2006 ITA National Summer Championships Presented by the USTA


Harvard's Ko, Georgia Tech's Delass capture singles titles at ITA National Summer Championships presented by the USTA; Notre Dame, Purdue duos claim doubles

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Harvard's Beier Ko and Georgia Tech's Jordan Delass captured the singles titles Tuesday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Summer Championships at the Indiana University Varsity Tennis Center. Notre Dame's Brooke Buck and Kelcy Tefft and Purdue's Paul Rose and Kurt Zaske claimed the doubles titles. Today's singles and doubles champions from the ITA National Summer Championships earn wild cards into the first national tournaments of the 2006-07 collegiate tennis season - the Polo Ralph Lauren Men's and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in October.

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 23 regional sites throughout the country last month. A record 2,624 players participated in ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit events this year.

Harvard's Ko beat Notre Dame's Buck, the No. 2 seed, 6-3, 6-3 in today's singles final. Ko, a sophomore at Harvard, won six matches in four days en route to the title. A former top-ranked Canadian junior who has lived in Boca Raton, Fla., the past several years, Ko notched wins over two of the top four seeds during her title run. She is returning to college tennis after an abbreviated freshman season - she left the Crimson team after seven matches back in February. She is the first Ivy League player to win the ITA summer title and the first player from outside the Big Ten Conference to win it since 2000.

Notre Dame's Buck rebounded to win the doubles title with Tefft, beating UCLA's Yasmin Schnack and North Carolina's Katrina Tsang 8-5 in today's final. Buck was attempting to become the first woman to sweep the summer titles since 1999.

Georgia Tech's Delass, a junior from Marietta, Ga., beat LSU's Danny Bryan 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 (match tiebreaker) in today's men's final. "Danny came out playing really well in the first set and I was really doubting myself," said Delass, who finished among the top point leaders in both the East and Southeast ITA Circuits this summer. "I got down early in the second set and just kept telling myself to hang in there. I knew I'd have to play almost perfect tennis to be beat him and fortunately I was able to put things together as the match went on.

"My number one goal this summer was to win this tournament and get a wild card into the All-American. So it feels good to be able to commit to something and see it come together like it has."

Earlier today Delass beat Vanderbilt's Nick Cromydas in the semifinals, 7-5, 6-3, and Bryan beat Purdue's Rose, 6-1, 6-0. Delass, who also won six matches in four days, is the first player from the Atlantic Coast Conference to win the ITA summer title since Virginia's Brian Vahaly did in 2000.

Purdue's Rose and Zaske beat Tulsa's Andy Connelly and Will Gray 8-6 to win the men's doubles title. Rose is also making a return to college tennis in 2006. A senior, he was granted a medical redshirt when a knee injury sidelined him last season.

Finalists Bryan, Buck, Connelly and Gray receive wild cards into the All-American qualifying tournaments. The Polo Ralph Lauren Men's All-American Championships takes place Oct. 5-8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships take place on the same dates in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Northwestern's Keri Robinson and Connor Roth, a high schooler from Lisle, Ill., captured the mixed doubles title on Monday, beating Indiana's Erin Clark and MIT's Peden Nichols 8-1 in the final.

This was the sixth straight year that Indiana University served as tournament host.

Over 20,000 men and women have competed in circuit events since it began in 1993. The circuit is the brainchild of Indiana head women's tennis coach Lin Loring and provides college players the opportunity to compete in organized events virtually year round. It is made up of six regional circuits (East, Southeast, Midwest, Central, 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.