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Friday, October 31, 2008

ITA Indoor Fields Announced; USTA Names Players Competing in International University Challenge

The ITA website today revealed the players who will be competing in the ITA Indoor next week, and I have to admit, I'm a bit confused by some of the inclusions and omissions. The at-large men selected are Daniel Vallverdu of Miami, Denes Lukacs of Baylor, Austen Childs of Louisville, Andrei Daescu of Oklahoma, JP Smith of Tennessee and Brett Helgeson of Notre Dame. Sanam Singh of Virginia was given the host wild card. To get an at-large bid, you are required to reach the quarterfinals of your regional. All of the above, save for Lukacs, did that and were selected based on their preseason rankings. I'm assuming that Lukacs, the preseason No. 2, received the ITA wild card. Notably absent from the men's field in Virginia will be Florida State's Jean-Yves Aubone, preseason No. 13, who was winning a Futures event during his team's regional qualifying and Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas, the preseason No. 7. Preseason No. 16 Harel Srugo of UCLA, who received another year of eligibility from the NCAA, did not play this fall.

The women's field includes wild card Jennifer Stevens of Virginia and six others not previously qualified. Csilla Borsanyi of Baylor, Claire Ilcinkas of Cal, Katie Rybakova of Florida State, Megan Falcon of LSU and Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State all fit that quarterfinal, pre-season ranking criteria. Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State does not, so is she the ITA wild card? But at No. 16 in the preseason rankings there were others ahead of her--Lenka Broosova of Baylor, Sanaz Marand of UNC to name two--who were more obvious choices. I'm also stumped by Arkansas's Anouk Tigu being listed in doubles but not singles, when she was a finalist in the region and should have qualified. Maria Sanchez of USC, who won the West regional, is nowhere to be found. Preseason No. 4 Hilary Barte of Stanford would have been the first at-large selection--she made the semis of her regional--but she is not listed, meaning that there are no Stanford women in the field, in singles or doubles. Has the balance of power in the Bay area shifted to Cal, who has three in singles? Northwestern also has three players in the women's singles field, if you are looking for early favorites for the national team titles this winter and spring.

The USTA announced the players competing in December's International University Challenge in France, with All-American champions Michael Venus and Kelcy McKenna leading the teams. Amanda McDowell and Alex Clayton, who were eligible based on their preseason rankings, will not be going, with Amanda Fink and Nate Schnugg taking their spots. The Division III small college champions, John Kauss of Gustavus Adolphus College and Jennifer Kung of the University of Chicago, complete the squads. For more information on the competition and the players, see the ITA website.


AndrewD said...


I don't think the balance of power in the Bay area has shifted to Cal and I don't think either they or Northwestern will win the national team titles. What I do expect is that, by year's end, Cal will be trailing USC and Stanford. I also think Duke and Texas may be the teams to watch this year.

Tucker said...

Colette, Maria Sanchez is there, but, for some reason, Amanda Fink isn't.

Colette Lewis said...

I understand FInk is playing in the Challenger in San Diego instead.