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ITA All-American Tournaments Kick Off

It’s a bye week, so Hail Racket Man.

Syndication: The Tennessean
If you search the image library for “Vanderbilt tennis,” the first result is indeed VU tennis...from 1972. No, seriously.
Frank Empson / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

The ITA All-American Championships for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams start this weekend, running through October 9th. The men’s tournament is in Tulsa, while the women are playing in Cary, North Carolina. Being a fall tennis competition, these tournaments are individual events, rather than team events.

For some reason I don’t know, the men’s event is a lot bigger than the women’s. There are 412 singles players in the men’s tournament, compared to 176 on the women’s side. Since Vanderbilt’s men team is much weaker than the women’s, this is actually beneficial. It let the men’s team get 6 players into the pre-qualifying singles.

And speaking of “pre-qualifying,” the way this works can be a little confusing. Saturday and Sunday are the pre-qualifying rounds for the lowest ranked players. Think of pre-qualifying like the Wednesday night matchups at the SEC basketball tournament, with the bottom 4 teams.

If you win your pre-qualifying bracket, the qualifying rounds are on Monday and Tuesday. Think of these like an 8 vs. 9 matchup. And if you win your qualifying bracket, you join the main draw beginning on October 5th. Winning a early bracket means winning 4 straight matches, except for men’s singles pre-qualifiers. Due to the increased number of players, those are 5 matches long.

No official brackets have been released, as best I can tell. Here’s where all the competitors are starting. wait, I can’t just create an HTML table anymore? yay Coral. fine, here’s a bulleted list.

Women’s Singles

  • Qualifying: Anessa Lee and Holly Staff
  • Pre-Qualifying: Marcella Cruz, Dasha Kourkina, Celia-Belle Mohr, Sonya Macavei, and Bridget Stammel

Women’s Doubles

  • Main Draw: Anna Ross / Holly Staff
  • Qualifying: Mohr/Stammel and Lee/Macavei

Men’s Singles

  • Qualifying: Joubert Klopper
  • Prequalifying: Jeremie Casabon, Nathan Cox, Marcus Ferreira, Michael Ross, Macsen Sisam, and Siim Troost, which is a real spelling and not me having an aneurysm

Men’s Doubles

  • Qualifying: Ross/Troost
  • Theoretical: Cox/Sisam are the #15 alternate team, so they just need 15 teams to withdraw before the weekend. Although with the hurricane, who seriously knows anymore.

The oddity is Anna Ross, Vanderbilt’s senior leader and highest-ranked player, not competing in the singles event. I don’t know what the reason for that is, since she is competing in doubles.

As you’d expect, there’s no video for the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds. There actually appear to be YouTube streams set up for the main draw starting on Wednesday, although I have no idea what the video quality will be. Glancing at their other videos, it seems like a reasonably high-quality presentation, enough that it might be worth having as background noise while working.

Anyway, Hail Pinman, Hail Racket Man, Ger Ders.