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Saturday, July 10, 2010

ITA Summer Circuit; Junior Features From Around the Country

I spent several hours today at the ITA Summer Circuit tournament at Western Michigan University and all 20 of the Sorensen courts were buzzing with activity. I'll have more on the entire tournament for my weekly Tennis Recruiting Network article, but after a month without seeing live tennis, it was great to be back out there.

The Western Michigan tournament is the second of four tournaments scheduled for this month in the Midwest region, and the 64-player men and women's draws were completely full. Due to NCAA regulations, these are "open" events, meaning they are open to anyone who wishes to play (and is an ITA member). The vast majority are college players from the area, with lots of incoming college freshmen and a few players still in high school, and in three days, with singles, doubles and consolation, there can be a lot of tennis in a short time.

I watched two incoming freshmen today in second round action--Northwestern's Nida Hamilton, the No. 4 seed, who beat Bowling Green sophomore Mary Hill, and Memphis's Kathleen Hawkins, who was just named "Miss Tennis" in Michigan. I didn't see the end of Hawkins' match with Kalla Schaefer of Wisconsin-Whitewater, so I don't know who won, but I wanted to make sure I saw the local girl (she's from Kalamazoo) before she took her game to Tennessee. For more on Hawkins' honor, see this Pam Shebest story for the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The draws and schedule for the ITA Summer Circuit, which began last weekend, can be found on the ITA website. The draws for the Western Michigan event are posted at the school's athletic website.

The Pittsburgh ITA tournament, which finished today, saw No. 4 seed Eric Sock of Nebraska and No. 2 seed Kara Cecil of Ohio State take the titles. Sock beat No. 3 seed Tariq Ismail of Youngstown State in the final, while Cecil downed top seed Ronit Yurovsky in the match tiebreaker that decides the winner in these tournaments. Yurovsky, a high school junior, was the subject of this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article prior to the tournament.

Jamie Loeb, the Ossining NY junior playing in the Kennedy Funding Invitational, lost to Christina McHale in the quarterfinals on Friday. Julia Cohen beat Sloane Stephens, then lost to Victoria Azarenka in today's semifinal, while McHale beat Melanie Oudin in the other semifinal. For more on the Loeb - McHale match, see this article from the Journal-News. For complete results, see the tournament website.

There are a couple of other junior features I've run across recently. This one, from Macon.com, is about Becker O'Shaughnessey, who has won the Georgia state AAA high school title three years running, once as an eighth-grader.

And Robert Stineman, who finished sixth last year in the 16s at Kalamazoo, won the Illinois state high school title this spring, while helping his New Trier team to the championship. For more on the final, which featured Stineman and Tim Kopinski, who has made an early verbal commitment to Illinois, see this article from the Chicago Tribune.


Joey said...

Glad to see Becker getting praise, as well as Craig Jones and the Macon tennis community. I enjoyed playing in that area and have played some of Becker's teammates, even winning one!

NancyAtlanta said...

I guess the Melanie Oudin hype was a little premature.

work-hard-tennis said...

Wow, great win for Christina! Be interesting to see if she goes pro now. So great to see such a humble kid achieve.