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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

USTA Girls National Team Selected; Tim Russell Named to Succeed David Benjamin as Head of ITA; Where Are They Now? Wall Street Edition

Carson Branstine, Alexandra Sanford, Kayla Day, Kylie McKenzie
(photo via TeamUSA Facebook page)
Eight girls have been selected for the USTA National Team, a TeamUSA initiative revived after being discontinued by previous Player Development administrations.

Back in August of 2012, I wrote an article about the former Junior Davis Cup team for the Tennis Recruiting Network (no subscription required). In all my conversations about it, I never met anyone who didn't express dismay at its demise, so this revival, for 16-and-under players now, is encouraging news.

Four of the spots on the eight-player team were decided by a playoff, held last week in Boca Raton. Kylie McKenzie, Kayla Day, Carson Branstine and Alexandra Sanford earned their places on the team. The results from that competition are below.

Sixteen girls born in either 1999 or 2000 were selected to participate in the playoff for the 2015 Team USA National Junior Team. After three days of round robin competition, the top two players from each round robin group, named after past American female champions, squared off in a final playoff match to determine which four players made the team.

Round Robin Results:

Billie Jean King Playoff Group
Kayla Day d. Elysia Bolton, 6-0, 6-1
Victoria Emma d. Ryan Peus, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
Althea Gibson Playoff Group
Alexandra Sanford d. Emma Decoste, 7-6 (3), 6-3 
Carson Branstine d. Morgan Coppoc, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 
Chris Evert Playoff Group
Kylie McKenzie d. Grace Joyce, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-5 
Sofia Sewing d. Victoria Flores, 6-0, 1-6, 6-1 
Maureen Connolly Brinker Playoff Group 
Rachel Lim d. Meible Chi, 6-3, 6-2
Annette Goulak d. Clarissa Hand, 6-0, 6-2

Day 2 – Wednesday, May 6
Billie Jean King Playoff Group
Kayla Day d. Victoria Emma, 6-1, 7-5
Ryan Peus d. Elysia Bolton, 7-5, 6-4
Althea Gibson Playoff Group
Carson Branstine d. Alexandra Sanford, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
Morgan Coppoc d. Emma Decoste, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-5
Chris Evert Playoff Group
Kylie McKenzie d. Victoria Flores, 6-4, 6-2
Sofia Sewing d. Grace Joyce, 7-5, 6-2
Maureen Connolly Brinker Playoff Group
Annette Goulak d. Rachel Lim, 6-0, 5-7, 6-0
Clarissa Hand d. Meible Chi, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5)

Day 3 – Thursday, May 7
Billie Jean King Playoff Group
Kayla Day d. Ryan Peus, 6-1, 6-4
Victoria Emma d. Elysia Bolton, 6-2, 6-2
Althea Gibson Playoff Group
Alexandra Sanford d. Morgan Coppoc, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
Carson Branstine d. Emma Decoste, 6-4, 6-2
Chris Evert Playoff Group
Kylie McKenzie d. Sofia Sewing, 6-3, 6-1
Grace Joyce d. Victoria Flores, 0-6, 6-1, 6-1
Maureen Connolly Brinker Playoff Group
Annette Goulak d. Meible Chi, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
Rachel Lim d. Clarissa Hand, 6-3, 6-2 
Final Playoff – Friday, May 8, 2015
Kayla Day d. Sofia Sewing, 6-3, 6-2
Carson Branstine d. Rachel Lim, 6-3, 6-2 
Kylie McKenzie d. Victoria Emma, 6-2, 6-4 
Alexandra Sanford d. Annette Goulak, 6-1, 6-3

In addition to the four girls who advanced via the playoffs, four others were named to the team based on an established criteria. They are CiCi Bellis, Claire Liu, Michaela Gordon and Kelly Chen.  For a complete explanation of the criteria, as well as the criteria for a USTA excellence grant, see this document, which also provides a schedule of events for this summer's team.

The boys playoffs will be held July 1-11. I presume the camp mentioned is the reason it is longer than the girls' playoff. The boys criteria and schedule is here.

The ITA announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Tim Russell to succeed David Benjamin as CEO. Russell, currently a Professor of Music at Arizona State University, has served as chair of the USTA's Collegiate Varsity committee from 2007-2010 and as chair of the Junior Competition committee in 2011-2012.  For more on his appointment, see this release from the ITA.

Thanks to a reader for passing along this account of Wall Street's recent annual tennis tournament, which serves as a fundraiser for the R Baby Foundation.  If you follow college and junior tennis at all(and why would be reading this if you don't?), you will recognize many of the participants, most of whom now work in the finance industry in New York. Auburn's Dan Cochrane, Stanford's Ryan Thacher, Yale's Marc Powers and Illinois' Phil Stolt were among the competitors.


Curious said...

Big fan of the blog. I'm not wild about the hire (either?), but was curious as to your rationale for burying a pretty big news item re: the Russell/ITA story?