Sept. 25, 2008
Northwest To Host Wilson/ITA Regional Championships
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State is set to host the Wilson/ITA South Central Region Men's Championships starting Friday at 9 a.m. Matches will take place at the Frank Grube and High Rise Tennis Courts on the Northwest Campus and at Beal Park in downtown Maryville, south of 7th St. and west of Depot St. The tournament concludes Sunday with championship matches for both singles and doubles.
Ten teams from the newly arranged South Central Region are expected to compete. Northwest, Washburn, Southwest Baptist and Truman will represent the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). Cameron, Abilene Christian and East Central Oklahoma will represent the Lone Star Conference. Incarnate Word, Newman and St. Edward's will compete for the Heartland Conference.
The tournament features returning national qualifiers Ryan Hudson and Juan Nunez, seniors for Abilene Christian, who teamed to place third in the national doubles tournament a year ago. Nunez was close to qualifying in singles, but lost to the top seed in the regional final. Hudson lost his second match of last year's singles draw, but rebounded in the spring and was named the Lone Star's Player of the Year.
One who has had success against Hudson is Cameron senior Daniel Pazos, who beat Hudson in the team finals of the LSC tournament last spring. Pazos and teammate Cristian Easton advanced to the semifinals of the Central Region doubles tournament a year ago and are expected to be a high seed this weekend.
Southwest Baptist is the defending MIAA champion and is led by junior Alex Kacamakis, the defending and two-time league MVP. Kacamakis was the top seed of last year's North Central ITA Regional, but lost a third-set tiebreaker in the semifinals.
Also representing the purple Bearcats is senior Emilio El Alabi, winner of the ITA doubles tournament a year ago and a quarterfinalist in the singles competition. His doubles partner, Daniel Prerad, has since graduated.
Northwest's Vigit Sehgal was named MIAA Freshman of the Year last spring and was a quarterfinalist in the singles bracket of last year's ITA tournament. Daniel Usieto enters his senior year with 35 collegiate wins in both singles and doubles play. Usieto won the top flight at the Washburn Invitational last weekend.
Other notable competitors from last year's ITA regional tournament are Truman juniors Peter Bracha and Kyle Schlotz, who were semifinalists in the North Central doubles bracket. St. Edward's juniors Boris Barrios and Justin Raiti were a semifinal doubles tandem in the Central Region.
The ITA in Maryville: This is the 18th consecutive year that Northwest has hosted either a men's or women's ITA regional championship event. The singles and doubles champions from this weekend's tournament advance to the Oct. 16-19 ITA National Small College Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
Elsewhere: In addition to the ITA tournament at Northwest, seven other regional championships are being played across the country spanning the next two weeks.
About the Championships: The ITA National Small College Championships began in 1986 and annually crowns men's and women's singles and doubles national champions in each of the ITA's four small college divisions (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College).
These championships are the only national tournaments for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA level, and the only tournaments that combine the levels of Junior/Community Colleges (NJCAA and the California schools).
Participants are determined through these Wilson/ITA Regional Championships, which serve as qualifying tournaments. The national champions from each division square off in the "Super Bowl" of Small College Tennis to determine the overall ITA National Small College Champions (who then earn berths into the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, a Division I event, in November).
About the ITA: As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community.
The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit presented by the USTA, and the ITA Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College.
The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
email@example.com | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468