Gustavus Adolphus College senior tennis player John Kauss (St. Paul, Minn./Harding High School) has been selected as one of six players to represent the United States in the International University Challenge of Tennis to be held this weekend, Dec. 4-7 in Poitiers, France.
Now in its third year, the event features eight teams composed of college and university players from around the world. The seven nations competing with the U.S. include Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Montenegro, Russia, and Switzerland.
Teams will compete in a best-of-seven format consisting of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one men’s and one women’s doubles match, and one mixed doubles match.
Michelle Dasso, the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Illinois, and Paul Settles, the head coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges men’s tennis team, will serve as the U.S. team coaches.
The U.S. team was selected as a joint partnership between the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) using the following criteria: (1) the top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA All-American Championships, (2) the top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA Small College Championships, and (3) the top male and female Americans ranked in the 2008 ITA Preseason Division I Rankings.
Kauss was selected to participate in the International University Challenge after winning the ITA Small College Singles Championship in October in Mobile, Alabama. Seeded fourth out of eight players at the ITA Championships, Kauss did not drop a set in three matches at the tournament including upset wins over #1 seed John Watts of Washington University in St. Louis in the semifinals and #3 seed Chris Goodwin of Emory University in the championship match. It has been a very successful fall season for Kauss who has compiled a singles record of 9-0 against Division III competition without dropping a single set.
Kauss joins men’s players Nate Schnugg of the University of Georgia, and Michael Venus of Louisiana State University. The women’s players are Amanda Fink of the University of Southern California, Jennifer Kung of the University of Chicago, and Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State University.