WOOOOOOOOOO (do not frontpage this, please)
Women's tennis are in the ITA Ohio Valley Regionals starting on Thursday. There are 12 regionals across the country, and the finalists qualify for the ITA National Fall Championships in November.
That sounds reasonable, but the tournament size makes this beautifully insane. The Ohio Valley Regional encompasses Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and southern Ohio, and despite that limited space, the regional has 128 SINGLES PLAYERS and 64 doubles teams. Do you think there's 128 players in those four states with a chance to win a national title? Well neither does anyone else, and that's how you get some 5-win player from UT-Martin or wherever aiming for a title. You think I'm kidding, but see below.
I love this tournament so much because of how absurd the whole premise is. It is my favorite thing.
And they have qualifying tournaments for D2, D3, the NAIA, and the NJCAA too! No seriously, some NAIA kid qualifies for the national tournament every year.
I'll post Vandy's opening round matchups below, along with a two sentence preview. For everyone who wins, I'll just update in the comments.
- 9 AM: #1 overall seed Celia-Belle Mohr (R-SO) vs. Madison Windham (Southern Indiana). Hey, she's from Clarksville! Jesus Lord, she was 3-18 last season for the Screaming Eagles, with a loss to somebody from Cumberland University thrown in there. This is fine.
- 9 AM: Valeria Ray (FR) vs. Jamilah Snells (Louisville). Jesus Lord, she was 4-17 on Courts 2 and 3 for the Cards. Well, it's a good feeling out match to see how the freshman does.
- 9 AM: Holly Staff (SR) vs. Ashlee Fisk (Northern Kentucky). Hey, she was 6-11 on Courts 1 and 2 for the Norse last season! Improvement!
- 10:15 AM: Sonya Macavei (SO) vs. Nishitha Saravanan (Miami of Ohio). Went 11-8 (a winning record!) on Courts 2 and 3. Not bad, but the MAC isn't very high level. I am interested to see how Macavei does, as she was a highly rated recruit but didn't play last spring.
- 12:30 PM: Amy Stevens (JR) vs. Neena Katauskas (Dayton). Sophomore who went 11-9 on Court 2 for the Flyers. Stevens should be favored, but Katauskas is at least a live opponent.
- 1:30 PM: #3 overall seed Bridget Stammel (SO) vs. Ananya Kothakota (Northern Kentucky). Another Norse opponent! From India. Shut up. Went 11-8, but on Courts 4 and 5 against horrendous opposition. Appears to be the youngest graduate student in history, and I say that having watched Riley LaChance for four years.
- 2 PM: #5 overall seed Anessa Lee (SR) vs. Monique Woog (Memphis). Native Shelby Countian! Went 7-9 last season and beat a couple of decent-level opponents. Almost certainly underseeded, relatively speaking.
- 3:30 PM: #4 overall seed Staff/Ray vs. Jamilah Snells (hi again!) & Germany Davis (Louisville).
- 4 PM: Stammel/Macavei Sophomore Power Twins vs. Rut Galindo & Deborah Dominguez Collado (Lipscomb). Galindo is a Purdue transfer and a legit player.
- 5 PM: #1 overall seed Mohr/Lee vs. Mariia Fedenko & Sasha Parkhomenko (Eastern Kentucky)