Gustavus Adolphus College is hosting the 2006 Wilson/ITA Men’s Division III Midwest Region Championships, one of the 61 Wilson/ITA Regional Championships played across the country over the last three weeks of September. Championship play will take place Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 1 at the Swanson Indoor Tennis Center and the Brown Outdoor Courts in St. Peter.
The Wilson/ITA Midwest Region Men’s Championships at Gustavus will feature players from 22 of the top NCAA Division III schools in the region. The singles and doubles champions from this weekend’s tournament advance to the Oct. 12-15 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Small College Championships at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.
Over one hundred of the top singles and doubles players in the Midwest will take part in the tournament, which will begin with singles matches on Friday morning at 9 am. Aaron Sunday of St. Norbert College is the #1 seed in the singles draw. Other seeds include second seed Dan LaFountaine of Grinnell, third seed Miguel Yunes of Carthage, and fourth seed Jesse Brauer (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) of Gustavus. The doubles competition will begin on Friday afternoon immediately after the completion of the second round of singles play. Jesse Brauer and Andy Bryan (Jr., Edina, Minn.) of Gustavus are the top-seeded doubles tandem in the draw. Other seeds include the second-seeded team of Dan LaFountaine and Nathan Fox of Grinnell, third seed Jono Martin and Brad Nelson of Luther and fourth seed Miguel Yunes and Jack Schiro of Carthage. All ITA Midwest Region matches will be played at the Swanson Indoor Tennis Center and the Brown Outdoor Courts, which are located on the west edge of the Gustavus campus.
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). These championships are the only national tournaments for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA level, and the only tournaments that combine the levels of Junior/Community Colleges (NJCAA Divisions I-III and the California schools). Participants are determined through these Wilson/ITA Regional Championships, which serve as qualifying tournaments. The national champions from each division square off in the “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis to determine the overall ITA National Small College Champions (who then earn berths into the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, a Division I event, in November).
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 Fila 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 www.itatennis.com.