Oct. 10, 2001
Princeton, N.J. - The Riviera Women's All-American Championships and Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Men's All-American Championships, the first of three national collegiate tennis championships this 2001-02 season, open play tomorrow (through Sunday) in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Stone Mountain, Ga., respectively.
These tournaments, the Nov. 8-11 Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, and the year-end NCAA Championships are college tennis' three national championship events (for singles and doubles) during the season for Division I men and women.
The top five seeds at the Riviera Women's All-American Championships, which dates back to 1983, are (in order): Bea Bielik of Wake Forest, Lauren Kalvaria of Stanford, Adria Engel of Wake Forest, Nataly Cahana of Old Dominion, and Sara Walker of UCLA. Bielik, a junior from Valley Stream, N.Y., is currently the nation's top-ranked player and is a two-time All-American. Kalvaria reached the final of last year's NCAA singles tournament. The tournament will also feature one of the top freshmen in the country, Megan Bradley of UCLA (daughter of former professional baseball player Phil Bradley (Seattle). The tournament is played at the Riviera Tennis Club.
The top five seeds at the ITA Men's All-American Championships, which dates back to 1979, are (in order): Duke's Phillip King, Pepperdine's Al Garland, Stanford's K.J. Hippensteel, Mississippi's Alex Hartman and UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer. King, a sophomore from Los Angeles, was an NCAA quarterfinalist and ITA National Rookie of the Year last season. Stanford's Hippensteel won this tournament as a sophomore in 1999. Recent All-American champions include up-and-coming professionals Bob Bryan of Stanford ('97) and James Blake of Harvard ('98). The tournament is being held at the Lincoln Tennis Center, site of the '96 Olympic tennis competition.
Qualifying tournaments are finishing today for both tournaments (prequalifying tournaments took place over the weekend). With over 300 players going through qualifying this week, the ITA Men's All-American Championships are the largest college tennis tournaments in the country.
The tournaments can be followed on the ITA website: www.itatennis.com