Zielinski then strung together seven straight points to push the match to a third. Moments later, the Bulldogs’ Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, Ariz.) closed out his win at the No. 1 spot to make it 3-2 UNC.

Georgia fans kept getting louder, until the rain moved on to campus. The delay may have been long, but the fans swarmed the indoor courts for 5 p.m. when the match resumed. And the Bulldogs kept rolling when Zielinski finished off his three-set performance, leaving a spot in the finals up to the No. 6 position. With UGA’s Robert Loeb (Hilton Head, S.C.) serving in the third at 3-4, UNC’s Blaine Boyden (Raleigh, N.C.) broke on a no-ad point, then smashed an overhead winner on match point to start the dogpile and leave Georgia fans heartbroken.

MEN – Virginia vs. Ohio State

Virginia’s Match Recap & Stats

The Cavaliers and Buckeyes also split the first two doubles matches as the teams fought for the first point. It would reach a tiebreaker at No. 1, and Ohio State broke out to win the first six points en route to the 1-0 team advantage.

That score did not last long, with Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.), Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) and J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) cruising to their respective victories and a 3-1 team lead.

At No. 6 and Virginia’s Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) facing OSU’s Kyle Seelig (Hatfield, Pa.), Wiersholm went up a break in the second set and had three match points. His first attempt sailed into the net. At the exact same time, OSU’s Mikael Torpegaard was up 6-3 in the third-set tiebreaker against Virginia’s Alexander Ritschard.

That was when the rain started falling, with two courts holding match point. Eventually after the delay and teams moving inside at 5 p.m., Torpegaard needed just one point to hold on for his win. On the very next court, Wiersholm and Seelig were putting together a lengthy rally on their first point when play continued. When Seelig’s backhand clipped the net and softly landed on his side, the Cavaliers exploded.

WOMEN – Florida vs. Vanderbilt

Florida’s Women’s Tennis Homepage

On the four indoor courts at Georgia, the women’s semifinals got underway at 7 p.m. While Vanderbilt got the better of Florida in the two previous meetings this year, the Gators desired to put an end to that winning streak by rolling to the doubles point.

Just as UF flew through doubles, Vandy’s Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn.) flew through her singles match at No. 2, topping Josie Kuhlman (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), 6-4, 6-1. The Commodores made it two in a row on a 7-5, 6-4 victory by Christina Rosca (Princeton, N.J.) over Ingrid Neel(Rochester, Minn.).

The No. 1 school in the nation halted Vandy’s run thanks to a three-set victory at No. 4 by Anna Danilina vs. Emma Kurtz (Atlanta, Ga.). Now tied at 2-2, Florida took control when Belinda Woolcock posted a bagel in the third set in her 6-7, 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Astra Sharma at No. 1.

Since there were only four courts available, the No. 5 and 6 singles matches went on late. Needing only one more point, UF’s Brooke Austin (Indianapolis, Ind.) delivered, breaking Georgina Sellyn’s serve on a no-ad point for a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5, locking up a bid to the finals for the Gators.

WOMEN – Ohio State vs. Stanford

Stanford’s Women’s Tennis Homepage

Seventy miles away at Georgia Tech’s indoor facility at 8 p.m., Ohio State rolled over Stanford in doubles play with a 6-2 win at No. 2 and a 6-1 triumph at No. 3, giving the Buckeyes the first team point of the evening.

The Big Ten champs doubled its lead at the top of its lineup and from the No. 1 player in the country as Francesca Di Lorenzo (New Albany, Ohio) had a convincing 6-1, 6-0 decision vs.Caroline Doyle (San Francisco, Calif.).

The Buckeyes may have held a 2-0 advantage, but the Cardinal won the first set on the other five singles courts. Emily Arbuthnott capped off her 6-4 first-set win with a 6-3 showing in the second at No. 5 against Sandy Niehaus (Cincinnati, Ohio) to put Stanford on the scoreboard, thenMelissa Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.) handed Anna Sanford (Westerville, Ohio) a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 loss at No. 2 to even it at two apiece.

