By Steve Pratt
Six events highlight Week 5 on the Oracle ITA Summer Circuit Powered by UTR .
The sites and tournament directors include: Azusa Pacific University, Calif. (Mark Bohren); Furman University, S.C. (Adam Herendeen); Michigan State University, Mich. (Gene Orlando);
University of Kansas, Kan. (Todd Chapman); Flagler College, Fla. (Randy Jenks); Southern Methodist University, Texas (Ben Johnson).
After four weeks of play on the ITA Summer Circuit, University of Minnesota sophomore Jackson Allen (Shakopee, Minn.) leads the overall points standings for the men with 825 points.
On the women’s side, Claire Reifeis (Indianapolis) is atop the standings with 925 points. The University of Nebraska junior felt right at home on the Huskers courts last weekend as she won her second ITA Summer Circuit event of the summer with a 7-5, 6-2 victory against Emily Strande in the singles final at Dillon Tennis Center.
Reifeis told the Lincoln Star that her team is motivated to work extra hard after narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament. “Our whole team is very motivated for next year and I know I want to be playing high level tennis when the season starts next spring,” said Reifeis, who also won an ITA title earlier this summer in Minneapolis and took second in the ITA event last week in Manhattan, Kan.
Tied for second currently after four weeks with 700 points and schools they play or intend to play for are: Solymar Colling (Univ. of San Diego), Anastasia Goncharova (UC Santa Barbara) and Domonique Garley (Gonzaga). Caroline Pozo (Northwestern) is fifth at 575 points and there is a four-way tie for sixth place with Asuka Kawai (Illinois), Anna Riedmiller (Denver), Natasha Gonzalez (Harvard), Yana Gurevich (Los Gatos High senior in Los Gatos, Calif.) all with 475 points.
Allen had a successful freshman year for the Gophers posting a 22-9 record. He comes from a diverse sports family. His cousin, Sarah McCrady, was a diver at Minnesota from 2009-13 and his great Uncle, Joe Smith, played football for the Gophers in 1975. His mother Susan played tennis at Gustavus and St. Cloud State and his father Erik was inducted to the Gustavus Hall of Fame for his basketball career.
Edson Ortiz (Alabama), Thomas Brown (South Carolina) and Arturo Kam (Williams) are tied for second with 700 points. Sean Burnette (South Florida) sits at No. 5 with 600 points and Max Kurzban (TCU) next with 575 points. Ryan Mueller (Wake Forest) is seventh at 500 points.
The players are vying for spots in the ITA National Summer Championships, a prize money event, which will be hosted at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 11-14. The singles and doubles champions of the event will receive a wild card into the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships, and the finalists will receive a wild card into the ITA All-American qualifying draw.