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Friday, October 3, 2008

Eddie Herr Entry Ends Soon; ITA & USTA To Send Collegians to France; Top Seeds Miseviciute and Mijacika Out at Riviera

The Eddie Herr Tournament is less than two months away and the entry deadline, a week from today, is fast approaching. To register, please go to eddieherr.com and click on the appropriate link.

The ITA and USTA have announced that the U.S. will participate in the International Collegiate Competition, scheduled to be held in France from December 4-7, 2008. According to the ITA website, players will be selected as follows:

* The top two American finishers (1 male, 1 female) from the 2008 ITA Men’s and Women’s All-American Championships.
* The top two American ranked players (1 male, 1 female) on the 2008 ITA Preseason Division I Rankings.
* The top two American finishers (1 male, 1 female) from the 2008 ITA Small College Championships.
* Team members must also represent the highest standards of sportsmanship, leadership, and have outstanding ambassadorial qualities.

It's terrific that they are including the Small College American standouts in this process; those players will be determined in Mobile in two weeks. The second category would designate Alex Clayton of Stanford and Amanda McDowell of Georgia Tech, and the All-American men's top finisher will be known by the end of next week.

The top American women finisher in the All-American is sophomore Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State. McKenna defeated No. 1 ranked Aurelija Miseviciute of Arkansas in the round of 16 Friday and then downed Laura Vallverdu of Miami, both in straight sets. With Amanda McDowell and Georgia Rose losing in the quarterfinals, McKenna is the only American in the semifinals. McKenna plays No. 6 seed Maria Mosolova of Northwestern, McDowell's conqueror, while Cal's Marina Cossou, seeded 7th, faces Fani Chifchieva of Auburn, who, like McKenna, is unseeded. Chifchieva, an NCAA semifinalist in May, outlasted No. 2 seed and 2007 All-American and Indoor finalist Ani Mijacika of Clemson in a third set tiebreaker. For complete results, see the ITA website.


love-tennis said...

It is not surprising at all to see Kelcy Mckenna doing so well. She comes from a small town on the beach in Oregon. She had no competition and her Dad fed her balls from a cart. That was her practice. Yet she still managed to do very well nationally as a junior, although not spectacular. Well, you take someone with that talent, and then put them into a college program and voila, a star is made.

Plus she is the most humble kid that you will meet; there is no tennis arrogance there. Oh yeah, and she also played volleyball for her high school.

Smart coach, whoever recruited her. More coaches would do better to go after kids like that: undeveloped talent in the cold country states where given a little more court time, they could really be something.

Eric said...

Hey, love-tennis, can you contradict yourself anymore than you just did?

You said it yourself; Kelcy Mckenna "wasn't a spectacular junior". So if that's the case then why would a college coach from a major program take a chance on her in the first place? The answer is that "they wouldn't"! But, of course she's going to play somewhere at some college and if she does this well, she makes the other coaches look bad for not taking a chance on her when she has a run like this.

And you say it's not surprising she's doing so well as if YOU knew all along that she was going to be good. Makes no sense at all!!

Also, you say she comes from a small town in Oregon as if it's some sort of hotbed for tennis talent, which it isn't. Again, why would someone think she was so good? They wouldn't.

Then you say more coaches would do better if they go after kids like her as if Kelcy were slighted or ignored by everyone when it seems to me that the USTA is constantly ridiculed for "taking chances" on kids that don't pan out!!

Underdeveloped talent is what the USTA is looking for but why would they think it would come from the "cold country states" like Oregon? As if it were our fault that they don't get enough court time so that they can develop their games. Move to a warmer climate already instead of playing the "I'm pissed because everyone has slighted me because I'm not from a traditionally strong tennis section" card.

I'm sooooo tired of the know-it-alls that come on this page to say stuff like this when they are completely clueless!!

straightshooter said...

love-tennis and Eric,

McKenna was a blue chip athlete, so she did receive plenty of exposure at the national championships and must have been looked at by numerous colleges. It is not suprising that she is doing well now with that kind of background. To say that she just stayed home and was fed balls from a cart for practice is simply not true unless you are talking about when she was 5 years old. She has been highly touted since she was a young teen and did not just appear on the scene yesterday. Get your facts straight before writing your misleading comments.

steven s said...