Having a dominant freshman campaign, Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.) continued to shine for the Cardinal, putting them ahead 3-2 by way of a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 6 over Ferny Angeles Paz. It was Higuchi’s 22nd straight victory (only Nicole Gibbs (25) and Kristie Ahn (24) have longer streaks for Stanford since 2010) and she is 33-3 overall in 2016-17.

Ohio State may have trailed 3-2, yet the Buckeyes were looking to serve out their respective matches on courts 3 and 4 as both Gabriella De Santis and Miho Kowase were up a break at 5-4 in the third set. Stanford had other ideas as Davidson at No. 3 and Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, Va.) at No. 4 both broke back, only to watch as De Santis and Kowase broke again for 6-5 on each court. After the clock hit 11:30 p.m., Kowase this time held serve for a 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 victory against Lampl, however De Santis could not as Davidson forced a third-set breaker for the right to go to the team finals. A back-and-forth affair gave way to Davidson grinding out the win as Stanford will now look to win the NCAA title for the second-straight season.

Inclement weather is unfortunately in the forecast for Tuesday as well. As of Monday evening, the men’s final is scheduled for 1 p.m. while the women’s final is set for 5 p.m.

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NCAA Championships Update – Women’s Quarters 2017 Mon, 22 May 2017 07:29:59 +0000 Read more »]]> NCAA Women’s Championships are Ready for the Semifinals

Weather once again affected play at the 2017 NCAA Championships at the University of Georgia, this time it was in the women’s quarterfinals where the first session had to be moved indoors.

Under the roof, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 7 Stanford advanced, while No. 1 Florida and No. 4 Vanderbilt survived on the outside courts to round out the Final Four.

Dating back to 2010, three of the remaining four schools have combined to win six of the last seven NCAA titles (Stanford with three, Florida with two, Vanderbilt with one). Meanwhile, Ohio State is making its first trip to the semifinals.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

Highlights from May 21

North Carolina vs. Stanford

Stanford’s Recap & Stats

No. 2 North Carolina and No. 7 Stanford finally clashed at 2 p.m. on Sunday inside the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts in Athens. Last year’s NCAA champion wasted no time in grabbing the 1-0 lead, as the Cardinal posted 6-1 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 for the doubles point.

The No. 5 and No. 6 singles representatives would then be forced to sit and watch the afternoon materialize since Georgia had only four indoors courts. Down 1-0, the Tar Heels relied on one of the most talented players in school history to get on the board when Hayley Carter (Hilton Head, S.C.) dropped only one game at the No. 1 singles position. It was her 168th career win for UNC.

Stanford climbed back to regain its lead at 2-1 with a straight-set win at No. 3 fromTaylor Davidson (Statesville, N.C.) whose hometown is just two hours from the UNC campus. The Cardinal pushed it to 3-1 thanks to Melissa Lord’s (Bloomfield, Conn.) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Sara Daavettila (Williamston, Mich.). As No. 5 and 6 singles began, No. 2 and 4 were reaching third sets. At that 4 position, Stanford’sCaroline Lampl (Bluemont, Va.) had two match points yet UNC’s Alexa Graham(Garden City, N.Y.) fought back and eventually secured an incredible win, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5, making it 3-2 Cardinal. Stanford’s remaining two players were both freshmen (Emily Arbuthnott and Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.)), and it was Arbuthnott who delivered the final blow in a three-set win against UNC freshman Makenna Jones (Greenville, S.C.).

Ohio State vs. Texas Tech

Ohio State’s Recap & Stats

The unfortunate weather situation forced No. 3 Ohio State and No. 6 Texas Tech to travel to Atlanta and square off indoors at Georgia Tech’s Byers Tennis Complex at 4 p.m. Once the schools hit the court, the Buckeyes snatched the doubles point, and they were well on their way to a 4-0 shutout over the Red Raiders.

The Buckeyes secured three straight-set singles wins by Ferny Angeles Paz, Miho Kowase and Anna Sanford (Westerville, Ohio), giving OSU its first trip to the NCAA semifinals in school history. Texas Tech did claim first-set victories in the other three matches, but the Buckeyes avoided any drama as those contests remained unfinished.

