ITA College Tennis November Notebook


Editor's Note: Each month the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) publishes a monthly notebook that provides notes on all five collegiate divisions (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and Junior College). The notebook is written by Steve Pratt, an editorial contributor to the ITA). If you have items that you would like considered for inclusion in the notebook, please submit them to Al Barba, ITA Director of Communications, Marketing and Advanced Media, at abarba@itatennis.com.

By Steve Pratt
ITA Correspondent 

NCAA Division I

The Oracle ITA individual singles and doubles national rankings will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and with the conclusion of the successful The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Newport Beach on Sunday, there has been a lot settled after an exciting and busy individual fall season. 

For a complete wrap-up and links to the final draws from Fall Nationals are available here.

A couple of quick observations:

  • Texas senior Yuya Ito made a strong case this fall to rise to the No. 1 ranking when the final Oracle ITA National Fall Rankings come out on Wednesday. Ito secured his second national singles crown of the fall as he also won the ITA All-American Championships in October.
  • Richard Ciamarra of Notre Dame had an outstanding tournament as the junior from Southington, Conn., made a memorable semifinal run in singles. He upset No. 2 seeded Keegan Smith of UCLA in the second round and in the quarterfinals dominated No. 6-seed Hady Habib of Texas A&M, 6-3, 6-1. In the semifinals, Saint Mary’s Damon Kesaris’ 7-5 win in the third set prevented Ciamarra from reaching the final.
  • The Saint Mary’s women’s team also had a competitor make it to the final day as junior Mariia Kozyreva took home the consolation women’s singles title, defeating Georgia’s Vivian Wolff, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
  • After Gabriel DeCamps of Central Florida lost to Jordan Charlton of Oregon in the first round, he then preceded to reel off five wins to claim the men’s consolation singles title.

NCAA SINGLES CHAMPION IMPRESSES ON PRO CIRCUIT: Estela Perez-Somarriba of the University of Miami recorded five singles wins in back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit Women’s $80,000 level events, including a victory in a rematch of last May’s NCAA Singles Championship. The Madrid, Spain, native beat Georgia junior Katarina Jokic of Serbia, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, to qualify at the Mercer Open in Macon, Ga. It was a matchup of the top two women’s players in college tennis with Jokic No. 1 and Perez-Somarriba No. 2 in the Oracle ITA preseason collegiate rankings.

In the main draw, Perez-Somarriba lost to top American prospect, No. 7 seed and eventual winner at Macon, Caroline Dolehide, 5-7, 4-6.

The following week at Tyler, Texas, Perez-Somarriba qualified once again and had an impressive first-round win before falling to another young American. She won third-set super tiebreakers against former Wimbledon Junior Girls’ champion Claire Liu and Chanelle Van Nguyen and then beat former US Open Junior Girls’ finalist and world No. 161 Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine.  Perez-Somarriba’s run ended with a loss to world No. 116-ranked Whitney Osiugwe, 7-5, 6-4.

A FAMILY AFFAIR: Tennis fans recognize the name Dolehide as 21-year-old Caroline Dolehide won the Pan American Games gold in doubles and silver in singles in Lima, Peru in September. From the Chicago suburbs, Dolehide was once the most sought-after junior recruit in the nation and is currently ranked No. 63 in the world in doubles and No. 148 in singles on the WTA Tour.

Dolehide’s younger sister Stephanie Dolehide plays for Army’s women’s team and played a key role for the Black Knights as a freshman tallying a 16-7 singles record. Older sister Courtney Dolehide won an NCAA tennis title at UCLA and is now the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgetown having previously coached the women’s team at the University of Texas.

Brother Brian Dolehide last spring completed his fourth season of golf at Florida Atlantic University.

PRO PREPARATION: Texas Longhorns senior twin sisters Bianca and Anna Turati did a whole lot of winning at the recent ITF Pro Circuit $15,000 tournament that took place on the Longhorns’ home courts at the Texas Tennis Center in Austin. Top-seeded Bianca beat No. 2 Anna, 3-6 6-3 6-2, in the final after both failed to drop a set en route to the final. It was the seventh career ITF Pro Futures title for Bianca. The Turatis from Northern Italy then teamed up to win the doubles as they upset top-seeded South American pairing of Melany Solange Krywoj and Fernanda Labrana.