I am amazed at the comments of "Eric" and "Straightshooter" "Love-tennis" is obviously from the PNW, and is rightfully touting the accomplishments of yet another PNW player.(just this last few months I have heard Egger, Cako, Kimball and Niu mentioned) Here in Southern Cal, we do not exactly look at the PNW as a "hotbed" of talent, but one cannot deny that for the sheer numbers of participants, they do come up with some pretty good players. "Love-tennis" seems proud of that fact, and do not believe her comments deserved the responses that were given.

love-tennis said...

Eric, FYI, I do live in a very warm state. I was simply complimenting Kelcy on a job well done. I did not mean that I knew it all, I meant that it was really cool to see her achieve!

When I said she wasn't a 'spectacular junior', all I meant was that the USTA did not hold her hand like they do a few of the top ones that make the USA teams. Yes, she is/was very very good even then. She did that despite being from a small town where she did not have very much competition.

If I were a college coach, I'd look more for those kind of kids (the type who do well enough already but are very limited in court time/competition.) When you contrast someone like that with someone who at (e.g.)8 years old has played hours of tennis a day already in a warm climate like Texas or Florida, and will continue on, I'd put my odds on the cold weather state person, all other things being equal.

I am certainly not God with foresight, but yes, if you watched her when she was a junior, you could see that she could be very good. And no, I have no special 'sight', anyone could see it. You just did not expect that someone from Coos Bay could do so well.

Straightshooter, I knew her up until she was 17 years old, and except for occasionally traveling to some national stuff, that was how she was trained; her parents told me that time and time again. Oh wait, except there was also one boy in her high school that was good enough for her to hit with.

Meanwhile, she also played on a championship volleyball team.

Go Kelcy!!! Nice to see her achieve--yee haw!

love-tennis said...

And maybe the USTA should look more at cold weather states like Oregon and Washington. Kelcy, Nate Schnugg, Jacquelyn Cako, Belinda Niu, etc. all came from the PNW.

get real said...


I did not know that athletic ability is only born in certain states, and why should the USTA just look at so called athletic states and not non athletic states. I think you should take your own advice and do not be so ignorant. Tell the majority of Hockey players and baseball and football players that college coaches should not look at them cause they live in cold states. Last i checked tennis is played in all types of weather even indoor tennis exists. Seems like you need to expand your mind and knowledge of tennis, or maybe you just want to get a reaction from someone

tennis said...

finally someone who knows what they are talking about. thank you ERIC for being the 1 voice of reason.

to love-tennis, i cant see how a coach should look past a already proven player to get an ok tennis player that might get better in college but probably not. as a coach you have to recruit the top players, which is why EVERY TOP coach recruits from the top of the list. so unless you find a coach willing to take risks on players on a regular occasion, dont say it should be a "normal thing"

tennis said...

that is the one thing i didnt understand from eric is the coldstate thing, but everything else i agree with. there are some very good players from cold states such as, evan king, chase buchanan, matthew kandath, etc.

and for everyone who wants to brag about PNW tennis, stop using cako as an example, let alone egger. nate schnugg is probably the best player to ever come out of the PNW. unlike souther cal with Pete sampras. florida with jim courier. theres something to compare your top players with.

protennis said...

Without doing any homework, Jonathan Stark, who was #1 in the world in doubles and around #30 in the world in singles came out of the PNW. Mike Sell played a bunch of PNW junior tournaments and got to around #130 in the world in singles and top #100 in doubles, so Nate Schnugg isn't the best player to come out of PNW, and I'm sure there are alot more, so don't be so quick to name someone who is 20 yrs old the best, without knowing a little history. The cold weather Midwest has some bragging rights with Todd Martin, Mal Washington, etc. The cold weather Eastern Section, with the McEnroe brothers. But Southern Cal has too many players to name, so they definitely take the title.

steven s said...

"Nate Schnugg best player to ever come out of the PNW"

"Tennis", you must be too young to remember Jonathan Stark (former number 1 doubles player in the world)..Jan-Michael Gambill (former top 30 in singles I believe)..Patrick Galbraith..perhaps others I have left out since I am not so familiar with that section.

As far as Egger, Niu, Cako and Kimball being mentoned, they happen to be the current crop (not past) group of PNW players mentioned on zootennis within the past year.

steven s said...