Florida vs. Oklahoma State

Florida’s Recap & Stats

Weather did not affect the second session too much, as No. 1 Florida and No. 9 Oklahoma State got acquainted outdoors at Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Gators came out with a mission, taking down the Cowgirls, 4-1, moving on to the semifinals for the 25th time in the last 31 seasons.

They started things up with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles as the Gators broke serve at 5-4 on court 3 for the clinching point. Straight-set victories at No. 5 fromBrooke Austin (Indianapolis, Ind.) and No. 2 from Josie Kuhlman (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) stretched the Florida lead to 3-0 before Aliona Bolsova put OSU on the board at No. 3. Although two exciting matches were cooking at the No. 1 and No. 6 spots, UF’s Anna Danilina put an end to the comeback bid with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph at No. 4.

Vanderbilt vs. Pepperdine

Vanderbilt’s Recap & Stats

No. 4 Vanderbilt and No. 12 Pepperdine also benefitted from playing late as they enjoyed the outdoor courts in Athens. The Waves were looking for a team upset of the Commodores, and started with a smaller upset when the No. 8 doubles team in the country, Pepperdine’s Christine Maddox (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Mayar Sherif, stunned the top-ranked doubles squad in Emily Smith and Astra Sharma, 6-2. The Waves collected the second doubles victory at No. 3 to earn the first team point.

The two schools traded the first two singles results, giving Pepperdine a 2-1 advantage and a lot of confidence, especially since it won first sets at No. 2 and No. 4 as well. Vandy settled down, tying the scoreboard at 2-2 with a win by Sharma, then came through with a three-set triumph by Georgina Sellyn at No. 5. Looking to return to the semifinals as a senior, Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn.) sewed it up, blanking Ashley Lahey (Hawthorne, Calif.) in the third set, 6-0, to give the Commodores the team win.

Vanderbilt’s match against Florida in the semifinals will be the third this year between the two SEC schools, both won by the Commodores (two of Florida’s three losses this year have been at the hands of Vandy).

Both the men’s and women’s semifinals are scheduled for Monday, however inclement weather is in the forecast forcing start times to be altered. The men’s final is slated for Tuesday at 1 p.m. and the women also will be Tuesday at 5 p.m., and each match will air live on ESPNU. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

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NCAA Championships Update – Men’s Quarters 2017 Mon, 22 May 2017 07:25:28 +0000 Read more »]]> NCAA Men’s Semifinals to Feature Virginia, Ohio State, North Carolina & Georgia

The NCAA Championships started off with great conditions Saturday at the University of Georgia with No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Ohio State advancing in the men’s quarters.

In the middle of the second session, weather rolled through, prompting a very lengthy delay. With their home fans packing the stands, the Bulldogs even had match point in one of the singles matches vs. UCLA when the courts had to be cleared at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Play finally resumed just after 11 p.m. in what was almost a five-hour weather delay, and No. 13 Georgia and No. 9 North Carolina completed the Final Four field.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

Highlights from May 20

Ohio State vs. TCU

Ohio State’s Recap & Stats

Everyone knew No. 3 Ohio State and No. 6 TCU would be a thriller, and that proved true as it came down to the final singles match of the afternoon. Doubles opened up the day with both schools splitting the first two results. At the No. 1 position, OSU came back from being down match point to capture the early 1-0 margin.

TCU then won the first set in four of the six singles matches, as the crowd quickly grew to where standing room was a few people deep. Each time the Buckeyes stretched their advantage, the Horned Frogs met them every step of the way. Among those singles victors were Ohio State’s Kyle Seelig (Hatfield, Pa.) and TCU’s Alex Rybakov (Coral Springs, Fla.). With OSU ahead 3-2, attention swung to court 1 where the No. 1-ranked college player in TCU’s Cameron Norrie faced No. 2 Mikael Torpegaard, and it was Norrie who built a 5-1 lead in the third set and hung on for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win.

On serve in the third set on court 3 with the overall match at 3-3, OSU’s Hugo DiFeo earned some break points at 4-5, 15-40 with Guillermo Nunez serving. Nunez slammed an overhead to save the first, but his crosscourt forehand on the next point clipped the net and sailed wide as the Buckeyes stormed the court in the 4-3 triumph.

