NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 5) – Yuya Ito of the University of Texas and Elysia Bolton of UCLA are the No.1 seeds in the singles draws for the 2019 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships that open Wednesday at Newport Beach Tennis Club and The Tennis Club at Newport Beach in Newport Beach, Calif.
Jack Lin and Jackie Tang of Columbia and NC State’s Anna Rogers and Alana Smith drew the top seed in their respective doubles draws. The tournament, which runs through Sunday, begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. Admission and parking are free.
Live streaming of featured men’s and women’s matches will be available along with live scoring for all matches.
Sunday’s singles finals at the Newport Beach Tennis Club will air live on ESPN3 with Bryan Fenley, Marc Lucero and Jasmine Minor describing the action. Both finals will re-air on ESPNU with dates and times to be announced.
The men’s competition will take place at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach and the women will play at Newport Beach Tennis Club Wednesday through Friday before all play moves to Newport Beach Tennis Club on Saturday.
Ito enters the Oracle ITA National Championships as the UTR/ITA National Player of the Month for October and is coming off a title at the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships Oct. 13. The Longhorns’ senior ran off six straight singles victories, five of which came against opponents ranked in the top 33 with four of those in the top 25 and two in the top 15. It was capped with a win over No. 10 Sam Riffice of Florida in the title match.
Bolton, who entered the fall ranked No. 16 in the Oracle ITA Preseason National Rankings, posted a 3-1 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships. A year ago, the Bruins’ sophomore reached the quarterfinals of the Fall Championships where she fell to North Carolina’s Makenna Jones.
Bolton is also scheduled to compete alongside Jada Hart in doubles. The pair reached the quarterfinals last year.
Lin and Tang are coming off a doubles title at the ITA All-American Championships, while Rogers and Smith opened the fall ranked No. 1 in the Oracle ITA Preseason National Rankings.
The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships features 128 of the nation’s top collegiate singles players (64 men and 64 women) and 64 doubles teams (32 men’s team and 32 women’s teams). In its third year, having replaced the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, it is the lone event on the collegiate tennis calendar to feature competitors from all five divisions playing in the same tournament.
A total of 40 men and 40 women earn automatic qualification into the singles draw based on their performance in a series of prior fall events (Oracle ITA Masters, Milwaukee Tennis Classic, ITA All-Americans, ITA Cup, and ITA Regionals). Additionally, one Oracle Wild Card, two ITA Wild Cards and 21 at-large selections per gender receive an entry into the championships. The doubles championships provide 19 automatic qualifiers per gender, with one Oracle Wild Card, two ITA Wild Cards and 10 at-large selections completing the field. (See selection criteria.)
USC leads the men’s singles draw with four selections (Mor Bulis, Daniel Cukierman, Stefan Dostanic, and Riley Smith), while Ohio State, Texas and Texas A&M each have three individuals expected to compete. Baylor, Iowa and Oklahoma State pace all schools with two doubles teams.
North Carolina tops all schools with four players (Sara Daavettila, Alexa Graham, Cameron Mora, and Alle Sanford) in the women’s singles draw, followed by California, Duke, NC State, Oklahoma State, UCF and UCLA with three individuals. The Bruins lead the doubles draw with three teams, while NC State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, UCF and USC each have two teams.
Four of the top 10-ranked individuals in the Oracle ITA Division I Preseason National Rankings are in the men’s singles draw, including No.2 Christian Sigsgaard (Texas), No. 4 Yuya Ito (Texas), No. 8 Daniel Cukierman (USC) and No. 9 Jack Lin (Columbia). Cukierman qualified for the Fall National Championships after capturing the Oracle ITA Masters Championships title in September.
The men’s singles draw also includes ITA Cup Champions Alejandro Ibanez Gallego (Barry University; NCAA DII), Jose Dugo (Georgia Gwinnett College; NAIA) and Oscar Gabriel Ortiz (Seward County Community College; Junior College).
Seven of the top 10-ranked individuals in the Oracle ITA Division I Preseason National Rankings are in the women’s singles draw, including No.2 Estela Perez-Somarriba (Miami, Fla.), No. 4 Alexa Graham (North Carolina), No. 5 Kelly Chen (Duke), No. 6 Michaela Gordon (Stanford), No. 7 Sara Daavettila (North Carolina), No. 8 Anna Rogers (NC State) and No. 9 Jada Hart (UCLA).
Perez-Smomarriba defeated Georgia’s Katarina Jokic in last spring’s NCAA singles final, preventing Jokic from accomplishing the rare feat of winning two national singles titles in the same season. The Bulldogs’ sophomore captured the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Among her wins was a semi-final victory over Vanderbilt’s Christina Rosca who will be competing this week.
The women’s singles draw also includes ITA Cup Champions Tatiana Simova (ASA Miami; Junior College), Elyse Lavender (Brenau; NAIA), Justine Leong (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps; NCAA DIII) and Berta Bonardi (West Florida; NCAA DII).
The second-ranked Texas Tech duo of Parker Wynn/Bjorn Thomson, which reached the semifinals a year ago before falling to UNC Asheville’s Oli Nolan and Henry Patten, is the highest-ranked men’s doubles team in the field. The top-ranked NC State tandem of Anna Rogers/Alana Smith highlights the women’s doubles field along with the North Carolina duo of Makenna Jones and Cameron Morra. The Tar Heels team reached the semifinals in 2018.
A series of events around the tournament is planned as Oracle will host a Pickleball and Pints Party at The Tennis Club on Friday, Nov. 8. The event is scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m. and the public is welcome. A Question-and-Answer session on the recruiting process and college tennis with college coaches will take place Sunday at the Newport Beach Tennis Club beginning at 10 a.m. Finals Sunday will also include a Family BBQ starting at 11 a.m.
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
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