Two weeks to go until the ITA National Fall Championships
The GIST: The peak of fall tennis — the ITA National Fall Championships — begins in exactly two weeks, which means players are frantically trying to win their ITA Regionals (aka the main route to the tourney) right now.
- Ten regionals are already in the books, with top-ranked players and unexpected athletes snagging dubs. Here’s who punched their tickets, plus who’s hunting the final championship spots.
The leading ladies: Michigan's No. 4 doubles pair, seniors Kari Miller and Jaeden Brown, unsurprisingly won the Midwest on Monday, and Miller backed up her No. 24 singles ranking with a win in that bracket, too. What, like it’s hard?
- But bucking the ranked trend was Mississippi State doubles duo of grad student Alexandra Mikhailuk and freshman Athina Pitta, who became the first Bulldogs to advance to the fall ’ship at last week’s Southern Regional. HYFR.
The main-draw men: In the fellas’ Southern Regional, the Alabama Crimson Tide drowned out the competition on Monday. At the same time, the Ohio Valley edition predictably crowned Vanderbilt’s No. 40 doubles pair of senior Jeremie Casabon and sophomore Nathan Cox, but Middle Tennessee’s unranked senior Leo Raquin stunned in the singles draw to advance.
Serving next: With 14 more regionals to go, the men’s Midwest is can’t-miss tennis. Not only will four Top-12 singles contenders battle it out, but Michigan State’s No. 2 doubles duo of sophomore Ozan Baris and junior Max Sheldon, plus Illinois’ No. 6 team of senior Hunter Heck and junior Karlis Ozolins will rally for hardware beginning tomorrow.
- And don’t sleep on the gals’ Carolina tourney, which features UNC’s powerhouse roster, including the nation’s No. 2 doubles pairing of sophomore Reese Brantmeier and senior Elizabeth Scotty. Aces? Guaranteed.