Virginia vs. Texas

Virginia’s Recap & Stats

On the primary courts at the University of Georgia, No. 2 Virginia busted out to a 3-0 cushion on No. 10 Texas. And the theme of the tournament continued where it would take all three doubles matches to decide the doubles point. This time, it was Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alexander Ritschard who came through for the Cavaliers at No. 2, giving the second seed a 1-0 advantage.

Although the Longhorns got on the board at No. 1 singles, it was J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) who secured the fourth team point. In a second-set tiebreak vs. Leonardo Telles, Aragone drilled a return that set up a perfect volley winner at 5-3, and he easily won the next point in his 6-2, 7-6(3) decision. The Cavaliers also racked up victories from Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) and Carl Soderlund to help advance to Monday’s semis.

UCLA vs. Georgia

Georgia Men’s Tennis Homepage

One could barely find a place to sit let alone stand when the host and 13-seed Bulldogs entertained No. 5 UCLA. While UGA scooped up a win at No. 1 doubles, the Bruins grabbed hold of the 1-0 lead with triumphant results at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

In singles, courts 3 and 6 raised the heart levels of the fans as they both reached first-set breakers at the same time. Ultimately, Georgia and UCLA each won three of the first sets to start singles play.

On court 5, the Bulldogs’ Walker Duncan (Atlanta, Ga.) held a match point at 6-3, 6-5 and 40-30 before Austin Rapp (Rancho Mirage, Calif.) extended the game. Duncan held one more match point with the no-ad scoring format, and that was when the weather came. Meanwhile, three courts over, UGA’s Wayne Montgomery was two points away from his win when the rain hit the area.

Almost five hours later when play resumed, Duncan was unable to finish off the match as it went into a tiebreak, but Montgomery capped off his win at No. 2 singles to draw even with UCLA at 1-1. Back on 5, Duncan did not let those missed opportunities get into his head, and he flew through the breaker to put the Bulldogs up, 2-1. UGA was clearly getting energy from all of its home fans, and that helped push the Bulldogs to another upset as Robert Loeb (Hilton Head, S.C.) and Jan Zielinski collected the final two singles wins to advance, 4-2. Just before the Bulldogs got their fourth point, UCLA’s Martin Redlicki (Boca Raton, Fla.) skipped by UGA’s Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina

North Carolina Men’s Tennis Homepage

An ACC clash was on tap in the quarters with No. 1 Wake Forest engaging with No. 9 North Carolina. Wake edged UNC in the regular season, 4-3, so the Tar Heels had revenge on their minds. The Demon Deacons and Tar Heels also needed all three doubles matches to deliver the first point on Saturday, and it was UNC who boasted wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to head into singles up, 1-0.

Looking to take down the top seed, the Tar Heels doubled its lead with a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win by Jack Murray (Beverly Hills, Mich.). But with the remaining five matches in second sets, that also was when inclement weather started approaching Athens and play was suspended.

Even though it fell behind 2-0, Wake Forest had the answer after the 11 p.m. hour, registering the next two singles wins to make it 2-2. Over at court 2, William Blumberg (Greenwich, Conn.) put the Tar Heels back in the driver seat, though, with a close two-set victory. Now ahead 3-2, it was Bo Boyden (Raleigh, N.C.) who closed out the quarterfinals with a three setter at the No. 6 spot just after midnight, stunning the top seed in the bracket, 4-2, and putting UNC in its first Final Four in school history.

The women return to action Sunday to determine who advances to the semifinals (as of Saturday night, potential inclement weather changed start times to 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET). The finals for both sides are held on May 23 on ESPNU. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

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NCAA Championships Update – Women’s Third Round 2017 Sun, 21 May 2017 07:28:01 +0000 Read more »]]> Eight Remain in the NCAA Women’s Championships

The top four seeds are still alive in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Championships after No. 1 Florida, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Texas Tech, No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 12 Pepperdine have moved on to the quarterfinals.

