April 30, 2009
April 30 C-USA Tennis Notebook
IRVING, Texas – Conference USA will have six individuals participating in the 2009 Men's and Women's NCAA Individual Tennis Championships, the NCAA tennis subcommittee announced. The top 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams will compete in the event, May 20-25, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, following the conclusion of the team championships. Texas A&M University will serve as the event host.
Four-time C-USA Player of the Year Arnau Brugues of Tulsa was selected as the top seed in the men’s draw. Brugues, the nation's top-ranked singles player, earned Conference USA's automatic bid into the singles championship. The three-time All-American is 40-3 on the season with 25 wins against nationally-ranked opponents, and is a perfect 24-0 this spring.
Brugues and junior Philip Stephens also earned a bid to compete in the doubles championship. Stephens and Brugues earned C-USA's automatic bid into the doubles championship as the No. 11 doubles tandem in the country. The duo is 17-7 on the season with 10 wins against ranked opposition.
Bruno Rosa and Christoph Müller of Rice both qualified for the event as at-large selections. This is the second consecutive year that Rosa has earned a spot in the field, while Müller qualified last year in doubles. Rosa earned All-America honors last season after advancing to the round of 32. This is the first time since 2003 that the Owls have qualified a pair of players in the NCAA singles field.
On the women’s side, C-USA Freshman of the Year Marta Lesniak claimed the league’s automatic bid into the singles championship. The highest ranked C-USA player at No. 59 in the latest ITA rankings, Lesniak has posted a 13-1 overall record at the top of the SMU lineup. The native of Poland was also named C-USA’s Singles Player of the Championship.
Lesniak and partner Aleksandra Malyarschikova played at the top doubles spot for SMU once they both joined the lineup at the midpoint of the spring season and the pair claimed C-USA’s automatic bid into the doubles championship. The pair, currently C-USA’s top ranked doubles team at No. 32, went a perfect 13-0 this spring.
Three-time C-USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Year Kellie Schmitt of Marshall was selected as one of the six alternates to the singles draw. Schmitt is the league’s second three-time Player of the Year recipient. The senior is 21-4 in singles this spring, including a 7-3 mark in her last 10 matches.
All matches will be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.
Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championships was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA Top 125 eligible/entered singles players, the subcommittee applied the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All singles players must have recorded a minimum of 13 completed singles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championships was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. For conferences with more than one doubles team within the ITA Top 60 eligible/entered doubles teams, the subcommittee also applied the NCAA selection criteria to determine which doubles team is the automatic qualifier from those conferences. All doubles teams must have recorded a minimum of 10 completed doubles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
The pairings for the singles and doubles tournament will not be released until the team competition begins at the 2009 NCAA Championships.