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Reign Continues For Wildcats at TOC Championships

March 3, 2014 07:50 PM


Feb. 28-March 2, 2014
Jerry Cline Tennis Center - Albuquerque, NM


SruthContinuous rain delays couldn't delay the continued reign and University of Arizona's hold on the USTA Southwest Tennis on Campus Championships.  Three days of stop, start, stop, start, find a new place to play, stop, start, find a new place to play finally resulted in what is fast becoming a March tennis tradition in the Southwest:  An Arizona school winning our top collegiate club event.

Since 2009, either Arizona or Arizona State has won this team tournament, with four of the last five now ending up in Wildcat hands.

Arizona added yet another instance to their dominance by claiming the 2014 title on Sunday, downing the rival Sundevils 28-17 to receive the automatic bid as the Southwest champion.

Arizona State also qualified for the National Championships, as the top two Southwest teams advance to the 64-team field at the National Championships in mid April, held at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex.

After a relatively smooth and dry first day of this year's championships on Friday, the tournament changed to a soggy tune.

Weather prompted two delays on Saturday, and two change of venues, the final one requiring a trek to the indoor courts of the Shellaberger Tennis Center in Santa Fe, about 60 miles from Albuquerque just to finish up bracket play and set the finals.

In the semifinals on Saturday night in Santa Fe, Arizona (1) downed Arizona(2)  26-17, while Arizona State topped Northern Arizona 28-22, to set up a sixth consecutive meeting between these two teams for the title.

RainHowever, inclement weather again interrupted play after on Sunday morning in Albuquerque. After only an hour of play in the finals, rain soaked the courts again, forcing a tough decision to be made to cancel all remaining matches except the finals. The finals moved  to Tucson Country Club later that day just to finish.

Once the battle resumed in Tucson, Arizona quickly took control, winning the men's and women's doubles lines quickly, 6-4 and 6-2, respectively.

The two schools then split the men's and women's singles with Arizona State winning women's singles 6-3 and Arizona taking men's 6-1.

The Wildcats closed it out with a 6-5 victory in mixed doubles to clinch their fourth Southwest title in the last five years. 

The championship roster for Arizona included captain Taylor Allin, Samantha Ruth, Shannon Contreras,  Samantha Henry,  Danny Schuster, Daniel Rapscak, and Connor Harmon. (team pictured below)

We also handed out a few awards at this year's championships, including USTA Southwest Tennis Club of the Year (Arizona), Club Leader of the Year (Shelby Payne - Arizona State), and two Social Media Awards for this year's event (Team - University of New Mexico), individual (Ricky Mendes - UT-El Paso).

A special thanks also goes out to the staff at Jerry Cline Tennis Center,  Shellaberger Tennis Center for accommodating us on Saturday night and for Tucson Country Club hosting the final round (both were lifesavers!). Also, a small debt of gratitude is owed to Albuquerque volunteer Cee Ann Vaughan for her assistance with the tournament.  

Thanks to all of our teams that played and traveled to Albuquerque this year. There wasn't much we could do about the weather, but hope you had a blast in the time you did get on the court. 

Good luck to our teams moving on to the USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships.



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