January 14, 1999
PRINCETON, N.J. - The top women's college tennis teams in the nation will gather in Madison, Wisc., next month at the 1999 USTA/ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Wisconsin Feb. 18-21.
This is the 12th year the tournament will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin's A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center. The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the nation's premier indoor team tournament, will feature 16 of the top women's tennis programs in the country. Participating in this year's championships are (in order of national ranking): No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 California, No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 Mississippi, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 10 William & Mary, No. 11 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Southern California, No. 14 Arkansas, No. 15 Pepperdine, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 17 Kansas and No. 29 Wisconsin.
Highlighting this year's draw is top-ranked Florida, which is coming off its second NCAA title in three years and has won the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor title a record five times. The Gators carry a 27-match win streak into the season and have won 89 out of 90 matches the past three seasons. Leading the way for coach Andy Brandi's Gators this year are senior Stephanie Nickitas, a two-time NCAA doubles champion, and junior transfer Baili Camino.
Defending tournament champion Stanford will also be in Madison. The Cardinal returns three starters from last year's team, most notably junior All-American Teryn Ashley. Also giving coach Frank Brennan's squad a boost is freshman sensation Marissa Irvin. Stanford's four titles in Madison are second only to Florida's five. Georgia is the only other school to win this tournament, winning titles in '94 and '95.
Host Wisconsin will bring another strong team into this year's tournament. Coach Patti Henderson's squad is led by seniors Barbara Urbanska and Andrea Nathan. Urbanska was an ITA All-American in singles and doubles last year. Nathan is coming off a fall season that saw her jump to No. 48 in the ITA singles rankings.
Other schools to look out for are Duke, Georgia and California. Second-ranked Duke returns five of six starters from last year's team that reached the finals in Madison and the NCAA Championships. Leading the way for the Blue Devils is NCAA singles champion Vanessa Webb. Georgia returns the bulk of last year's squad that reached the NCAA semifinals, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Marissa Catlin. California also has a veteran lineup and is led by NCAA doubles champions Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen.
This year's USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships will also showcase some of the top players in the nation. Seventeen of the top 25 singles players in the nation will be competing. Top-ranked players include: No. 3 Agnes Muzamel of Mississippi, No. 6 Irvin of Stanford, No. 7 Julie Ditty of Vanderbilt, No. 8 Vanessa Castellano of Georgia and No. 10 Mariel Verban of Wake Forest. Also competing will be Arkansas newcomer Chin Bee Khoo, who won the Milwaukee Classic title last week.
Ticket information can be obtained by calling the Wisconsin ticket office at 608-262-1440.
1998 - Stanford
1997 - Florida
1996 - Florida*
1995 - Georgia
1994 - Georgia*
1993 - Stanford
1992 - Florida*
1991 - Florida
1990 - Stanford*
1989 - Stanford*
1988 - Florida
* - Won NCAA title same year