Tennis Gears Up For CAA Championships

April 19, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 19, 2005

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion men's and women's tennis teams will participate at the 2005 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship this weekend. The tournament will begin on Thursday morning at Huntington Park in Newport News, Virginia.

The Monarch men's tennis team enter the tournament as the #3 seed ranked #62 in the most recent ITA Poll released on Tuesday. The Old Dominion men's tennis squad holds a 13-11 overall record and 3-1 mark during CAA competition. Among the many Monarch highlights from the dual meet season include wins over then-#35 Virginia Commonwealth and #44 N.C. State.

Potential CAA Player of the Year Izak van der Merwe (Kempton Park, South Africa), ranked 33rd in the latest singles poll, headlines the Monarch singles line-up. To date, van der Merwe has compiled a 23-10 overall mark and 14-6 record from dual meets this spring. In the fall, van der Merwe had several notable tournament finishes including reaching the semi-finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships, quarterfinal appearances at the UVA Fall Invitational and Icy Hot/ITA All-American Main Draw, and playing to the Round of 32 at the Wilson/ITA Mideast Regional. During the spring dual meet season he recorded victories over ranked opponents from Wake Forest, Winthrop, Harvard, and Virginia Commonwealth.

Another notable singles performances from the Monarchs this spring have come from sophomore Henrique Cancado (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and freshmen Eidy Igarashi (São José do Rio Preto, Brazil) and Rodrigo Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Cancado, who primarily played at No. 2 singles, has posted a 22-11 overall mark and 15-6 dual meet record. During the fall Cancado reached the semifinals of the Hampton Roads Collegiate Invitational, the Round of 16 at the UVA Fall Invite, and the Round of 32 at the Wilson/ITA Mideast Regional. Igarashi and Souza both joined the team in the spring. Igarashi has earned a 16-8 overall mark, which has included a 3-1 record in CAA play, while Souza has played to a 13-8 overall mark.

In doubles, the Monarchs will be led by the duo of van der Merwe and sophomore Nate Grover (Suffolk, Va.). The Monarch duo, which has been ranked throughout most of the season, has posted an 10-8 overall record and 5-4 dual meet mark. Among the fall tournament doubles highlights for van der Merwe are a Round of 16 appearance at the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Main Draw after coming for the qualifying bracket and a Round of 16 appearance at the Wilson/ITA Mideast Regional.

The men's championship appears to be one of the most wide-open tournaments in several years. Nine-time defending champion Virginia Commonwealth (14-9) will be the top seed after another solid campaign that has them listed #38 in the nation in the latest ITA rankings after beating eight ranked foes this season. The Rams are led by sophomore Arnaud Lecloerec, who is ranked #20 in the country in singles. William & Mary (8-14), which has reached the finals of four of the past six CAA tournaments, will be the #2 seed. The Tribe has been nationally ranked for a good part of the season after defeating two ranked opponents this year and dropping narrow 4-3 decisions to five others. W&M is led by senior Jeff Kader, who is ranked #66 nationally in singles.

On the women's side, the Lady Monarchs enter the CAA Tournament with an 11-13 record and 3-2 mark in the CAA having faced seven ranked opponents. Counted among the wins were two victories over CAA rival UNC-Wilmington and two wins against George Mason.

The women are paced by junior and two-time All-CAA selection Kerstin Endlich (Neustadt, Germany), who this season is holding a 11-16 overall mark and 8-13 dual meet record as the Lady Monarchs top singles player.

Sophomores Barbara Kerner (Herxheim, Germany) and Fernanda Luiz (Nova Lima, Brazil) have also had successful second years with the Lady Monarchs in singles play. Kerner has posted a 19-12 overall mark and 14-10 dual meet record, while Luiz enters the post-season with an 18-14 overall mark and 12-12 dual meet record.

In doubles, the Lady Monarchs are led by the duo of Endlich and Luiz. Together the Lady Monarch duo has earned a 15-10 overall and 12-8 dual meet mark.

The CAA Women's Tennis Championship has provided plenty of drama in recent years, with the past three title matches decided by 4-3 final scores. Defending champion William & Mary, which has captured 17 of the 20 CAA women's tennis titles, will once again be the #1 seed. The Tribe (16-5) is ranked #20 in the nation this week and has knocked off 11 ranked opponents in 2005. W&M has three players ranked among the top 100 in the nation in singles with #35 Megan Moulton-Levy, #67 Megan Muth and #92 Candice Fuchs. Virginia Commonwealth (15-6), which has played in the past three CAA title matches and captured the 2003 championship, will be the #2 seed. The Rams are #54 in the latest ITA rankings and have beaten five ranked foes this season. VCU is led by freshman Marianna Yuferova, who is ranked #60 in the nation in singles. Old Dominion (10-14) is seeded #3 in the tournament. The Lady Monarchs won the 2001 CAA championship and have reached at least the semifinals of the past 10 tournaments.

Thursday, April 21
Men's Matches

11:00 am #8 Drexel vs. #9 George Mason

Women's Matches
11:00 am #8 Hofstra vs. #9 Towson
1:30 pm #7 George Mason vs. #10 Drexel

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Free CAA Junior Tennis Clinic at Huntington Park featuring coaches and players from the various coaches. To sign up for the free clinic e-mail with name and contact info.

Friday, April 22, 2005
Women's Matches

9:00 a.m.#4 UNC-Wilmington vs. #5 James Madison
11:30 a.m. #1 William & Mary vs. Winner of #8/#9
2:00 p.m. #2 Virginia Commonwealth vs. Winner of #7/#10
4:30 p.m. #3 Old Dominion vs. #6 Delaware

Men's Matches
9:00 a.m. #4 UNC-Wilmington vs. #5 James Madison
11:30 a.m. #1 Virginia Commonwealth vs. Winner of #8/#9
2:00 p.m. #2 William & Mary vs. #7 Delaware
4:30 p.m. #3 Old Dominion vs. #6 Hofstra

Saturday, April 23, 2005
10:00a.m. Women's Semifinals
1:00 p.m. Men's Semifinals

Sunday, April 24, 2005
10:00 a.m. Women's Championship Match
1:00 p.m. Men's Championship Match

Note: The men's and women's champion will advance to the 2005 NCAA team championship.


Coming from Richmond on interstate 64

Take J. Clyde Morris Blvd. Exit number 258A go 2.80 miles
Turn Left onto Warwick Blvd. Go 3.59 miles
Turn Right onto Hornet Circle

Coming from Norfolk on interstate 64
Take 2nd J. Clyde Morris Blvd. go 2.80 miles
Turn Left onto Warwick Blvd. Go 3.59 miles
Turn Right onto Hornet Circle