Sincere apologies for forgetting Tom Gorman, former #10 in the world, and successful Davis Cup coach!!

love-tennis said...

I guess my original point (that got detracted from with all the sad negativity and erroneous extrapolations!!!!) was just that it was great to see someone who was not brought up hand-coddled, whose parents were not millionaires, who was just a normal blue chip player, from a small town that barely has any indoor courts, achieve such a great accomplishment.

I love tennis but the amount of kids in it who get 'ministered to' by their parents is just too much for me sometimes. Give me a humble champion anyday---from any state in the country.

eric said...

Listen, Of course people can point to examples of successful college and pro players that have come from "cold weather" states; I made a generalization that basically holds water. And some of you posted a few successful players, but places like Southern California and Florida have WAY too many current and former players to list.

And love-tennis contradicted themselves again when they replied to my comment and said "if you watched her when she was a junior, you could see that she could be very good. And no, I have no special 'sight', anyone could see it. You just did not expect that someone from Coos Bay could do so well."

Love-tennis, you just said "you just didn't expect that someone from Coos Bay, Oregon could do so well"; a contradiction from your first post AND you just confirmed what I said "as if Oregon was some hotbed for tennis, which it isn't"

When I said that, I didn't mean that Oregon, or cold weather states in general, never have any successful tennis players. I meant that the USTA, or College Coaches from historically Top 10 programs, are going to have a higher success rate when they look in the warmer climate states instead of trying to find a needle in a haystack. Unfortunately, some potentially good kids are going to slip through the cracks unnoticed sometimes and make people look like they missed out on a good player.

Look, I'm sure Kelcy was a good junior but EVERYONE that plays as much as these Top 200 ranked 17 and 18 year old junior players are good to a certain point so to say "take someone with that talent and put them into a college program and a star is made" and then say that "more coaches would do better to go after undeveloped talent in cold weather states" and say that all they need is " a little more court time to be a star" is ridiculous!!

FWIW: I lived in Chicago for 8 years where I learned tennis before I moved to Southern California when I was 11 years old so I know all about cold weather tennis states. The Mid-West has a very rich tennis tradition which I am very well aware of so I don't need to be told about the Mid-West or even the Eastern Section.

BUT, Oregon isn't the Mid-West, and the Mid-West isn't quite So Cal or Florida in terms of churning out successful pro players and even some of the best from Mid-West and Eastern move to Florida to get better (i.e Niu just moved from PNW to Evert Academy.)

With all do respect to Stark, Gambill, Galbriath, Gorman, Brian Joelson, and anyone I missed, please forgive the USTA and the Top College programs that don't flock to the PNW in search of the next potential "star who simply doesn't get enough court time to be REALLY something" as love-tennis put it!

eric said...

Get Real,

I NEVER said or implied that that there were "athletic or non-athletic states" nor did I say that athletic ability was born in certain states more than others, YOU DID. I used the word "cold weather" states; you need to understand what the topic of conversation is at the least AND brush up on your reading comprehension at the most!!

Let me help you understand the point I made about cold weather states that the others understood but you obviously missed.

More tennis players are going to live in the warm climate states because kids can play outside all year round helping to alleviate the high cost of indoor tennis that the cold weather states are burdened with for 6-8 months of the year.

Since more kids are playing tennis in those states, it stands to reason that more kids will become successful players with pro potential later on. Since there are more successful pros from those states, it is possible to conclude that parents with young players MAY move to those states for the competition and/or the cut in winter tennis costs.

love-tennis said...

Eric, are you always this happy? Putting others down is not ok and you should not do it. You ruin the chat room for everyone. Stop being so negative and I mean now. The bullying that you try to do totally takes away from your comments.

No one said that the top players mostly did not come from Florida and S. Cal. Of course they do. But sometimes maybe there might be a diamond in the rough.

eric said...


If you're going to make statements on blogs like this then you need to either be informed so your statements are sound and not perceived as baseless OR you have to develop thicker skin so when someone disagrees with what you say that you don't interpret criticism towards your comments as "being put down" or "negative". I just disagree with what you say, with a little malice, because I'm tired of everyone for being so quick to say the USTA and/or College Coaches missed out again when finding top players isn't an exact science.

