Southern Cal Represents USA at World University Games; World Team Tennis Season Underway; Features on Brooke Austin and CiCi Bellis
The World University Games are underway this week in Kazan, Russia and University of Southern California is representing the United States in the tennis competition this year.
The USC student-athletes making the trip are:
Robbie Bellamy (players who have signed an NLI are eligible)
It's difficult to figure out what the criteria for participation is, with such well-known professionals such as Elena Vesnina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova in the women's competition, and Evgeniy Donskoy and Andrey Kuznetsov in the men's competition, but it is obviously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the USC student-athletes.
Giuliana Olmos of USC is competing for Mexico, and other names I recognized from Division I college tennis in the US are Daniel Cochrane (Auburn), Chris Simpson(LSU), and Daneika Borthwick(Florida State), all playing for Great Britain, with Isade Juneau(Indiana) and Dominique Harmath(Rice), playing for Canada.
Sabrina Santamaria had an excellent win today, defeating No. 2 seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand, ranked No. 113 in the WTA, 7-5, 7-5. I can't locate the draws for the event (if you can find them, please leave a link in the comments below), but the complete list of those competing in the tennis tournament is here. The results of the individual matches each day can be found by click on the date here.
This year's World Team Tennis season began on Sunday, with two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs substituting for Taylor Townsend in the Sacramento Capitals' first match. Townsend lost in the girls singles final at Wimbledon on Saturday, but she was in Sacramento for their second match last night, winning in both singles and women's doubles. Townsend defeated the Philadelphia Freedom's Maria Sanchez 5-3, and with Megan Moulton-Levy beat Sanchez and Liezel Huber 5-4. For more on Townsend's long journey and successful debut, see this article from the Sacramento Bee.
Complete results can be found at the World Team Tennis website.
The ITA has compiled a list of former college players and college coaches participating in World Team Tennis this month, which is available at the ITA website.
A couple of recent features about accomplished juniors were published in the last few weeks.
The Indianapolis Star carried this feature about Brooke Austin, who says that if she decides to go to college, she is considering Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.
CiCi Bellis is only 14, so that decision is years away for her. The Les Petits As and Easter Bowl champion and her parents are not ruling out college as of yet, according to this article from the San Jose Mercury News.