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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

February Aces; Georgia Jumps into Top Ten in New ITA D-I Rankings; Las Vegas Men's and Women's $25K Qualifying Complete

After a quiet January, activity increased substantially in February, and I wasn't able to feature all of the former collegiate players who won titles during the month. Team Indoor champions, Challenger winners and 12 others who had notable performances last month are featured in my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

This week's ITA rankings are the full complement, and there is just one change at the number 1 position in the six categories. Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine returned to No. 1 in women's singles after briefly losing that spot to NCAA champion Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami. There were some notable moves in the team rankings, with the Georgia men moving up 25 spots from No. 35 to No. 10 based on their wins over Tennessee and Ohio State last weekend. In the women's rankings, Ohio State moves up to No. 2 after its win over Florida State on Sunday night. I don't have any official confirmation, but I have to believe that is the highest ranking ever for the women's program. Click on the heading to go to the full list at the ITA website.

ITA Division I Men’s Team Top 10, March 3
(previous ranking in parentheses)

1. USC (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Texas (4)
4. Michigan (5)
5. Ohio State (3)
6. Florida (6)
7. NC State (9)
8. TCU (12)
9. Columbia (7)
10. Georgia (35)

USC's Daniel Cukierman, photo courtesy Scott Gerber ©2020
Men’s Singles
1. Daniel Cukierman, USC (1)
2. Yuya Ito, Texas (2)
3. Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M (3)
4. Keegan Smith, UCLA (8)
5. Sam Riffice, Florida (4)
6. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas (6)
7. Alexandre Rotsaert, Stanford (5)
8. Richard Ciamarra, Notre Dame (10)
9. William Blumberg, North Carolina (11)
10. Oliver Crawford, Florida (18)

Men’s Doubles
1. Matej Vocel and Dominik Kellovsky, Oklahoma State (1)
2. Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar, Michigan (2)
3. Robert Cash and John McNally, Ohio State (3)
4. Mac Kiger and Simon Soendergaard, North Carolina, (4)
5. Riley Smith and Daniel Cukierman, USC (19)

ITA Division I Women’s Team Top 10, March 3

1. North Carolina (1)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. UCLA (8)
4. Florida State (2)
5. NC State (3)
6. Texas (4)
7. Georgia (9)
8. Georgia Tech (10)
9. Stanford (6)
10. Virginia (13)

Women’s Singles
1. Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine (2)
2. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami (1)
3. Alexa Graham, North Carolina (5)
4. Anna Turati, Texas (3)
5. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina (5)
6. Cameron Morra, North Carolina (4)
7. Kelly Chen, Duke (7)
8. Abigail Forbes (8)
9. Elysia Bolton (12)
10. Natasha Subhash, Virginia (15)

Women’s Doubles
1. Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart, UCLA (1)
2. Alana Smith and Anna Rogers, NC State (2)
3. Jessie Gong and Samantha Martinelli, Yale (3)
4. Sara Daavettila and Alexa Graham, North Carolina (4)
5. Ayumi Miyamoto and Lisa Marie Rioux, Oklahoma St (6)

In addition to the ATP and WTA Oracle Challenger Series events this week at Indian Wells, the USTA Pro Circuit has a joint event in Las Vegas, part of the Oracle Pro Series.

Qualifying for both was completed today, with some first round matches also played. In the men's event, American qualifiers are Toby Boyer(Nebraska), Spencer Papa(Oklahoma), Texas recruit Micah Braswell and Mousheg Hovhannisyan(Pepperdine). Wild cards were awarded to Errol Smith(Loyola Marymount), Chris Wettengel (Minnesota), Alfredo Perez(Florida) and Reese Stalder(TCU). Johannes Haerteis of Germany is the top seed and Alex Sarkissian(Pepperdine) is the No. 2 seed.

In the women's event, American qualifiers are Pamela Montez(UCLA), Sofia Sewing(Miami), Emina Bektas(Michigan), Sophie Whittle (Gonzaga) and Kayla Day. Wild cards went to Hurricane Tyra Black, Texas recruit Peyton Stearns, Baylor recruit Audrey Boch-Collins, and Allura Zamarripa.  Robin Montgomery received entry via the ITF's Junior Exempt program and defeated No. 6 seed Gabriela Ce of Brazil 6-0, 6-2 this afternoon. This is only the fourth pro-level tournament for the 15-year-old Orange Bowl champion, who hasn't played since the Australian Open Junior Championships.

The top seed in Las Vegas is Mariam Bolkvadze of Georgia, with Robin Anderson(UCLA) the No. 2 seed.