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2013 USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational Day 1 Recap

By: Steve Pratt


Bulldogs Post Convincing Wins Over Wake Forest, N.C. State and Colorado School of Mines To Advance to Gold Bracket On Saturday

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., Oct. 11, 2013 – A berth in the 2014 National Championships already secure by virtue of winning the title last spring, the Georgia Bulldogs find themselves playing for mere bragging rights this weekend at the fourth annual USTA Tennis on Campus Fall Invitational being played at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center.

“We know we’re in so it’s just about putting on a solid performance this weekend,” said Georgia captain Gordon Lucas. “There are a lot of good teams here. I don’t want to sound too confident but we brought our best team and hopefully we’ll win it all come Sunday.”

Thirty-two schools from eight different USTA Sections battled on Friday in pool play, which continues Saturday with the semifinals and finals taking place on Sunday. The winner and runner-up receive an automatic qualifying bid into the TOC National Championships to be played in Surprise, Ariz., next April. If Georgia makes the final on Sunday, the winner of the third and fourth-place match will get the automatic bid.

According to Lucas, Georgia didn’t bring its best players to last year’s Fall Invite and finished 17th place, winning the Silver Bracket. Four players competing this weekend were on the winning national title team, including Lucas, Jillian Estes, Marissa Pulido and Natalie Kieta.

Georgia posted wins on Friday over Wake Forest (30-3), N.C. State (27-18) and Colorado School of Mines (30-13). Also having a solid day on Friday was national champion runner-up Florida, which posted two easy wins in Pool 5 play over Furman (28-8) and Ohio State (30-17). The Gators will face Vanderbilt in the final round of pool play on Saturday at 8 a.m.

Last year’s Fall Invitational winner Duke won Pool 7 with three victories against James Madison (30-15), Georgia State (27-19) and Pennsylvania (29-16).

“This is the strongest field we’ve ever had,” said Elaine Wingfield, an on-site director at the Fall Invite who also serves as the director of competition for World Team Tennis.  “We didn’t have any ‘B’ teams this year and had a waiting list of 20 schools that wanted to get in. It just shows the growth and strength of this event.”

ENJOYING THE VIEW: University of Arizona grad student and captain Taylor Allin said the TOC Fall Invite gives him and has five team members a welcome trip to the East Coast.

“Just the weather and the ocean, it’s beautiful here,” Allin said. “We don’t get to see many trees in Arizona so it’s nice to be able to get out of Arizona for a weekend. Plus we get to play on the clay. I haven’t played on clay since I was 12 years old.”

Arizona traveled the farthest of any school to play in the event, followed by the Colorado School of Mines.

Allin didn’t play Tennis On Campus as an undergrad, but is hooked now. “It’s really fun. We all get along and none of us would have seen Hilton Head Island if not for the tournament. We’ve been to Illinois and Wisconsin for matches.”

#SHORTHANDED: After Temple University unexpectedly pulled out of the event on Thursday, Wake Forest University got the call that they were one of four first alternates to get into the event if they wanted to compete. The first to email organizers back, the 30-player club team scrambled to fill a team in just a few hours, and during Fall Break.

That also meant that the four Wake Forest players – two males and two females – who ended up making the trip would have to play in every match. After being notified at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Chris Ford, Carrie Dajani, Molly Dutmers and Alex Spancake piled into a car by 6 p.m. and drove six hours to Hilton Head Island.

After a morning loss to Georgia, club co-captain vice president Chris Ford was asked if his team had a Twitter account. “I’ll only give it to you if you use #numericalunderdogs when reporting our score,” he quipped.

You can follow the Wake Forest team on Twitter @WFUClubTennis.

I’LL HAVE THE CARROT CAKE: When Spancake was asked the spelling of his last name, he simply said it was an S and then pancake. “It’s German for Spankuchen and means maker of cakes,” he said. “That’s what my family told me, so I’ll go with it.”

TRIVIA TIME: Georgia Tech and the College of William and Mary tied in the Trivia Question contest on Friday, both scoring 9.5 points correct out of 11 questions.

Georgia Tech took the tiebreaker by guessing closest the combined age of three tournament officials.

Sample questions included: How many school participating in the Fall Invite competed at Nationals last spring? A: 12. And this question: Who is Hilton Head Island named after (full name) and in what year did he name it? A: Captain William Hilton in 1663.

SECTION TALK: Exactly half of the 32-team field comes from the USTA Southern Section as 16 schools are representing the host section, including three schools from the state of South Carolina where the event is being held.

Next in line is the Midwest Section with six teams, Mid-Atlantic with four, Middle States with two, and one each from Florida (Univ. of Florida), Northern (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Southwest (Univ. of Arizona) and Intermountain (Colorado School of Mines).

Ohio University Girls   High Fives UVA Silly 
The girls from Ohio University.
(C) 2013 Peter Staples, all rights reserved
High fives all around after the
Wisconsin & Alabama Men's Doubles.
(C) 2013 Peter Staples, all rights reserved
2012 Runners-Up UVA acting silly.
(C) 2013 Peter Staples, all rights reserved

For more Day 1 Photos click here.

Friday’s Pool Play Results

Pool 1
Georgia def. Wake Forest, 30-3
N.C. State def. Colorado School of Mines, 27-14
Georgia def. N.C. State, 27-18
Colorado School of Mines def. Wake Forest, 25-21
Georgia def. Colorado School of Mines, 30-13
N.C. State def. Temple, 26-16

Pool 2
College of Charleston def. Villanova, 29-18
Ohio def. Auburn, 23-22
College of Charleston def. Ohio. 26-21
Auburn def. Villanova, 24-15
Auburn def. College of Charleston, 28-27
Villanova def. Ohio, 25-9

Pool 3
Alabama def. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 27-8
William and Mary def. Kentucky, 25-20
William and Mary def. Wisconsin-Madison, 29-15
Kentucky def. Alabama, 22-21
Note: Final round of pool play will be completed Saturday at 8 a.m.

Pool 4
Virginia def. Ferris State, 27-8
Georgia College and State def. North Carolina-Greensboro, 26-13
Virginia def. Georgia College and State, 30-10
North Carolina-Greensboro def. Ferris State, 26-12
Note: Final round of pool play will be completed Saturday at 8 a.m.

Pool 5
Florida def. Furman, 28-8
Ohio State def. Vanderbilt, 30-15
Florida def. Ohio State, 30-17
Furman def. Vanderbilt, 22-20
Note: Final round of pool play will be completed Saturday at 8 a.m.

Pool 6
South Carolina def. North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 25-22
Minnesota-Twin Cities def. Old Dominion, 29-14
North Carolina-Chapel Hill def. Old Dominion, 30-13
Minnesota-Twin Cities def. South Carolina, 24-23
Note: Final round of pool play will be completed Saturday at 8 a.m.

Pool 7
Georgia State def. Pennsylvania, 27-18
Duke def. James Madison, 30-15
James Madison def. Pennsylvania, 28-12
Duke def. Georgia State, 27-19
Duke def. Pennsylvania, 29-16
James Madison def. Georgia State, 30-13

Pool 8
Arizona def. Tennesssee, 29-20
Georgia Tech def. Dayton, 29-18
Georgia Tech def. Arizona, 29-17
Tennessee def. Dayton, 30-11
Arizona def. Dayton, 30-6
Tennessee def. Georgia Tech, 23-20

Saturday’s Schedule

All matches being played at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center

8 a.m. – Final Round of Pool Play
10 a.m. – Gold Bracket Play
Noon – Silver & Bronze Bracket Play
2 p.m. – Gold Bracket Play
4 p.m. –Silver & Bronze Bracket Play

Sunday’s Schedule
8 a.m. – Gold & Silver Bracket Playoffs
10 a.m. – Gold, Silver & Bronze Bracket Playoffs
10 a.m. – TOC National Fall Invitational Gold Bracket Championship Match

For Day 1 Photos click here.