ITA Men's Indoor Underway without Cardinal~~~
Last year at this time, I was lucky enough to be in Chicago watching the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Men's Team Indoor tournament. The Midtown Tennis Club was full of host Illinois' alumni and it was excellent preparation for my first NCAA trip a few months later.
This year the event is in Seattle, with the University of Washington as host, not a place I could drive to, so I'm watching via the internet. In the land of Microsoft, I guess it's not surprising that there's even streaming video of a court this year, although I'm finding it difficult to tell who is who and to keep track of the score. But try for yourself, the event's homepage is here.
Beginning on Saturday, Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com will be doing play-by-play, so check out that option as well. I bumped into Ken at the Davis Cup in La Jolla, and he was excited about doing college tennis again, and with his opportunity to interview Torben Ulrich, a cult figure in hardcore tennis circles. For more information on the upcoming interview, click here.
Among the 16 college tennis teams competing for championship this weekend are perennial contenders Florida, Georgia, Illinois and defending NCAA champion UCLA. Notably absent is Stanford, currently ranked sixth in the country. Casey Angle, the ITA Communications director and all-around good guy, explained that Stanford is missing due to invitations being based on preseason rankings. The preseason rankings are mostly based on the previous year, and since Stanford finished outside the top 20, and lost Sam Warburg to graduation, they weren't considered top 12 material, which assures an invitation. Having already defeated UCLA and USC this year without fab freshman Matt Bruch, Stanford can use the snub as motivation to prepare for the NCAAs this spring--in Palo Alto.