The Intercollegiate Tennis Association

First round action at ITA National Indoor Championships brings multiple upsets


Ohio State's wild card team of Christina Keesey and Angela Dipastina upset the defending champions Megan Moulton-Levy and Katarina Zoricic of WIlliam & Mary by a score of 9-7 in first round action.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Top seeds had some disappointing results in opening round play Thursday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championships hosted by Ohio State at the Racquet Club of Columbus.

Top seeds and defending champions Katarina Zoricic and Megan Moulton-Levy of William & Mary were beat by host Ohio State's wild card team of Christina Keesey and Angela Dipastina, by a score of 9-7 in the opening round of women's doubles. And the No. 2 seeded Tennessee team of Caitlin Whoriskey and Zsofia Zubor lost to Marshall's Kellie Schmitt and Karolina Soor, 8-5. On the men’'s side, No.1 pair Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey of Virginia had a close call in their first round match against Daniel Vallverdu and Carl Sundberg of Miami, but pulled through, winning 9-8(3). They were the only men’'s seed to survive, as the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 teams were all upset. 

Devvarman and Huey captured the doubles title at the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships in Tulsa last month and are 9-0 together this season and Friday’'s quarterfinal appearance will be their third in a national tournament. Last season they reached the quarters at the 2006 All-American and semifinals at the 2007 NCAA tournament. Devvarman also notched an opening round victory in singles, beating Andrei Saescu from Oklahoma, 6-3, 6-1. The No. 1 seed, he captured the 2007 NCAA singles title and reached the ‘06 NCAA final. In 2008 he will try to become the first player since Northwestern’s Marty Riessen did from 1962-64 to reach three straight NCAA singles finals.  

It was not a good day for the top seeds on the men’s side, as Devvarman and No.4 Greg Ouellette from Florida were the only two seeded players to survive the first round. Second-seeded Travis Helgeson from Georgia, No.3 Robert Farah from USC, No. 5 Bryan Koniecko from Ohio State, No. 6 Erling Tveit from Mississippi, No.7 Luke Shields from Boise State, and No.8 Andre Begemann from Pepperdine all suffered first round upsets.

On the women’s side, No.1 seed Megan Falcon of LSU also cruised to a first round win, beating Cristina Visico from California, 6-3, 6-0. Falcon is back on track, after a rocky start to the fall season. As the top seed at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships last month, she was upset by Vanderbilt's Amanda Taylor in the opening round, but rebounded to win the consolation draw. A junior from Alameda, Calif., she reached the NCAA singles semifinals last season and finished No. 2 in the final ITA national rankings. This is her second straight second round appearance at the ITA National Indoor Championships. 

Falcon will have tough competition for the title, however, as No. 2 seed Susie Babos from California also advanced, beating Elena Gantcheva from UNLV, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. The senior is looking to add to her national title collection this week in Columbus. Babos has collected national singles titles each of the last three seasons. Her first round win on Thursday improved her record to 25-5 in nine career national tournament appearances. The ITA National Indoor is the only national crown she has not won. She reached the final as a freshman in 2004 but lost to Miami’s Megan Bradley. Last year she entered the event as the No. 1 seed but lost to North Carolina's Jenna Long in the opening round.

All told, seven of the top eight seeds in women’s singles advanced to Friday's second round.

The 2007-08 collegiate tennis season’s first of three national championship events for singles and doubles were the ITA All-American Championships in October, followed by this week’s ITA National Indoor Championships. The NCAA Championships in May are the third (and not administered by the ITA). 

Play resumes Friday morning with women's doubles quarterfinals starting at 9 a.m. Live scoring updates for all singles matches are available at www.itatennis.com. Starting on Saturday there will be video highlights and interviews via www.thebraingame.net.

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