Surprise, A.Z., April 13, 2013 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced that University of Georgia captured their first National Championship title at the 2013 USTA Tennis on Campus National Campus Championship, held at Surprise Tennis & Racquet Center in Surprise, Ariz., April 11 – 13.
The Bulldogs defeated the University of Florida 26-24 in Saturday’s championship match that brought together the top 64 co-ed intramural and sport club tennis teams that have qualified to represent colleges and universities across the country. The team is captained by Scott Slezak and features Natalie Kieta, Matthew Holland, Marissa Pulido, Tyler Kallgren, Margaret Inscoe, Cicero Lucas, and Jillian Estes.
“Unbelievable – absolutely unbelievable,” said Slezak. “I’m at a loss for words – and for the teammates that know me, that’s a rare thing.”
After dropping the men’s doubles set to the Gators, Holland gave the Bulldogs a kick-start with a win in men’s singles. Pulido and Inscoe widened the lead in women’s doubles with a 6-1 set of their own. Florida pushed back with a win in women’s singles from Jodi Kleiner. Georgia led 21-18 going into mixed doubles, but the Gators 6-4 mixed doubles set pushed the match into overtime. From there on out, it was game, set, match in favor of the Bulldogs.
“Georgia-Florida might be one of the biggest rivalries in all of college sports,” said Holland. “It’s sweet to win, but that much sweeter to beat them in the finals. They were an awesome team.”
“USTA Tennis On Campus is a fantastic opportunity for kids to enjoy recreational tennis in a highly fun and highly competitive setting,” said Glenn Arrington, USTA National Tennis On Campus Manager. “This year’s field was stronger than ever and the Bulldogs should be so proud of their first Championship; it’s one they definitely won’t forget.”
Special guest and USTA First Vice-President Katrina Adams was on hand as the official Event Emcee.
“It’s one of my favorite events of the year,” said Adams. “Anytime you can get this many young people together on the court you are guaranteed a good time. Today was one of the best competitive Tennis On Campus Championship matches I have seen in the last five years.”
Championship Match: University of Georgia def. University of Florida, 26-24
Men’s Doubles: Cicero Lucas & Matthew Holland v. Michael Malinsky & Adam Decker, 5-6
Men’s Singles: Matthew Holland v. Michael Malinsky, 6-5
Women’s Doubles: Marissa Pulido & Margaret Inscoe v. Carol Marie Fraley & Natalie Boruk, 6-1
Women’s Singles: Natalie Kieta v. Jodi Kleiner, 4-6
Mixed Doubles: Cicero Lucas & Margaret Inscoe v. Adam Decker & Jodi Kleiner, 4-6
Overtime Mixed Doubles: Cicero Lucas & Margaret Inscoe v. Adam Decker & Jodi Kleiner, 1-0 Note: A match using the World TeamTennis format includes sets of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles, each game during the match counts as a point towards the overall team score. Past USTA National Campus Champions 2012 – University of California – Berkeley
2011 – University of California – Los Angeles
2010 – University of California – Berkeley
2009 – Duke University
2008 – University of Texas
2007 – Texas A&M University
2006 – Texas A&M University
2005 – Texas A&M University
2004 – Texas A&M University
2003 – University of Florida
2002 – Texas A&M University
2001 – University of North Carolina
2000 – University of North Carolina
The championship opened on Thursday with 16 four-team pools, with schools advancing to bracket play on Friday and Saturday. The first-place teams from each of the 16 pools advance to one bracket (that determines the overall champion), the second-place teams from the pools advance to another bracket, the third place teams advance to a third bracket and the fourth place-teams to a fourth bracket.
The USTA Tennis On Campus program features more than 35,000 college students competing nationwide in intramural and intercollegiate coed club play. Since its inception in 2000, Tennis On Campus has grown significantly and today is played on more than 600 college campuses across the country.
Developed by the USTA in partnership with NIRSA, World TeamTennis and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play, and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years.