St. Peter, Minn. - Gustavus Adolphus College is set to host the 2013 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championship this weekend at the Swanson Indoor Tennis Center and the Brown Outdoor Courts. The Men’s Division III Midwest Regional Championships will take place Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29.
The Small College (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) singles and doubles champions from the USTA/ITA Regional Championships will advance to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, held October 10-13 at the Three Oaks Tennis Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The USTA/ITA National Small College Championships are comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete at one of the 84 USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country.
More than 100 of the top singles and doubles players in the Midwest will take part in the tournament beginning with singles matches on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. The Swanson Indoor Tennis Center, located on the west edge of the Gustavus campus, will serve as headquarters for the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships, with matches taking place at Swanson and the adjacent Brown Outdoor Courts, as well as the Gibbs Tennis Courts, which are situated just north of the Gustavus main entrance.
Noah Sprinkel of Coe College enters the weekend as the No. 1 overall seed in the singles draw of the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional. Challenging Sprinkel and rounding out the top four spots is Ben Shklyar of UW-Whitewater as the No. 2 seed, Mya Smith-Dennis of Gustavus Adolphus College as the No. 3 seed, and Ramesh Karki of Luther College as the No. 4 seed. Mya Smith-Dennis is the reigning singles champion after defeating Saint John’s Fabricio Moncada in the championship 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 a year ago.
In the doubles draw, UW-Whitewater’s Ben Shklyar and Byron Balkin are the top ranked duo. Gustavus’s Mya Smith Dennis and Motasem Al-Houni are seeded second, Coe’s Noah Sprinkel and Riley Galbriath are seeded third, and Gustavus’s Grant Leisner and Brad Entwistle are seeded fourth. Byron Balkin and Mitch Osborne of UW-Whitewater won last season’s doubles title by defeating Smith-Dennis and Amrik Donkena of Gustavus 6-2, 6-3.
The ITA National Small College Championships began in 1986 and annually crowns men’s and women’s singles and doubles national champions in each of the ITA’s four small college divisions (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College). The USTA/ITA National Small College Championship is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels. It is also the only tournament that combines all levels of Junior/Community College (NJCAA Divisions I and III and the California division). The singles and doubles champions at each divisional level will then compete to become the overall “Super Bowl” champions. The “Super Bowl” champions earn wild cards into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with the opportunity to win the culminating event held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA, and the ITA Rankings for men’s and women’s tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is http://www.itatennis.com.