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Tennis Briefs(2): Fla. Sweeps DII Championships; More

May 20, 2014 01:58 PM
UWF, Barry Make a Florida Sweep of Division II Tennis Championships
The University of West Florida men's Division II champions
The Barry University women's Division II champions

The state of Florida made a sweep of the Division II Tennis National Championships over the weekend when the University of West Florida men and the Barry University women captured titles at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The UWF men entered the NCAA Division II Championships with a No. 1 national ranking, and in the final beat previously-undefeated and No. 2 seed Hawai'i Pacific 5-3 for the school's third men's tennis national championship.

"This is the greatest group of guys," said UWF Head Coach and ITA Division II National Coach of the Year Derrick Racine. "They have worked so hard for it. To win it this year, when we've been so close the last few years, is a really special feeling."

The Argonauts (29-0) completed their first-ever undefeated season, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the doubles, then clinching with singles wins from nationally No. 1-ranked Bruno Savi and No. 13-ranked Tony Rajaobelina.

The previous two national championships for UWF in men's tennis came in 2004-05.

Miami Shores' Barry University women also entered the tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation, and in the final edged Armstrong Atlantic 5-4 for their second national title in the program's history.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Barry sixth-year coach Avi Kigel said. "It wasn't easy. They pushed us to the limit."

The Barry Bucs (28-1 on the season) swept the doubles for a 3-0 lead, then jumped out to a 4-2 lead early in the singles, but the Pirates of Armstrong Atlantic evened it at 4-4 after gutting-out two three-setters. In the last match on court, Barry's Kimmy Twelker won the decider, recovering from failing to close out five match points in the second set by pulled out a third-set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles.

"We worked so hard for this moment," said Twelker, who went 15-0 in singles this year to tie the school record for single-season winning percentage. "I'm so glad that we fought through this, and now it all paid off. We are the best team in the nation, and we deserved it."

Orlando's Kendrick R-up at Jacksonville Firehouse Subs Tennis

Left to right: Robin Peters, executive director of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation; champions Daniel Garza and Jorge Aguilar; and Firehouse Subs Men's Tennis Tournament Event Chair Sheri Kohler
Left to right: runners-up Robert Kendrick and Brett Joelson

Charity funds were raised for the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, and the Men's Open Division featured an all-start final at the 40th annual Firehouse Subs Men's Doubles Tennis Tournament, held May 16-18, 2014, at the Jacksonville Golf & Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

In the Men's Open Division final, Chilean Davis Cup player Jorge Aguilar and Mexican Davis Cup player Daniel Garza defeated former ATP No. 69-ranked American Robert Kendrick of Orlando and Brett Joelson, the former No. 1 doubles player from Texas A&M 6-2, 7-6.

The two 29 year olds Aguilar and Garza claimed the top prize of $5,000 after last month winning the doubles title at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Vero Beach, Fla.

The 34-year-old Kendrick is currently a private tennis coach in the Orlando area. He is perhaps most noted for his Wimbledon run in 2006 where he led No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal two sets to love before falling 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4. Kendrick was the only player in the tournament to take a set from Nadal prior to the Spaniard's loss in the final to Roger Federer.

Joelson as a junior finished runner-up in doubles at the 2001 US Open juniors event.

The Firehouse Subs Men's Doubles Tennis Tournament is the largest amateur men's doubles tournament of its kind in Northeast Florida, attracting players regionally, nationally and worldwide. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which provides life-saving equipment and support to first responders.

Here are the 2014 division winners:

Men's Open Division:

(1) Jorge Aguilar/Daniel Garza d. (2) Brett Joelson/Robert Kendrick 6-2, 7-6

Men's A Division:
(2) Tom Gable/Brian Landeweer d. Mike Feci/Onke Murdono 6-1, 6-3

Men's B Division:
Steve Abraham/Mark Thompson d. Hanz Tabora/Randy Warren 6-1, 6-1

Men's C Division:
Cachin/Pechillo d. Vockell/Clark 7-5, 6-3

Men's Senior Division:
(1) Robert Bass/Kenny Wood d. (2) Andrews/Carl Poske 7-5, 6-2

Men's Super Senior Division:
Charles McGehee/Ray Zenisek d. John Townsend/Keith Stiles 6-3, 6-3

Headquartered in Jacksonville, in 2005 Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given more than $9 million to hometown heroes in 40 states and Puerto Rico, including $1.8 million in Florida alone.

Jacksonville Golf & Country Club was Awarded "Best Tennis Facility in Jacksonville" two years running by the First Coast Tennis Foundation, an official USTA Florida Community Tennis Association. The club also hosts the R.I.T.A., the largest women's doubles event in North Florida, and the Slice for Life, the largest mixed doubles event in North Florida.

For more information on the Firehouse Subs Men's Doubles Tennis Tournament go to www.usptaplayer.com/tournaments/608/.






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