Like I said before, kids like Kelcy are going to continue to slip through the cracks and the USTA and/or College coaches are going to look like they missed another prospect. More power to those kids if they can flourish in a mid level college program to show everyone that they made a mistake, just don't be so quick to play the "slighted/ignored card" in their defense!

Yes, I've rebutted your statements with some cynicism but your tone was a bit critical or matter of fact as if Kelcy and/or other "undeveloped" kids are slighted for being from "cold weather states" when the truth is that the bulk of the top prospects are from warm weather states and that is where the coaches are going to recruit most of the time.

If you wanted to praise her for the tournament she has had, then you should have done just that without the "people missed the boat on Kelcy and that they should look at more cold weather kids because of it" statement.

To be honest, Kelsy's coach at ASU, Shelia McInerney, is a very good friend of mine. My sister played for her for 4 years and I'm very fond of her but she will be the first to tell you that she might have just been lucky rather than "smart" when it came to recruiting Kelcy because even the best recruits don't always pan out while the ignored/slighted can come back to haunt you.

And as for me "bullying" Get Real; they said I was "ignorant and lacking of tennis knowledge", which if you read their statement you will understand that they were the ones who were "ignorant" for thinking that what I said about "cold weather states" implied that I meant those states were "nonathletic", which is also absolutely ridiculous!! How in the world did they ever postulate that from my comments???? I'm here to defend my statements and if you call me ignorant without proper cause, I'm going to defend myself with even more fervor.

Besides, I haven't used any words of hate and this is what chat rooms and blogs are for; discussion and debate!!

Forgive me for being so critical or cynical but the "fluff" on this board can be quite annoying without someone holding them in check!!
The same way I'm sure you feel about the self righteous being held in check :) :) (I'm taking a shot at myself for those that don't get it)

love-tennis said...

Eric, Your opinions are informative; I appreciate them. Maybe you don't realize that you are coming across as a bully when you call people "clueless" or "know it alls" from a simple POSITIVE "Go Kelcy" few paragraphs.

Good try on "thicker skin". No, "thicker skin" is the 1960's answer to bullying--we don't buy that 'everyone does it' response anymore in 2008. Luckily now it is called what it is.

You can discuss topics without insulting people; why do you want to do that? It only creates a negative impression of you. You probably are a nice person, but really angry about something. Share with us your tennis knowledge, we'd be glad to hear it! I bet you are really nice deep down.

love-tennis said...

Hey Eric,

Speaking of college coaches, what is your 'recruiting' opinion of your Arizona State friend/coach? I realize she is your friend so you will be a bit biased, but what are her strong points? Why would I want to send my child to that program?

love-tennis said...

Oh, and what is the atmosphere? Military like? You are going to be a pro no matter what like? Laid back? Big into doubles? Kids like her like a life long friend?

get real said...


Seems like i hit a bad cord. In order to get your point across you need to read what you have written. I still disagree with the warm weather states as producing the better players in tennis. Have you seen junior tennis in Fl? I have and your point hold no merit. Considering all the players you say are here to train, i would think there would be a bigger hope for U.S. in producing alot more better players. Regardless of where you live, if you are a athlete it does not matter. Yes, the weather can help, but i think you can still be susful no matter where you live

PNW said...

I think an interesting topic has been raised here.

The situation is that there is a HUGE interest in tennis in the PNW. I have also lived in So Cal and the Southwest. Here, in the PNW, I have seen 90 kids try out for 40 slots in your typical community program. After being turned away,these kids come back to try out again the next session -- for the sheer love of tennis.

Why aren't they being supplied tennis opportunities?


In the sunny climes any pro can set up shop at an outdoor/high school court and make a living developing willing kids.

The pros in the PNW have lack of court time to give private lessons. Say your club has provided you 4 precious court hours a week for privates. You most likely are going to focus on the extremely talented.... The cream rises to the top. There is no muddling with the strong, the determined, the hard workers.

The kids who excel up here either have dream-like talent that has SET THEM APART or have a parent who is a pro who has access to an indoor court.

That being said, it pans out that even fewer girls are noticed and developed over the mass of boys. So when you see a girl come out of the PNW, and so successfully, you have to know that she is one of those EXTREME talents.