Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Bowl Acceptances; Cal Poly Drops Tennis; Odesnik Pleads Guilty to HGH Possession

Before I get to the bad news, the Easter Bowl acceptances are out for all three age divisions. In the 18s, the girls field is exceptionally good this year, even before the wild cards are named, and that's without USTA spring champion Danielle Collins, who is playing high school tennis in Florida. The last two Orange Bowl 16s champions, Breaunna Addison and Chanelle Van Nguyen are entered, as are 2009 US Open Junior quarterfinalists Beatrice Capra and Lauren Davis. 2009 Orange Bowl quarterfinalists Madison Keys and Robin Anderson are in the field, although Keys has not played since the Australian Open juniors this year. Ester Goldfeld, a quarterfinalist in Australia, as well as Courtney Dolehide, Kaitlyn Christian, Ellen Tsay, Grace Min, Lauren Herring, Jessica Pegula, Krista Hardebeck and Sachia Vickery are scheduled to compete; there are so many outstanding players, it's impossible to cite them all.

The boys field is less impressive. None of the boys from the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park--Denis Kudla, Mitchell Frank and Junior Ore--are entered, leaving 2009 Easter Bowl semifinalist Raymond Sarmiento (27) and Dennis Novikov (42) as the highest-ranked ITF junior players in the draw. No. 37 Andrea Collarini, who is now representing the U.S. after spending most of his junior career under the Argentine flag, is not entered, nor is Jack Sock. Dane Webb, who is in the semis at the current Grade 1 in the Philippines, and Spring Champion Bjorn Fratangelo, Marcos Giron, Alexios Halebian and 2009 16s winner Shane Vinsant are among the contenders for the boys title.

For the list of competitors, which does not yet include the wild cards, see the Tennis Link site.

In the younger age divisions, Kyle McPhillips, who played the 18s division in last year's Easter Bowl, is entered in the 16s this year, as is 2009 14s champion Brooke Austin, Eddie Herr 14s champion Spencer Liang and Junior Orange Bowl 14s champion Yuki Chiang. The boys 16s will feature last year's 14s finalists Mackenzie McDonald and Nikko Madregallejo, as well as Reo Asami, Thai Kwiatkowski, Justin Butsch, Roy Lederman and Gage Brymer.

In the girls 14s, Gabrielle Andrews will be a favorite, with Kenadi Hance, Julia O'Loughlin and Maria Shishkina likely to contend. In the boys 14s, Joe DiGiulio, Luca Corinteli, Christian Garay, Stefan Kozlov and Mac Roy are some of the top names.

For the complete list, see the TennisLink site, and for more information about the tournament, visit easterbowl.com.

Now for the bad news. Cal Poly has announced that it is eliminating both its men's and women's tennis programs. With the recent budget crisis in the California university system, I expect this won't be the last such announcement from a state school.

And Wayne Odesnik has pleaded guilty to possession of Human Growth Hormone, which was discovered by Australian custom officials in January. This doesn't have a lot to do with college or junior tennis, but I think it's important to mention that even with extensive testing on the professional level, there is no reason to think that tennis players are somehow immune to the lure of performance enhancing drugs. And with very little testing in the juniors and college, it's likely that PEDs are used by some amateurs too. For more on the Odesnik case and on PEDs in tennis, see Greg Couch's article at FanHouse.


tony said...

Just to clarify this is cal poly pomona (D2 school) not cal poly slo. Not that this makes the news any easier to swallow. Its always sad that when schools start making cuts tennis is always the first sport on the chopping block.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks for the clarification. I knew SLO was D-I, but should have mentioned that it was the D-II Cal Poly.

get real said...

i hope if more schools are going to follow in their steps, how about cutting out the foreigners that are taking scholarships away from deserving americans. i think there would be more interest in college tennis. not to the extreme as football and basketball. i would rather support a college with americans.

joe said...

i can not agree more with you get real.

rondo snead said...

The Univerity of Washington mens
team has been dominated by foreigners for years.I could care
less if they dropped that program.

That program has not done a thing
for american players!

Tennis Observer said...

Hi Colette,

Do you know that the USTA's policies are with respect to juniors and performance-enhancers like HGH? Suppose a player was widely known to be using it. Would the USTA be required to suspend the player?

Colette Lewis said...

I don't know. I'll see if I can get some info on this.

simonsaystennis said...

WOW, what a great field for the girls Easter Bowl!! There are so many potential champions from that group.

Kyle McPhillips disappoints me. This girl played some fantastic tennis when I saw her reach the finals of the 10k ITF in Cleveland. Since then she has only weakened her schedule and I don't understand why.

wi tennis said...

I'm torn on the international issue in college tennis. I tend to like the junior college rule. You are only allowed to give scholarships to two internationals, but you can have as many as you want on your team. I did some research. I looked at the rankings for teams with at least 4 Americans in their usual top 6 singles lineup, only allowing for 2 internationals. Of course, with dual citizenship, I might be off a bit. Here is what I came up with:
1. UVA (5 Americans)
2. UGA (4)
3. Ill (4)-possibly 3
4. Stanford (5)
5. North Carolina (4)
6. Florida St (4)
7. Vanderbilt (5)
8. Wake Forest (5)
9. Michigan (6)
10. BYU (5)

10 of the top 31 have four or more Americans. With Michigan being the only team with all 6.

Tyler said...

Every once in a while on this blog there's the argument between going to college or going pro. The internationals are trying to go pro first and then are taking college scholarships and still trying to go pro. The NCAA and college presidents should have figured this out by now. I agree strongly with Get Real, Joe, and Rondo Snead. The USTA players are simply getting squeezed out. Why not limit internationals to division 3? At the division 1 level tennis is actually competing with Football, Basketball, Baseball, and upcoming sports just to survive. Tennis's fan base is less when you can't identify with the player. I also believe that a college president would have a much easier time cutting a mens and womens program with 18 international players on it then the president would have cutting the program if there were 18 students from the United States on the team where parents would contact politicians, petition, etc.. Thus in a sense, loading your team with transient international players is probably a means to an end in the long term. There must be change.