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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Florida, Texas and USC Earn Two Main Draw Spots at Riviera All-American

The flights were uneventful, except for the lightning outside the windows as we made our descent into Tulsa. These flashes, lighting up the distant thunderheads, were a new air travel experience for me, but fortunately they were far enough north to be harmless. There was some drizzle on the way to the hotel, and rain in the forecast for tomorrow, so Thursday's first and second rounds at the D'Novo All-American could be disrupted.

The eight spots reserved for qualifiers at the women's ITA Riviera All-American are going to only five schools, with Florida, Texas and Southern California each having a pair of players qualify. Half of the qualifiers--Allie Will and Lauren Embree of Florida, Danielle Lao of Southern California and Aeriel Ellis of Texas--are freshman, and all but Embree, who was a wild card into qualifying, made it through pre-qualifying. Will actually lost in the final round of pre-qualifying, but given a second chance as a lucky loser, made the main draw. Ellis is joined by Longhorn teammate Vanja Corovic and Lao by Trojan Alison Ramos. Southern Methodist's Marta Lesniak, a 9-16 seed. and No. 6 seed Natasha Marks of Arizona are the other two qualifiers. Lao and Ellis play each other in the opening round of the main draw, as do Embree and Lesniak. Embree and Will also earned one of the four spots for qualifiers in doubles.

For draws and results, see the ITA tournament home page.