All six schools (Florida, UNC, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Stanford, Oklahoma State) that participated in the 2017 College MatchDay series at the National Campus have reached the round of eight. It is guaranteed that three of those schools that played in the CMD series will reach the Final Four.


Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

NCAA mw_tennis_vp

Highlights from May 19

North Carolina vs. Duke

The rivalry was renewed between No. 2 North Carolina and No. 15 Duke, yet it was the Tar Heels who rolled at the top of the lineup for a 4-0 victory. Hayley Carter (Hilton Head, S.C.) at No. 1, Sara Daavettila (Williamston, Mich.) at No. 2 and Jessie Aney (Rochester, Minn.) at No. 3 locked up straight set singles wins, even though the Blue Devils won the first set at each of the bottom three positions.

Stanford vs. Michigan

In a tighter affair with No. 7 Stanford facing No. 10 Michigan, the Cardinal held a 2-0 lead with the doubles point and a quick win by Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.). The remaining matches were highly competitive, and Stanford managed to hold on for a 4-1 win despite UM’sKate Fahey (Fair Haven, N.J.) taking the W at No. 1 singles. The Cardinal have won two of the last four NCAA titles.

Ohio State vs. South Carolina

For the noon session, No. 3 Ohio State, which has five ranked singles players in its lineup, kept the Big Ten’s hopes alive by downing No. 14 South Carolina, 4-1. Every completed singles match went in straight sets, highlighted by the No. 1-ranked women’s collegiate player in the country Francesca Di Lorenzo (New Albany, Ohio) cruising by No. 49 Ingrid Gamarra Martins, 6-1, 6-1.

Texas Tech vs. Auburn

While OSU and South Carolina were getting deep into singles, No. 6 Texas Tech and No. 11 Auburn were still in doubles play. With the schools splitting results at 1 and 2, at No. 3 the Tigers broke at 5-5 and held serve for the 7-5 doubles win and the first overall point. Auburn’s momentum was short lived, and the Red Raiders clawed back for a 4-2 triumph.

Georgia vs. Pepperdine

The home fans invaded the Georgia campus yet again Friday at 4 p.m. for No. 5 UGA’s contest with No. 12 Pepperdine. But unlike the Bulldogs’ men’s result Thursday which upset No. 4 USC, this time Georgia was the victim of the upset bug. Following a tight doubles point that went to the Waves who never trailed during the match, the No. 19-ranked player in college,Ashley Lahey (Hawthorne, Calif.), made it 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-0 win against No. 20 Elena Christofi. It eventually came down to No. 1 singles and a battle between two of the top-15 players in the nation. With the overall score knotted at 3-3, Pepperdine’s Luisa Stefani (ranked No. 14) and Georgia’s Ellen Perez (ranked No. 12) traded a couple of early breaks in the third set until Stefani broke again at 4-2 to eventually post the deciding victory.

Vanderbilt vs. California

The 2015 NCAA Champions advanced as well when No. 4 Vanderbilt thumped No. 13 California, 4-1, in a contest where Americans stole the show. Cal’s only point came on a victory from Maya Jansen (Valleyford, Wash.) while it had a lead at No. 1 singles with Maegan Manasse (Redondo Beach, Calif.) up a set and in a tiebreak vs. Astra Sharma before the match was halted. The Commodores secured wins from Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn.), Christina Rosca (Princeton, N.J.) and Fernanda Contreras (Austin, Texas) to end the Bears’ dreams of a title.

Florida vs. Texas A&M

The top-seed and No. 1-ranked team in the country all season long in the USTA College Tennis Top 25, Florida demonstrated why it deserved that distinction with a 4-0 shutout of unseeded Texas A&M. The Aggies came close to earning the doubles point only to see the Gators reel off six-straight points in a tiebreak at the deciding No. 3 position to take a 1-0 lead. UF then gave up a combined 11 games in the three singles victories at the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 6 spots.

Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

The Gators will now face No. 9 Oklahoma State after the Cowgirls slipped past No. 8 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in a nailbiter. GT notched the doubles point and singles wins by Kenya Jones (Memphis, Tenn.) and Nami Otsuka (Norcross, Ga.), but the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie. All of the attention went to No. 3 singles where OSU’s Aliona Bolsova broke at 4-3 on a no-ad point in the third set vs. Paige Hourigan. The Yellow Jackets had two break points of their own, and when Hourigan’s return sailed just long on the second attempt, the Cowgirls rushed the court in celebration.  


Saturday’s action will feature the men’s quarterfinals at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., while the women get back on court Sunday. The finals for both sides are held on May 23. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

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NCAA Championships Update – Men’s Third Round 2017 Sat, 20 May 2017 07:22:09 +0000 Read more »]]> NCAA Men’s Round of 16 is Complete

The men’s field of the 2017 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., is down to eight thanks to victories by No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 UCLA, No. 6 TCU, No. 9 North Carolina, No. 10 Texas and No. 13 Georgia.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

Highlights from May 18

Virginia vs. Florida

In the first session, the No. 2 overall seed Virginia Cavaliers flexed their muscle by blanking No. 15 Florida, 4-0. The defending champions earned singles wins from Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.), Carl Soderlund and J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) in the process.

Baylor vs. Texas

In an in-state showdown, No. 10 Texas erased an early 1-0 deficit after dropping doubles to defeat No. 7 Baylor. The Bears defeated the Longhorns in the regular season, 4-1, in Austin, but couldn’t duplicate that result on Thursday. Virginia and Texas will now face off May 20 at noon.

Ohio State vs. Oklahoma

At noon, No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 3 Ohio State played an epic match from start to finish. In doubles, it came down to the No. 3 position and both schools had at least three match points before the Sooners earned the win and the first overall point in a tiebreaker. With the team score at 3-3, at the No. 2 singles spot Ohio State freshman JJ Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a match point in the third set at 4-5 and with a second serve coming from senior Andrew Harris, but Oklahoma managed to hold to eventually force a tiebreak as well. The freshman stayed resilient, though, and captured the deciding point to send the Buckeyes to the quarters.

TCU vs. Illinois

They will face a surging TCU team on May 20 at noon. The No. 6 Horned Frogs started the season unranked in the USTA Top 25, but eliminated the only unseeded team left in the NCAA field by thumping Illinois, 4-1, including a win from Alex Rybakov (Coral Springs, Fla.).

USC vs. Georgia

The 4 p.m. matches were swarming with electricity with tight doubles points to get things started. No. 13 Georgia kept pumping up their home fans with almost every point against No. 4 USC as it came down to a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles, yet the Trojans fought through it and rolled in the breaker for a 1-0 advantage.

In singles, it was a pair of American freshmen going toe to tie with USC’s Brandon Holt (Rolling Hills, Calif.) getting past UGA’s Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 6-4, 6-4. However, the crowd did not let up, helping to guide Georgia to a comeback victory. Trailing 3-2, UGA secured the final two wins to upset the No. 4 seed.

UCLA vs. Texas A&M

At the same time as the Bulldogs and Trojans did battle, No. 5 UCLA and No. 12 Texas A&M opened with a close doubles tussle where the Bruins grabbed the 1-0 lead. It was then where three Californians put the Bruins over the top in singles for a 4-1 overall win as Evan Zhu (Irvine, Calif.), Joseph Di Giulio (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Maxime Cressy (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) posted victories.

Wake Forest vs. Stanford

The theme of the day was how doubles points were highly contested, and that held true for No. 1 Wake Forest who squeaked by No. 16 Stanford for the early 1-0 cushion. But the Demon Deacons wasted little time in singles, earning three quick wins for a 4-0 shutout, and advancing to their first NCAA quarterfinal in school history.

California vs. North Carolina

With Wake in the quarters, it will resume its in-state, ACC rivalry with North Carolina as the No. 9 seed Tar Heels eliminated No. 8 California, 4-1. Unlike the Demon Deacons, UNC will be making its fourth straight quarterfinals appearance. The Tar Heels also barely won the doubles point when it came down to a tiebreaker at the No. 1 position.