Bianca then when on to capture the ITF 25k pro circuit event in Malibu where she defeated WTA No. 438 Katie Volynets (USA), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Anna advanced to the finals of the Fall Nationals where she fell to Sara Daavettila of North Carolina, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

SOCAL CONNECTION AT PENN: Northeast Regional host Penn junior RJ Sands is one of three Southern Californians on the Penn men’s tennis roster. Sands’ father Howard was a four-time All-American at Harvard and his younger brother Jake played No. 6 singles for USC as a freshman last season. Senior Max Cancilla (Huntington Beach) and freshman Aditya Gupta (Irvine) are the other two Penn players from SoCal.

MASTER’U BNP PARIBAS COLLEGIATE TEAM NAMED: The USTA has announced the top American collegians selected to represent the U.S. in the annual Master’U BNP Paribas International Collegiate Team Competition Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Grenoble, France.

Competing for the U.S. are: Aleks Kovacevic (Sr., Illinois; New York); Alexandre Rotsaert (Soph., Stanford; Boca Raton, Fla.); Keegan Smith (Jr., UCLA; San Diego); Jada Hart (Sr., UCLA; Colton, Calif.); Michaela Gordon (Jr., Stanford; Saratoga, Calif.); and Alexa Graham (Sr., UNC; Garden City, N.Y.).

Former Boise State men’s coach Greg Patton and UCLA women's associate head coach Rance Brown will travel with and coach the team, which will compete against teams from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy. Each team match consists of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one women’s and one men’s doubles match and a mixed doubles match. Complete results from all three days can be found by visiting the Master’U BNP Paribas website.

CARDINAL DOMINANCE: Reigning two-time defending national team champion Stanford University hosted the ITA Fall Northwest Regional for the 13th consecutive season at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, and once again the Cardinal dominated. Michaela Gordon won the singles for the third consecutive season, beating Maria Kozyreva of Saint Mary's, 6-2, 7-5. Playing for the first time, Emily Arbuthnott and Angelica Blake handed Washington’s Sedona Gallagher and Katarina Kopcalic a 6-4, 6-2 defeat.

Stanford has produced the tournament singles champion in nine of the last 10 years Gordon (2019, 2018, 2017); Taylor Davidson (2015), Carol Zhao (2014), Kristie Ahn (2013, 2010), Krista Hardebeck (2012) and Nicole Gibbs (2011).

For completes Division I men’s and women’s singles and doubles winners, check here.

SPORTSMANSHIP: Yuya Ito of Texas and Sara Daavettila of North Carolina, in addition to winning singles titles, were honored with the ITA Sportsmanship Award given to student-athletes who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the tournament.

NCAA Division II
The Oracle ITA individual singles and doubles national rankings will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Berta Bonardi from West Florida was the Division II women’s representative at Fall Nationals by way of her ITA Cup victory. In Newport Beach, Bonardi lost in the first round to Paola Delgado of Virginia Commonwealth, 7-6 (6), 6-4. She then lost in the consolation singles to Lea Ma from Georgia in straight sets.

Bonardi entered the Fall Nationals as the October UTR/ITA Division II National Player of the Month. She posted a 4-0 singles record at the ITA Cup, defeating Nikol Alekseeva (Indianapolis); 6-3, 6-3 in the finals.

Alejandro Ibanez Gallego from Barry University entered the Fall Nationals as the October UTR/ITA Division II National Player of the Month. He won the Division II ITA South Regional and ITA Cup, posting a 10-0 record. Had wins over three players who were ranked in last season’s final Oracle ITA Rankings, including No. 2 Angel Palacios of Midwestern State. His win at the ITA Cup secured an invitation to Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.

At the Fall Nationals, he fell in his first-round match to Richard Ciamarra of Notre Dame, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. Ibanez Gallego then withdrew from his consolation match.

In doubles, the ITA Cup’s “Super Bowl” winner was Dario Huber and Renato Lima from the University of Indianapolis as the pair became the Greyhounds’ first men’s duo to win the ITA Cup doubles title. At Fall Nationals, Huber and Lima faced the tough Texas No. 7 seeded team of Yuya Ito and Christian Sigsgaard, falling 5-7, 7-6 (2), 10-7.

NCAA Division III
The Oracle ITA individual singles and doubles national rankings will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Justine Leong of Claremont Mudd Scripps has definitely set herself up as one to watch this college season as the first-year player turned heads at Fall Nationals with a big upset against Stanford’s Janice Shinn, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round. She then fell to No. 3 seed Jada Hart of UCLA in the second round, 6-3, 6-2.

A winner of the UTR/ITA National Player of the Month honors for October after winning the ITA Cup Division III national championships in both singles and doubles, Leong cruised past Shin of defending national champion Stanford. Shin had a 29-5 record for the Cardinal last year, mostly playing in the No. 5 position, including the clinching win over Georgia in the national championship match, giving Stanford the 4-0 win.

