Van Der Merwe Captures Virginia Tournament Title
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 28, 2003
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Old Dominion University junior Izak van der Merwe (Kempton Park, South Africa) took home the Flight A Singles Title at the 2003 University of Virginia Men's Tennis Tournament held this weekend. Van der Merwe won five consecutive matches en route to his title, winning all five in straight sets.
Second seeded van der Merwe opened up with a 6-4, 7-6 win over R.J. Murray of N.C. State and followed with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Geoff Russell of CAA rival William & Mary. The junior Monarch then gave up just three games in his quarterfinal and semifinal appearances. Against Rylan Rizza of host Virginia in the quarters, van der Merwe emerged with a 6-0, 6-2 win and then defeated David Lingman of Harvard, 6-1, 6-0 in the semis. In the finals, van der Merwe captured the title with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Andrew Hamar of Alabama, who had advanced to the finals after defeating top seeded Stephen Mitchell in the first round of play.
Senior Niklas Oskarsson (Halmstad, Sweden) also had an impressive Virginia Tournament run advancing to the semifinals in Flight B singles. Oskarsson defeated Kal Patrik, a CAA rival from William & Mary, 6-1, 6-1, to open play and then defeated Will Shaw of N.C. State, 7-6, 6-2, to advance. In the quarterfinals, Oskarsson downed Wake Forest's Joe Bates in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. He fell in the semifinals to Jack Li of Harvard, 6-4, 6-3, who eventually went on to earn the Flight B singles title.
In other singles action, senior Zoltan Csanadi (Timisoara, Romania) advanced to the second round in Flight A play. Csanadi defeated William & Mary's Alex Fish, 6-1, 7-5, but fell in three sets to Stephen Rozek of Virginia, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Csanadi and van der Merwe, the 2002 Virginia Men's Tennis Flight A Doubles Champions, returned to the finals once again, but dropped a heartbreaking 9-8 (3) decision to 2003 champions Steven Kan and Geoffery Russell of William & Mary. On their way to the finals, the duo of Csanadi and van der Merwe defeated, R.J. Murray and Val Banada of N.C. State (8-4), Troy Havens and Paul Rose of Purdue (8-4), and Mark Riddell and Cliff Nguyen of Harvard (8-2).
In Flight B doubles action, sophomore Adriano Mello (Londrina, Brazil) and Nate Grover (Suffolk, VA) lost in their opening round to Stephen Rozek and Darrin Cohen, 8-4, but went on to win the Flight B Consolation bracket winning two matches and then defeating George Tumer and Jason Beren of Harvard, 8-6.
The Monarchs will return to action at the ITA All-American Tournament. The pre-qualifier will begin on October 3rd in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Flight A Singles:
Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. R.J. Murray (NCSU): 6-4, 7-6 Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. Geoff Russell (WM): 6-4, 7-5 Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. Rylan Rizza (UVA): 6-0, 6-2 Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. David Lingman (HAR): 6-1, 6-0 Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. Andrew Hamar (ALA): 6-4, 7-6
Marko Miklo (UVA) def. Calin Milos (ODU): 6-0, 6-1
Flight B Singles:
Niklas Oskarsson (ODU) def. Kal Patrick (WM): 6-1, 6-1 Niklas Oskarsson (ODU) def. Will Shaw (NCSU): 7-6, 6-2 Niklas Oskarsson (ODU) def. Joe Bates (WF): 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 Jack Li (HAR) def. Niklas Oskarsson (ODU): 6-4, 6-2
Joe Davis (NCSU) def. Adriano Mello (ODU): 7-5, 6-4
Mike Dowling (UVA) def. Dominic Manilla (ODU): 7-6, 6-0
Stephen Ward (WM) def. Simon Sjogren (ODU): 6-2, 6-4
Gideon Valkin (HAR) def. Jonathan Antle (ODU): 6-1, 6-0
Ryan Johnson (NCSU) def. Nate Grover (ODU): 6-4, 7-5
Flight A Doubles:
Zoltan Csanadi/Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def R.J. Murray/Val Banada (NCSU): 8-4 Zoltan Csanadi/Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. Troy Havens/Paul Rose (PUR): 8-4 Zoltan Csanadi/Izak van der Merwe (ODU) def. Mark Riddell/Cliff Nguyen (HAR): 8-2 Steven Kane/Geoffery Russell (WM) def. Zoltan Csanadi/Izak van der Merwe (ODU): 9-8(3)
Stephen Mitchell/Mike Green (ALA) def. Calin Milso/Niklas Oskarsson (ODU): 9-7
Flight B Doubles:
Colin Foster/Eric Hodgman (PUR) def. Jonathan Antle/Dominic Manilla (ODU): 8-4