©Colette Lewis 2005
It began with a throng of noisy Buckeye fans boosting their men’s doubles team into the final and ended with a third set tiebreak in the men’s singles and everything in between was nearly as exciting during Saturday’s action inside the Racquet Club of Columbus.
Scott Green and Ross Wilson, the Ohio State Unversity doubles team that inspired the vocal locals, are defending ITA Indoor champions. Facing University of North Carolina’s Raian Luchici and Brad Pomeroy, Green and Wilson were the narrowest of favorites (2 vs. 3 seeds) and there was very little to separate the teams during the first eleven games. But at 5-6, Luchici serving, a missed overhead, a couple of loose volleys, and an errant forehand and just that quickly came the first break of the match. Veterans Green and Wilson, both seniors, emphatically closed it out to take their seventh straight ITA Indoor match.
They will take on the top seeded team of Marco Born and Andreas Siljestrom from Middle Tennessee State, who had no trouble in eliminating fourth seeds Luke Shields and Thomas Schoeck of Boise State 8-3. Born and Siljestrom defeated Green and Wilson in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament last May.
Ben Kohlloeffel of UCLA fought off three match points in his 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory over second seed John Isner of Georgia. Serving at 4-5 in the third set, the fourth seeded Kohlloeffel was down 15-40 and then ad out, but didn’t buckle, and with a match as close as this one, it was only fitting that a tiebreak decide it. The lefthander from UCLA somehow managed to return enough of the booming serves of the six-foot nine-inch Isner to make his way to the final, but no one who saw the match could hazard a guess as to who was the better player. It was just too close to call, but there are no ties in tennis, so Kohlloeffel survives to take the court on Sunday.
His opponent in the final is Ludovic Walter of Duke, who has yet to lose a set in the tournament. In taking out KC Corkery of Stanford on Saturday 7-6 (3), 6-4, Walter, a senior from France, has added another seed to his list of victims, this time number seven, after his wins Friday over the fifth and third seeds. Walter was ranked second in the ITA preseaon rankings, and his Indoor record includes a semifinal appearance in 2003 and a quarterfinal appearance last year, but he was not seeded for this year’s tournament. Regardless of who wins tomorrow, his school will claim its first ITA Indoor Men’s Singles Champion, as Walter and Kohlloeffel are the first finalists from their universities.
On the women’s side, Theresa Logar of Stanford found another gear in the second set and stormed past third seed Kristi Miller of Georgia Tech 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0. The eighth seeded Logar, a former National Junior Champion, will not be facing teammate Alice Barnes, however, as Diana Srebrovic of Florida cruised past the fourth seed 7-5, 6-1. Srebrovic, who like Walter is unseeded, has also not dropped a set in four matches.
In the women’s doubles, the University of North Carolina women outdid their male counterparts, upsetting the fourth seeded team from Georgia. Unseeded Jenna Long and Sara Anundsen rolled over Caroline Basu and Shadisha Robinson 8-2 to earn their spot in the finals against another unseeded team, Stanford’s Barnes and Anne Yelsey. Barnes and Yelsey were beneficiaries of a walkover, when New Mexico’s coach informed tournament officials that he was withdrawing his team of Maja Kovacek and Iva Gersic for disciplinary reasons.
For more coverage of the ITA Indoor, see Casey Angle's wrapup and Marcia Frost's story at collegeandjuniortennis.com