2002 USTA/ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships Open This Week
Feb. 6, 2002
MADISON, WI - The 2002 USTA/ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships open this Thursday at the University of Wisconsin's A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
The field for the USTA/ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin, is: Baylor, Duke, Fresno State, Georgia, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Southern California, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington and host Wisconsin. The field includes 14 teams ranked in the top 20 of the latest ITA national rankings.
Thursday's first round matches and times are as follows (national rank in parenthesis):
(13) Notre Dame vs. (7) Southern California, 9 a.m. (17) Northwestern vs. (4) Vanderbilt, 9 a.m. (16) North Carolina vs. (9) Fresno State, 9 a.m. (2) Duke vs. (18) Oklahoma State, 9 a.m. (1) Stanford vs. Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (14) Wake Forest vs. (11) Washington, 3:30 p.m. (5) Georgia vs. (20) Baylor, 3:30 p.m. (6) Tennessee vs. Old Dominion, 3:30 p.m.
The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship is the nation's premier national indoor tournament and usually serves a preview to the May NCAA Championships. This event, which helps kick of the collegiate tennis season, began in 1988 and has been hosted by Wisconsin each year.
The top-ranked Stanford women have won a record six national women's team indoor titles, including three of the last four. The Cardinal also won last May's NCAA title, beating Vanderbilt in the final. Coach Lele Forood and Stanford return five of six starters from last season's 28-0 team and will be led by ITA All-American Lauren Kalvaria, an NCAA singles finalist last season. The Cardinal has won 63 of its last 64 matches over the past two seasons.
In addition to NCAA finalist Vanderbilt, Duke and Georgia are also expected to make strong runs at this year's title. Duke reached the final in Madison in '98 and '99 while Georgia fell to Stanford 4-3 in last year's final and captured titles in '94 and '95. Tennessee and Southern California will also be bringing veteran teams to Madison with title hopes.
Host Wisconsin is also off to strong start this season, coming wins over BYU and Minnesota this past weekend to improve to 3-0.
The tournament will also feature some of the top players in the country, including top-ranked Bea Bielik of Wake Forest. Also on hand will be No. 3 Kelly McCain of Duke, No. 4 Kalvaria of Stanford, No. 5 Nataly Cahana of Old Dominion, No. 9 Marine Piriou of Northwestern and No. 10 Erin Burdette of Stanford. Fifteen of the top 25 players in the latest rankings will be competing.
The tournament can be followed at www.itatennis.com