BLOOMINGTON, Ind. For the fourth straight year Indiana University is slated to hold the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Summer Championships Open this Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center. The championships run through Tuesday, August 17.
Indianas Dora Vastag is the top-seed in the womens singles draw while; Ohio States Joey Atas is the top-seed in the mens draw. Vastag finished last season ranked 54th in the ITA national singles rankings and is a native of Okemos, Mich. Atas won 25 matches last season at Ohio State. It will feature players from throughout the country and consists of 64-player men's and women's singles draws as well as doubles and mixed doubles.
Other Hoosier competing is 2004 doubles All-American Sarah Batty and Laura McGaffigan. Incoming freshmen Brianna Williams and Amanda El-Tobgy are slated to compete from the womens team.
The ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit is the brainchild of Indiana head women's tennis coach Lin Loring and provides college tennis players the opportunity to compete in organized events virtually year round. It is made up of five regional circuits (East, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West) and each region consists of four consecutive tournaments played during the month of July, leading up to the ITA National Summer Championships. The ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit had a record 2,005 player participate in last year's events.
The ITA National Summer Championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), are the pinnacle of the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, which was played at 20 regional sites throughout the country last month. Over 15,000 men and women have competed in circuit events since it began in 1993. This is the 10th anniversary of the national championships, which were added to the circuit in '94.
The singles and doubles champions from the ITA National Summer Championships earn wild cards into the first national tournaments of the 2004-05 collegiate tennis season - the Icy Hot/ITA Men's and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in October (the finalists earn wild cards into the qualifying tournaments).
Illinois' Chris Martin and Jennifer McGaffigan captured last year's singles titles in Bloomington. Past tournament finalists include current touring pros: Amer Delic (Illinois), Julie Ditty (Vanderbilt), Jennifer Russell (Purdue), K.J. Hippensteel (Stanford), Jim Thomas (Stanford) and Brian Vahaly (Virginia).