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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

McInerney Retires After 40 Years at Arizona State; Urhobo Qualifies at Zephyrhills W75; ITF J100 in Plantation Underway; Pac-12 Women's Awards; D-I Super Regional Dates and Times

After losing legendary University of Georgia men's coach Manny Diaz to retirement this year I'm not sure college tennis was ready for another of the sport's great coaches stepping away, but today Arizona State announced the retirement of women's head coach Sheila McInerney, who has been leading that program since 1984. 

Those of us who were fortunate to know Sheila understood that this day was coming, and probably sooner rather than later, but it's difficult to imagine women's college tennis without her. That she chose to announce after the team's season ended with a loss to Pepperdine last weekend is disappointing for those who would have preferred a larger window to celebrate her contributions to the sport, but a Sun Devils doubles team has qualified for the NCAA individual championships, so I'm sure many of her colleagues will take that opportunity to congratulate her on a great career. And the hundreds of young women who have benefitted from not only her coaching but her guidance in life, will continue her legacy. 

In one of our conversations at a junior tournament, Sheila mentioned an Arizona State program that was focused on assisting Chinese tennis coaches, and I wrote one of my favorite Tennis Recruiting articles about this unique initiative back in 2018.

Rhiannon Potkey has more on McInerney's retirement today in  this Tennis Recruiting Network article

Only one USTA Pro Circuit tournament is being played this week: a women's W75 in Zephyrhills Florida. Qualifying concluded today, with just one junior, 17-year-old Akasha Urhobo, advancing to the main draw. No. 11 seed Urhobo, who is 13-7 in main draw matches on the USTA Pro Circuit this year, defeated No. 5 qualifying seed Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty of India 6-3, 6-0 in just over an hour today to move into the main draw. She'll play No. 5 seed Elvina Kalieva in the first round Wednesday. 

The other Americans qualifying are Sophie Chang, Victoria Flores(Georgia Tech/Pepperdine) and Jaeda Daniel(Auburn/NC State). Maribella Zamarippa(Texas) received entry into the main draw as a lucky loser; Bonita Spring W100 champion Lulu Sun(Texas), who was the No. 2 seed, was a late withdrawal.

Although Urhobo is the only teen qualifier, there are several others in the main draw. Iva Jovic, 16, was awarded a wild card, and 18-year-olds Liv Hovde and Maya Joint of Australia received direct entry. The three other wild cards were given to Allie Kiick, Whitney Osuigwe and Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

Kayla Day is the top seed.

The third and final week of ITF J100s in Florida is underway at the Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, with Anita Tu and Benjamin Willwerth the top seeds. After today's second round, both are safely through, as is No. 2 seed Calvin Baierl, who won the Delray Beach 100 two weeks ago. Last week's champion in Coral Gables, Lachlan Gaskell, is the No. 8 seed this week and he has advanced to the third round; Welles Newman, who won the girls title in Coral Gables, retired to Daniela Chica in the first round. 

I didn't notice this until today, but 13-year-old Raya Kotseva, who began her ITF junior career representing Bulgaria, is now competing for the United States.The Easter Bowl 14s champion has lived in Las Vegas for many years, so this is not unexpected.

The Pac-12 Conference Awards for women were announced last week and I didn't publish them at the time, thinking that the ACC women, the only remaining Power Five yet to release their awards, might be following shortly. Then I looked up the ACC women's release from last year and saw that it was dated June 9, so I'm not waiting for that.

The other conference awards announcements can be found in my previous posts here, here and here.

Pac-12 Women's Conference Awards

Player of the Year: Angelica Blake, Stanford

Freshman/Newcomer of the Year: Katherine Hui, Stanford

Doubles Team of the Year: Fangran Tian and Elise Wagle, UCLA

Coach of the Year; Lele Forood, Stanford

The all Pac-12 women's teams can be found in this release.

The dates and times have been posted for this weekend's Division I Super Regionals, with eight scheduled for Friday and eight for Saturday. Cracked Racquets will again be providing coverage on their YouTube channel. The times below have been posted on ncaa.com's women's and men's interactive draws.

All times Eastern; teams on left are hosting.

Men's D-I Super Regionals

Ohio State[1] v Mississippi State[16] noon Saturday May 11

Columbia[8] v Arizona[9] 1 pm Saturday May 11

Kentucky[5] v Harvard[12] 2 pm Saturday May 11

TCU[4] v Duke[13] 2 pm Saturday May 11

Virginia[3] v South Carolina 4 pm Friday May 10

Wake Forest[6] v Stanford 5 pm Friday May 10

Tennessee[7] v Florida State[10] 1 pm Saturday May 11

Texas[2] v Texas A&M[15] 7 pm Friday May 10

Women's D-I Super Regionals

Oklahoma State[1] v Tennessee[16] 4 pm Saturday May 11

UCLA[8] v Texas[9] 3 pm Friday May 10

Virginia[5] v Vanderbilt 1 pm Saturday May 11

North Carolina[4] v Texas A&M[13] 6 pm Friday May 10

Michigan[3] v Miami 1 pm Saturday May 11

Pepperdine[6] v Southern California 4 pm Friday May 10

Georgia[7] v Cal[10] 4 pm Friday May 10

Stanford[2] v NC State[15] 5 pm Friday May 10