During singles play, Jack Murray (Beverly Hills, Mich.) and William Blumberg (Greenwich, Conn.) made it 3-0 UNC before the Bears grabbed a win to cut it to 3-1. The remaining three matches went into third sets including a tiebreaker, but it was eventually Ronnie Schneider (Bloomington, Ind.) who clinched the 4-1 triumph at No. 1 singles.

The women’s round of 16 is on May 19, with the finals for both sides held on May 23. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

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NCAA Tournament Results & Schedule 2017 Tue, 16 May 2017 07:07:32 +0000 Read more »]]> The NCAA field of 16 is set for Athens, Ga., as the men and women wrapped up the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament Team Championships on their respective campuses this past weekend.

Results and Schedule are Below

The only seeded team to fall for the women’s side was No. 16 Baylor, suffering a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Texas A&M. The Aggies avenged a 4-0 loss to the Bears earlier in the year.

Among the third round highlights, one of the most intense rivalries in college sports will be renewed right away when North Carolina and Duke clash at 9 a.m. on Friday.

For the men, No. 11 Oklahoma State was the only seed not able to advance. The Cowboys held a 3-0 lead on Illinois before the visitors stormed back for a 4-3 win. The Fighting Illini now return to the site where they won the 2003 NCAA Championship.

An intriguing third-round match-up will be the rematch of the 2002 finals between USC and Georgia on the Bulldogs’ home courts.

Action will pick back up this week with the men’s third round held on May 18, and the women on May 19 with the finals on May 23. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

Updates will be provided throughout the championships.

NCAA Men – First and Second Rounds

Winston-Salem, N.C. 

No. 1 Wake Forest def. UNC-Wilmington 4-0

Kentucky def. Georgia State 4-0


No. 1 Wake Forest def. Kentucky 4-2


Stanford, Calif.

No. 16 Stanford def. Idaho 4-0

Michigan def. Valparaiso 4-0


No. 16 Stanford def. Michigan 4-1


Chapel Hill, N.C.

No. 9 North Carolina def. Virginia Commonwealth 4-0

South Carolina def. East Tennessee State 5-0


No. 9 North Carolina def. South Carolina 4-1


Berkeley, Calif.

No. 8 California def. Tennessee Tech 4-0

Northwestern def. Utah State 4-2


No. 8 California def. Northwestern 4-1


Los Angeles, Calif.

No. 5 UCLA def. Army 4-0

Mississippi def. UC Santa Barbara 4-1


No. 5 UCLA def. Mississippi 4-0


College Station, Texas

No. 12 Texas A&M def. Buffalo 4-0

Oregon def. Memphis 4-2


No. 12 Texas A&M def. Oregon 4-0


Athens, Ga.

No. 13 Georgia def. Florida A&M 4-0

South Florida def. Duke 4-0


No. 13 Georgia def. South Florida 4-1


Los Angeles, Calif.

No. 4 USC def. Denver 4-0

Wisconsin def. San Diego 4-1


No. 4 USC def. Wisconsin 4-0


Columbus, Ohio

No. 3 Ohio State def. Butler 4-0

Louisville def. UCF 4-3


No. 3 Ohio State def. Louisville 4-0


Norman, Okla.

No. 14 Oklahoma def. Bryant 4-0

Mississippi State def. SMU 4-0


No. 14 Oklahoma def. Mississippi State 4-1


Stillwater, Okla.

No. 11 Oklahoma State def. UMKC 4-0

Illinois def. Drake 4-0


Illinois def. No. 11 Oklahoma State 4-3


Fort Worth, Texas

No. 6 TCU def. Jackson State 4-0

Florida State def. Arkansas 4-1


No. 6 TCU def. Florida State 4-1


Waco, Texas

No. 7 Baylor def. Lamar 4-0

Cornell def. Rice 4-0


No. 7 Baylor def. Cornell 4-0


Austin, Texas

No. 10 Texas def. Presbyterian 4-0

Tulane def. Washington 4-2


No. 10 Texas def. Tulane 4-3


Gainesville, Fla.

No. 15 Florida def. FGCU 4-0

Georgia Tech def. Minnesota 4-1


No. 15 Florida def. Georgia Tech 4-0


Charlottesville, Va.

No. 2 Virginia def. Monmouth 4-0

Columbia def. Purdue 4-2


No. 2 Virginia def. Columbia 4-0


NCAA Men – Upcoming Schedule

Athens, Ga. – Third Round May 18

9 a.m. – No. 2 Virginia vs. No. 15 Florida

9 a.m. – No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 10 Texas

12 p.m. – No. 6 TCU vs. Illinois

12 p.m. – No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 14 Oklahoma

4 p.m. – No. 4 USC vs. No. 13 Georgia

4 p.m. – No. 5 UCLA vs. No. 12 Texas A&M

7 p.m. – No. 1 Wake Forest vs. No. 16 Stanford

7 p.m. – No. 8 California vs. No. 9 North Carolina


NCAA Women – First and Second Rounds

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 1 Florida def. Massachusetts 4-0

Miami (Fla.) def. South Florida 4-0


No. 1 Florida def. Miami (Fla.) 4-1


Waco, Texas

No. 16 Baylor def. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-0

Texas A&M def. Louisiana-Monroe 4-2


Texas A&M def. No. 16 Baylor 4-3


Stillwater, Okla.

No. 9 Oklahoma State def. UMKC 4-0

Arkansas def. Wichita State 4-2


No. 9 Oklahoma State def. Arkansas 4-0


Atlanta, Ga.

No. 8 Georgia Tech def. Alabama State 4-0

Northwestern def. Mississippi State 4-1


No. 8 Georgia Tech def. Northwestern 4-0


Athens, Ga.

No. 5 Georgia def. South Carolina State 4-0

NC State def. Oregon 4-2


No. 5 Georgia def. NC State 4-0


Malibu, Calif.

No. 12 Pepperdine def. LIU Brooklyn 4-0

UCLA def. UC Santa Barbara 4-0


No. 12 Pepperdine def. UCLA 4-1


Berkeley, Calif.

No. 13 California def. San Jose State 4-0

LSU def. Tulsa 4-3


No. 13 California def. LSU 4-0


Nashville, Tenn.

No. 4 Vanderbilt def. SIUE 4-0

Clemson def. Washington 4-2


No. 4 Vanderbilt def. Clemson 4-1


Columbus, Ohio

No. 3 Ohio State def. Buffalo 4-0

Notre Dame def. Kansas 4-3


No. 3 Ohio State def. Notre Dame 4-0


Columbia, S.C.

No. 14 South Carolina def. North Florida 4-0

Texas def. Wake Forest 4-3


No. 14 South Carolina def. Texas 4-3


Auburn, Ala.

No. 11 Auburn def. DePaul 4-0

Florida State def. Arizona State 4-2


No. 11 Auburn def. Florida State 4-2


Lubbock, Texas

No. 6 Texas Tech def. Quinnipiac 4-0

Denver def. USC 4-2


No. 6 Texas Tech def. Denver 4-1


Stanford, Calif.

No. 7 Stanford def. Idaho 4-0

TCU def. Rice 4-0


No. 7 Stanford def. TCU 4-2


Ann Arbor, Mich.

No. 10 Michigan def. Youngstown State 4-0

Kentucky def. Dartmouth 4-2


No. 10 Michigan def. Kentucky 4-2


Durham, N.C.

No. 15 Duke def. Boston 4-0

Tennessee def. Winthrop 4-1


No. 15 Duke def. Tennessee 4-1


Chapel Hill, N.C.

No. 2 North Carolina def. Furman 4-0

Mississippi def. William & Mary 4-1


No. 2 North Carolina def. Mississippi 4-1


NCAA Women – Upcoming Schedule

Athens, Ga. – Third Round May 19

9 a.m. – No. 7 Stanford vs. No. 10 Michigan

9 a.m. – No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 15 Duke

12 p.m. – No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Auburn

12 p.m. – No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 14 South Carolina

4 p.m. – No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 California

4 p.m. – No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 12 Pepperdine

7 p.m. – No. 1 Florida vs. Texas A&M

7 p.m. – No. 8 Georgia Tech vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State

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