Leong also has a win over Ghazal Pakbaten, the No. 1 singles player at Division II Concordia Irvine, at the opening Fall Scramble hosted by CMS in September.

Division III did not have a men’s player in the Fall Nationals field as ITA Cup winner Boris Sorkin of Tufts University declined not to play in the event. Sorkin, a junior from St. Petersburg, Russia, won the ITA Cup for the second consecutive fall becoming the first Tufts player to win an ITA Cup last year. Tufts head coach Karl Gregor said Sorkin is a pre-med major and he was not able to miss another four days of class to travel West.

Sorkin was named the men’s winner of the James O'Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award given to student-athletes who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA Cup.

NAIA
The Oracle ITA individual singles and doubles national rankings will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

The NAIA was well represented at Fall Nationals as NAIA ITA Cup singles winners on the men’s and women’s side each won a round in singles.

ITA Cup singles winner Jose Dugo of Georgia Gwinnett lost in the first round at Fall Nationals to Tennessee’s Adam Walton, the No. 5 seed originally from Australia, 7-5, 6-0. In the consolation draw, Dugo fell to Dartmouth’s Charlie Broom in three competitive sets, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-2.

Dugo has won back-to-back UTR/ITA National Player of the Month after being honored for his play in September and October. He went undefeated (12-0) in singles and doubles while competing in the Grizzly Open and ITA Cup. He won three of four singles ITA Cup matches in straight sets to win the NAIA title. Dugo won four singles matches against opponents from NCAA Division II and Division III schools at the Grizzly Open. He also won four doubles matches against NCAA Division I, II and III opponents during the Grizzly Open. Among his victories at the ITA Cup was a semi-final win over Santiago Perez (Xavier, LA), who concluded the 2018-19 season ranked No. 3 in the final Oracle ITA National Rankings.

LSU transfer Elyse Lavender of Brenau College defeated Holly Hutchinson of Old Dominion, 5-7, 6-1, 7-5. In the second round, Lavender almost pulled off a shocker as she went the distance against No. 4-seed Alexa Graham of the University of North Carolina, falling 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.

Lavender was honored with the October UTR/ITA National Player of the Month accolades after winning NAIA ITA Cup She defeated top-ranked Madeline Bosnjak (UTR 10.19) of Georgia Gwinnett College in straight sets. Lavender captured the title after topping Georgia Gwinnett’s Maria Genevese in the finals to avenge a loss to Genevese in the finals of the ITA South Regional in September.

NJCAA
The Oracle ITA individual singles and doubles national rankings will be released on Thursday, Nov. 21, and there is little doubt who will sit atop the community college rankings on the women’s side.

ASA Miami sophomore Tatiana Simova and UTR/ITA National Player of the Month defeated Tyler College's Lucie Devier to win the 2019 ITA Cup Singles championship at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. All Simova, who hails from Piestany, Slovakia, did last year was win a national title and was the ITA Newcomer of the Year and a NJCAA First-Team All-American.

ASA Miami sophomore Soomin Kim fell to Devier in the semifinals, preventing it from being an all-ASA final. Kim took third place in the tournament, defeating Cowley Community College's Georgia Kaindoah 6-3, 6-2.

At Fall Nationals, Simova fell to Princeton’s Zoe Howard in the first round. Simova took the first set, 7-5, before dropping the next two. In the consolation singles, Simova lost to USC sophomore Salma Ewing, 6-3, 6-4.   

On the men’s side, freshman Gabriel Ortiz of Seward County and the October UTR/ITA National Player of the Month won the ITA Cup NJCAA portion beating teammate Sander Jans in the final. Jans beat top-seeded Yassir Kilani of ASA Miami in the semifinals. Jans is a sophomore from De Ronerborg, Netherlands, and recently beat teammate Ortiz at the Regionals to earn the automatic bid into the ITA Cup.

Ortiz pulled off a huge win in the first round of the Fall Nationals as he beat Division I Cleveland State’s Nico Mostardi before falling to Adrian Boitan of Baylor in straight sets.

ITA Cup doubles champions were Tao Castillo and Gustavo de Oliveira Cruz of ASA Miami and Helena Jansen and Emelie Schwarte of Tyler College on the women’s side as they beat teammates Devier and Momoko Yoshimura in the final.

Devier was named the women’s winner of the James O'Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award given to student-athletes who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA Cup.

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com, like the ITA on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.