MOBILE, AL (Oct. 13) - Eight divisional singles champions were crowned under the hot southern sun this afternoon at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. The semifinals of all the Super Bowl matches were also played today, setting up tomorrow's championship matches.
Today's Super Bowl semifinals featured the divisional winners from Division's II and III as well as NAIA and JUCO. In all four semifinals (men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles), Division II took on Division III, while NAIA faced JUCO. The winners of the Super Bowl titles will earn a spot in the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which will take place Nov. 8-11 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The national tournament will feature the best men's and women's players from the Division I level.
Krtickova will also be searching for a Super Bowl doubles title as she teamed up with Aleksandra Filipovski for a 6-2, 6-2 win in the semis over Emory's Emma Taylor and Clark. A win tomorrow in singles and doubles for Krtickova would make her the first women's player to win both titles since 2008. The pair from Armstrong will take on Tyler Junior College's duo of Fausthy Pietersz and Nelo Phiri, who with a win in the Super Bowl final, would give Tyler Junior College back-to-back Super Bowl doubles titles. Pietersz and Phiri had a tough semifinal match to get to the championship as they edged SCAD-Savannah's Maja Plavsic and Theresa Schmaus, 6-4, 6-4.
Tomorrow's men's Super Bowl finals will have a familiar feel to the women's one as Armstrong's Georgi Rumenov advanced in both singles and doubles draws. Rumenov breezed through his semifinal match against Trinity's Aaron Skinner, winning 6-2, 6-1 and then teamed up with Daniel Regan for a 6-1, 6-1 win over Williams College in the doubles semifinal. If Rumenov is able to win both Super Bowl finals tomorrow, he will become just the third men's player to do so in tournament history and the first to do it since 2002.
Rumenov's opponents in tomorrow's Super Bowl finals will hail from different schools as well as different divisions of college tennis. Adrien Berkowicz of Tyler Junior College will face Rumenov in the singles final. Berkowicz advanced to the finals after jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first set against Embry-Riddle's Patrick Besch, who after surviving a three and half hour match in the NAIA divisional final, was forced to retire due to injury. Nicolas Pinones and Tim Hewitt of Auburn Montgomery advanced to the doubles finals after a 6-1, 6-4 win in the semis against Donovan McSeverey and Brady Bohrenstedt of Collin College. Pinones and Hewitt will look become the first team from Auburn Montgomery to win the Super Bowl doubles title since 2009.
After winning the doubles title last night, top seeded Fausthy Pietersz of Tyler Junior College looked for her second JUCO women's title of the 2012 tournament as she took on the State College of Florida's Chloe Murphy. Well-placed approach shots and crunching volleys led to Murphy taking the first set at 6-4. Murphy would then find herself up an early break in the second set at 4-2 but Pietersz won five of the final six games to force a third set. In the third, Murphy kept the pressure on as she continued to crowd the net which eventually paid off as she went on to win the match in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Murphy's title is the first USTA/ITA National Small College divisional title in school history for the State College of Florida.
Adrien Berkowicz of Tyler Junior College continued to dominate the JUCO men's single draw as he claimed the divisional singles title. Berkowicz posted a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win over Jerel Pleasant of Geogia Perimeter to bring home Tyler Junior College's first men's singles divisional title in 10 years.
Tomorrow's Super Bowl finals will being at 10:00 a.m. CDT with both men's and women's singles match.