Friday, April 24, 2020

My Article on Cooksey's Commitment to Michigan; Broadus Chooses Pepperdine; Wisconsin-Green Bay Suspends Men's and Women's Tennis Programs Indefinitely; USTA National Team Events Canceled; ITA Division III Final Rankings

Blue Chip Will Cooksey committed to the University of Michigan earlier this month, and the three-time Michigan High School Division 4 singles champion spoke to me about his decision to stay in state last week for this article at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Cooksey, who is finishing his junior year at Grosse Pointe Wood's University Liggett online, will be the third generation of Wolverines when he joins Michigan in the fall of 2021.

I neglected to mention earlier this week the commitment of another blue chip earlier this week, with 2019 Wimbledon girls doubles champion Savannah Broadus deciding on Pepperdine for 2021. Rhiannon Potkey has the details on Broadus's choice in this Tennis Recruiting Network article.

There has been much discussion lately about the the vulnerability of Division I tennis programs during this pandemic, but until today, none had been shut down. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, which does not have a men's football program, has suspended its men's and women's tennis programs. The Covid-19 shutdown was not mentioned as a factor in the decision, with the lack of a dedicated on-campus facility and rising costs associated with that blamed for the "indefinite suspension." The school's statement is available here.

In some good news for Division I tennis, Liberty University has begun construction on its new indoor facility, with the start date moved up due to the pandemic. Although Liberty had an outdoor facility, it was playing its indoor matches in a private facility. From the release:

The $5 million project was first announced on Nov. 14, 2019, and made possible through a generous lead gift pledged from an anonymous donor.

Beside the six indoor tennis courts with seating for 100 fans, the building will also house locker rooms, a team room, a laundry facility and a concessions area. The construction project is expected to be completed in January 2021.

Today the USTA notified junior tournament directors that USTA Zone Team Championships and USTA National Team Championships had been canceled, with the USTA Board of Directors approving the cancellations of those events at the recommendation of the Junior Competition Committee. This is in addition to the 16-and-under Intersectionals, which were canceled on April 13.
The ITA released its final Division III National singles and doubles rankings for the 2019-20 season today.  Below are the Top 10 singles players; click on the heading to see the full list.

ITA Division III Women's Singles Top 10:

1. Justine Leong, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
2. Catherine Allen, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
3. Ysabel Gonzalez Rico, Emory
4. Serim Jin, Wesleyan
5. Maria Lyven, Pomona-Pitzer
6. Camille Smukler, Amherst
7. Danna Taylor, Carnegie Mellon
8. Amanda Bandrowski, Hope
9. Madeleine Paolucci, Case Western Reserve
10. Lauren Park, Chicago

1. Nikolai Parodi, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges
2. Boris Sorkin, Tufts University
3. Stanley Morris, Middlebury College
4. Antonio Mora, Emory University
5, Jack Katzman, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges
6. Jake Zalenski, Kenyon College
7. James Hopper, Case Western Reserve University
8. Sebastian Castillo-Sanchez, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
9. Vishnu Joshi, Johns Hopkins University
10. Scott Altmeyer, Colby College

Earlier this week, the ITA released the final Junior College rankings, with the men's individual and team rankings here and the women's individual and team rankings here.


Boca Tennis Mom said...

The virus was mentioned as one of the reasons.

"The final decision to suspend sponsorship of the tennis programs was based on several ongoing challenges hindering the growth of the program, as well as the current financial constraints placed on Green Bay Athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic."