ROME, Ga. – On a clear and sunny fall October day in Rome, Georgia, the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup opened with a full slate of singles and doubles play at the sprawling Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.
The ITA Oracle Cup brings together four divisions of collegiate tennis (Divisions II, III, NAIA and JUCO) to compete in one ITA National Championship.
The four divisional ITA Oracle Cup singles champions earn automatic entry into the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which takes place November 1-5, in Palm Desert, California. Men’s and women’s doubles, meanwhile, will compete for the Oracle Cup, which places the four divisional champions (Division II versus JUCO and Division III versus NAIA) against one another. The winner of the Oracle Cup moves on to the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.
Head to the ITA Oracle Cup event page to view draws, daily recaps, photo gallery links, as well as find live scoring information. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by following @ITA_Tennis and using the hashtag #OracleCup.
Below is a look at how singles and doubles play went down in each division.
The top two seeds in the women’s doubles draw went down on Thursday. The Indianapolis duo of Hanna Volikova and Alina Kislitskaya defeated the No. 1 seed out of the Academy of Art 7-6 (4), 3-6, 1-0 (6), while the NYIT team of Lena Dimmer and Alessia Rossetti also won a three-set match, theirs coming against the No. 2 seed from Midwestern State 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4).
The men’s doubles draw also saw the No.’s 1 and 2 seeds fall in opening round play. Jeremiah Gonzalez and Bojan Popovic won an epic three-set match against the top-seeded team from Washburn 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (19). Edinboro’s Vitor Albanese and Daniel Fernandez scored a 6-3, 6-4 decision over the No. 2 seed out of Drury.
In women’s singles play, three of the four seeded players advanced to Friday’s semifinal round. Lena Dimmer of NYIT scored a 6-1, 7-6 (5) upset over No. 3 Kornelia Staniszewska of Augustana. Top-seeded Volikova of Indianapolis bested Concordia-Irvine’s Anastasiia Kuprina 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1. Sonja Larsen of Barry, the No. 2 seed, outlasted Saoia Gomez de Segura of Mercyhurst 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. Beatriz Lopez of Columbus State (No. 4) defeated Tabitha Porter of Metro State 6-3, 6-1.
Men’s singles saw all seeded players move through to the next round. Defending Division II champion and No. 1 seed Oliver Frank of Azusa Pacific won 6-2, 6-3 against Nils Hoffacker of Indianapolis. Thomas Grinberg of Saint Leo (No. 2) picked up a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Vitor Albanese of Edinboro. Kiranpal Pannu of Columbus State (No. 3) defeated Raul Stevens of UT Permian Basin 6-4, 6-4 and No. 4 seed Alejandro Valarezo Plaza of Washburn won a close two-set match against Matej Selecky of NYIT 7-5, 7-6 (1).
Brian Grodecki of Williams earned the only upset in men’s singles in any of the four divisions. Grodecki took down No. 3 seed Chase Lipscomb of Redlands 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. Top seed Mohanad Al Houni of Gustavus Adolphus topped Jeremy Yuan of Chicago in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Daniel Levine of Carnegie Mellon (No. 2) was victorious over Arthur Fagundes of UT Tyler 6-1, 6-4, while No. 4 Jonathan Jemison of Emory won a 7-6 (5), 6-3 decision against JT Wynne of Skidmore.
The top four women’s singles seeds all won their opening round matches on Thursday. Wesleyan’s Eudice Chong, the No. 1 seed in the draw, defeated Briana Hartmann of Gustavus Adolphus 6-1, 6-1. Catherine Allen of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (No. 2) advanced when Anna Maria Buraya of NYU retired in the third set. Allen was ahead in the match 4-6, 6-2, 5-2. Ysabel Gonzalez Rico of Emory (No. 3) topped Kate Daugherty of Southwestern 6-3, 6-0, while No. 4 seed Claire Handa of Chicago turned back Rachel Summers of Mary Washington 6-4, 6-1.
Whitman men’s doubles team of Zach Hewlin and Robert Carter continued their momentum from Wednesday’s play-in match, as they stopped the No. 1 seed from Gustavus Adolphus 7-6 (3), 4-6, 1-0 (4). There was one upset in women’s doubles, as Southwestern’s Kate Daugherty and Esther Bowers edged No. 4 Carnegie Mellon 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (5).
Georgia Gwinnett’s two players, No. 1 seed Federico Herrera Duran and Kevin Konfederak won their matches on Thursday. The top-seeded Herrera Duran beat Iustin Baciu of Northwestern Ohio 6-4, 6-1, and the No. 2 seed Konfederak topped Agustine Gascia of Cardinal Stritch 6-3, 6-2. Denis Porcic of Lindsey Wilson, the No. 3 seed, advanced when Aliaksandr Meliuk of San Diego Christian retired in the second set. Porcic won the first set 6-1, while the second was knotted 4-4. Daniel Ceron of Keiser (No. 4) defeated Cole Guy of Texas A&M-Texarkana 6-3, 6-1.
The defending NAIA champion and 2016 Oracle Cup singles champion, Camille Gbaguidi of SCAD (No. 1), opened the 2017 tournament with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Zlata Shuraeva of William Woods. Megane Bianco of Keiser, the No. 2 seed, won 6-0, 6-2 over Elizabeth Bauss of Indiana Wesleyan. Emerald Able of Georgia Gwinnett (No. 3) turned away Jessica Emoto of Tabor 6-1, 6-0 and No. 4 seed Isabella Dale of Cumberlands scored a straight set 6-3, 6-2 decision over Sarah Schaerer of San Diego Christian.
All four seeded women’s doubles teams advanced to the semifinals, while the No. 1 and 4 seeds on the men’s side went down. Keiser’s Vicente Lagos and Daniel Ceron were 6-3, 7-6 (6) victors over Georgia Gwinnett’s Herrera Duran and Kosonen. Cardinal Stritch also scored a win over a seeded team, as Nicolas Palacio and Fabio Perasso advanced after the No. 4 seed out of Northwestern Ohio were forced to retire.
Hana Kvapilova of Hillsborough recorded the lone upset in the women’s singles draw, taking down No. 4 seed Valentina Gonzalez of Seminole State 7-5, 6-4. In women’s doubles, all four seeded teams moved on to the next round with straight set victories.
Tyler Junior College’s duo of Marcus Walters and Jorge Martinez are the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, in the men’s singles draw. Walters opened the ITA Oracle Cup with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Michael Vizcarra of American River, while defending JUCO champion Martinez was a 6-2, 6-2 winner in his match against Juan Sebastian Osorio of Copiah-Lincoln. Kent Hunter of Cerritos, the No. 3 seed, won 6-4, 6-2 against Duro Opacic of Seward, and No. 4 seed Tin Chen of ASA Miami advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Nicolas Rousset of Seward.
In men’s doubles, a pair of seeds won and a pair suffered losses. The top-seeded team out of ASA Miami, Chen and Kentaro Mizushima won their match on Thursday 6-1, 6-2 versus Vizcarra and Hall from American River. The No. 2 seed out of Tyler JC, Martinez and Walters, notched a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Osorio and Pinilla from Copiah-Lincoln. Tyler JC’s second team in the draw, Aaron Westerlund and Alexander Parker slipped past Major and Dos Santos, the No. 3 seed from Seminole State 6-1, 6-7 (3), 1-0 (6). Victor Castro and Bruno Duarte won 6-4, 6-1 over Mendoza and Santantonio, the No. 4 seed out of ASA Miami.