ETS's Olivares Wins Southern Intercollegiate Title; Illinois Wants to Win with Americans; USTA Board Nominations Announced
The Southern Intercollegiate, held in Athens, Ga., is a very prestigious title, and for the first time since 2004, it wasn't a University of Georgia Bulldog who captured the trophy, but rather Enrique Olivares of East Tennessee State. In 2005 and 2006, John Isner won it; last year it was Nate Schnugg, but although the 2008 NCAA MOP was in the field again this year and seeded No. 1, he fell in the quarterfinals to Reid Carleton of Duke. Georgia's Jamie Hunt and Javier Garrapiz also lost in the quarterfinals. For the full account of Olivares's win over Kentucky's Bruno Agostinelli, click here. Olivares is from Venezuela, as are both ETSU coaches, and the 11-man roster has nine different countries represented.
At the University of Illinois, the foreign players on both the men's and women's teams are in the minority, in fact each has only one on the current roster, and IlliniHQ.com thought that was interesting given that tennis has the highest percentage of foreign athletes among the NCAA Division 1 sports. This story is the result. Head coach Brad Dancer is quoted as saying:
"It's very simple. We recruit only domestically because we really believe in our system of player development. We feel it's a winning philosophy. I do think what we're doing is the right thing."
Women's head coach Michelle Dasso's program isn't at the same stage as Dancer's, but she hopes to follow the same philosophy.
"I want to build a winning program," Dasso said. "If I'm not getting quality players, down the road I wouldn't be against one or two international players. But I'm not going to look to saturate the program."
It's a complicated issue, the preponderance of foreign tennis players on U.S. college teams, and no one at Illinois is looking for protection from those who don't share their philosophy of developing U.S. players. If they continue to have success, maybe they will convert some of those who look overseas first.
The USTA Board nominations were announced today. Lucy Garvin will lead the board as Chairman and President beginning in January.