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Florida Gators Runner-up at USTA National Campus Chps.; UCF Named Tennis Club of the Year

April 19, 2010 10:18 AM

 The Florida Gators club tennis team

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- April 20, 2010 --
The University of Florida (UF) club tennis team is the only Florida university or college to ever win the national title, back in 2003 when they took advantage of the home-state site at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. Over the past week in Arizona, the Gators outlasted the desert temperatures but came up one match win short of again finishing atop all college club tennis teams, falling to the The University of California-Berkeley in the final of the 2010 USTA National Campus Championships.

UC-Berkley won it's first Campus Championship, defeating Florida 30-14 in the World TeamTennis-style scoring and co-ed format. Both schools came out on top of the 64-school draw.

UC-Berkley Berkeley began the final by winning the women's singles 6-2 and women's doubles 6-3. UF brothers Scott and Kevin Runda gave UC-Berkeley a run for their money but came up short in the men's doubles, losing the match 6-3. UC-Berkeley's men's singles player Leonid Rozkin continued the team's dominant run heading into men's singles by jumping out to an early 4-2 lead. The momentum shifted for University of Florida when sophomore star Kenny Palmer battled back to lead 5-4, but Rozkin's strong serve and powerful ground strokes were too much to overcome and UC-Berkeley took the match 6-5.

The University of Florida hoped for a miracle when its mixed doubles team took the court, as a win would help them make up points and possibly win the match, but UC-Berkeley eventually triumphed 30-14.

"Going into tonight's finals we didn't know what to expect from Florida because we hadn't seen them play, but they put up a good fight and there were a lot of close points," said UC-Berkeley senior Peter Del Moral. "Overall, it was a great match."


The University of Central Florida, which competed at the Campus Championships, was named 2009-2010 'Tennis On Campus' Club of the Year. The USTA Tennis on Campus program allows for competition between schools in their USTA sections leading up to the USTA Campus Championships.

The award is presented annually to the college or university club tennis team that has demonstrated an overall level of sustained excellence, while also demonstrating a commitment to giving back to its local community.

"The University of Central Florida is a perfect example of a model Tennis On Campus program," said Glenn Arrington, national program manager, USTA Tennis On Campus.

The UCF team is a 100 percent self-financed club that has grown to more than 100 recreational and competitive players in 2010 -- a 50 percent increase in the past year.

"UCF is also committed to enriching the lives not only of their team members but also of the local Central Florida community they serve," Arrington said.

The University of Central Florida club has developed strong ties with a number of noteworthy local charitable partners, including Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity, the Hunger Bank and Relay for Life. The team has participated in numerous local events, including the Thanksgiving donation of more than 200 cans of food to the Hunger Bank, and a program to teach tennis to young players at the Red Bug Tennis Facility in the Orlando area. The team also served as a catalyst to start the Florida Gulf Coast University Club club team.

"Choosing a winner of this award was a very difficult decision," said Arrington, "because so many of our Tennis On Campus teams are not just great ambassadors for the game of tennis but also for their college or university, as well as their local communities."

Check out the Tennis On Campus website at www.tennisoncampus.com for complete results, stories and photos. The Tennis On Campus website also offers all college clubs fundraising resources, coaching tips and marketing materials.






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