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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Division III Individual Selections Announced; Neufeld Retires at SMU; Probation for Sacramento State's Programs; Top Seeds Reach Quarterfinals at ITF Grade 4 in Miami

The selections for the Division III individual championships, scheduled to take place May 24-26 in Claremont California, were announced today by the NCAA.  Unlike the Division I individual tournament, the Division III has 32-player draws, with seven singles players and three doubles teams from each of the four regions, with four at-large bids in each draw.  The big story in the individual championships will be senior Eudice Chong of Wesleyan, who has won the singles titles three consecutive years.  She and Victoria Yu will also be seeking their second consecutive doubles title. The men's 2017 singles and doubles champion, Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury, will be aiming for his second straight national title in both draws, but will have a different partner this year in Kyle Schlanger.

The complete list of men's entries is here.  The complete list of women's entries is here.

Division III has been experimenting with some of the changes that Division I introduced a few years ago to speed up matches, although Division III is still playing all three doubles matches out for a best of nine team scoring match and using regular scoring. Discussion continues on whether they will adopt no-ad in the future.  Read about the reactions to the current attempts to cut match times in this article today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

For a look at the college recruiting process from the perspective of coaches, current players and recruits, see this article from USTA Southern California.

In other college news from Division I, Carl Neufeld has retired from SMU after 25 years as head coach of the men's program. Neufeld departs college tennis with 601 victories, with 420 of them coming at SMU.  For more on his accomplishments, see this article from the SMU website.

Iowa State is not renewing the contract of Armando Espinosa, after 11 years as women's head coach. The Cyclones did not win a match this year in the Big 12 conference.

Gonzaga will be looking for a new men's head coach, with Peter MacDonald resigning after 13 years leading the program.

Last month, the NCAA announced a three-year probation for Sacramento State's men's and women's programs. For more details on the violations that led to the NCAA action, see this article from the State Hornet.

The quarterfinals are set for the ITF Grade 4 Copa Badia in Coral Gables, the second of three Grade 4s this month in Florida.  Hurricane Tyra Black, the top seed in the girls draw, has advanced to the quarterfinals, but she is one of only three seeds in the last eight, all of whom are in the top half.  In the boys draw, both top seed Blu Baker of Great Britain and second seed Blaise Bicknell have reached the quarterfinals.

At the ITF Grade 1 in Morocco, unseeded 15-year-old Charlotte Owensby has reached the quarterfinals after defeating No. 10 seed Celestine Avomo Ella of Gabon 6-2, 7-5. She will face qualifier Eva Lys of Germany, who defeated top seed Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 today.