FGCU to host Wilson/ITA Regional Championships
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University is hosting two of the 58 Wilson/ITA Regional Championships played across the country over the last three weeks of September. FGCU will host the Southeast Regional championships for both men and women from Thursday, September 22 to Sunday, September 25. The Wilson/ITA Southeast Men’s and Women’s Championships at the FGCU Tennis Complex will feature the top NCAA Division II schools in the region. The singles and doubles champions from this weekend's tournament advance to the Oct. 13-16 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Small College Championships, also to be held at FGCU. FGCU tennis coach J. Webb Horton is serving as the tournament director. "We are excited to have the opportunity to host both of these regional tournaments,” said Horton. “The ITA events are the showcase of the fall season and we have some excellent players competing for spots in the national championships.” Student-athletes representing nine institutions will compete in both the men’s and women’s singles and doubles competition. Aivarus Balzekas of Lynn is the top seeded men’s player while Ildiko Csordas of Barry is the top-seed in the women’s draw. Thomas Hipp and Martin Jensen of Barry are the top seed in the men’s doubles draw while Dragana Illic and Victoria Weltz of Lynn are the top women’s doubles seed. First round matches begin Thursday morning at both the FGCU Tennis Complex and Three Oaks Park tennis facility. Second and third round matches will be played on Friday at both locations. 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 all levels of Junior/Community Colleges (NJCAA Divisions I-III, and California Community Colleges). 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 ITA 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.