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UF, UCF Favorites at 2010 USTA Florida 'Tennis on Campus' Chps.

February 18, 2010 08:57 AM
A record 25 co-ed tennis teams representing 10 Florida colleges and universities will compete in the USTA Florida Campus Championships, the Florida state championships for the Tennis on Campus program, on Feb. 27-28, 2010, at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

The two-time defending champion University of Florida Gators will be represented by two teams, and the defending runner-up University of Central Florida Knights will have a record six teams in the competition. Other colleges and universities with representation will be the University of Miami (2 teams), Florida State University (3), University of South Florida (3), Florida Gulf Coast University (4), Eckerd College, Stetson University, Florida International University (2) and Florida Institute of Technology.

"Tennis on Campus has allowed some amazing young college leaders to step forward and showcase and develop their talents," said UCF team captain and college senior Luis Duco. "USTA has accomplished their goal of creating one of the most popular sports programs on college campuses. Every aspect of the program has grown, from the quantity and popularity of it, to the quality of players involved. The friendships and sportsmanship is at its highest peak, while the competition is as fierce as ever."

Pool play on Saturday, Feb. 27, will determine the 14 teams that will compete in the Gold Division, and the 11 teams that will compete in the Silver Division on Sunday. The champion and runner-up teams in the Gold Division will advance to the 2010 USTA National Campus Championship at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz., on April 15-17, 2010.

"The Tennis on Campus program has seen a real surge this 2009-2010 season," said USTA Florida Team Tennis Coordinator Michelle Willis. "I am so pleased that 25 teams will be participating in the 2010 Florida Campus Championship. This event is so much fun. It is great to see such a high level of tennis with this level of sportsmanship. Watching the schools in this event, you can really see the meaning of teamwork." 

Last year at this time, 15 teams representing eight colleges and universities battled in Daytona Beach, where the University of Florida (UF) Gators 'A' team captured the title, defeating the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights 'A' team 26-25 in a final that came down to a super tiebreak. Both teams, along with wildcards the University of South Florida and the University of Miami, advanced to represent USTA Florida at the 2009 USTA National Campus Championship in Surprise, Ariz.

The UCF squad went on to finish third at nationals, defeating four-time consecutive Tennis on Campus National Champion Texas A&M (2004-2007) in the 3rd/4th place playoff.

"UF are definitely our biggest rivals because their club program has been around as long as we have," Duco said. UCF and UF have won all four year-end Florida Tennis on Campus Championships since the program began in 2006. "They [Florida] have the level of players and the resources to travel, so it seemed it was always us meeting them in the finals."

The United States Tennis Association, Intercollegiate Tennis Association, World TeamTennis and the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association have developed the USTA Tennis on Campus program through a partnership to provide co-ed college teams the opportunity to play college tennis outside of NCAA competition.

USTA Florida Tennis on Campus Championship Winners:
2009 - University of Florida
2008 -- University of Florida
2007 -- University of Central Florida
2006 -- University of Central Florida
* Prior to 2006, Florida teams advanced straight to nationals

USTA National Campus Championship Winners:
2009 -- Duke University
2008 -- University of Texas -- Austin
2007 -- Texas A&M University -- College Station
2006 -- Texas A&M University -- College Station 
2005 -- Texas A&M University -- College Station
2004 -- Texas A&M University -- College Station
2003 -- University of Florida
2002 -- Texas A&M University
2001 -- University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill
2000 -- University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill






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