|The champion University of Central Florida "A" squad
|The runner-up University of Florida "A" team
|The University of South Florida "A" squad
The University of Central Florida (UCF) club tennis team stunned the three-time defending champion University of Florida (UF) 30-27 in the final of the USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" Championships on Feb. 18-19, 2012, at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The event is the final tournament of the 2011-12 USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" circuit for club tennis teams from Florida colleges and universities.
The two Florida college club tennis powerhouses met for the fifth time in a final this season, with UCF ending UF's three-year grip on the Florida championship. Prior to UF's three-year run, UCF won the Florida championship title back-to-back in 2007-08. Both UCF and UF by reaching the final earned berths to the national championships, the 2012 USTA National Campus Championships, featuring the Top 64 college and university club tennis teams in the U.S. on April 12-14, 2012, in Cary, N.C.
Against all odds the University of South Florida (USF) also earned a trip to the USTA Campus Championships national event as the leader of the USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" points race for the 2011-12 season (behind UCF and UF). The USF squad made the trip to Altamonte Springs missing a number of key players, yet beat out Florida Gulf Coast University for the final national berth in the point standings.
"We didn't have any of our top guys here," said USF Tennis Club President Mary Wynne, a senior who watched from the sidelines with a broken wrist from a skiing accident over the winter. "It is really a bad time for some of our players because the midterms seem to come this weekend, or exams or big projects. This has been a really big breakthrough team for us -- USF club tennis has advanced so much where it came from, maybe five people a couple years ago and now it's a 100-person club."
In the key Gold Bracket match for USF, the USF "A" squad defeated a tough UF "B" squad to reach the semifinals before falling to the UCF "A" team.
UF Tennis Club President and "A" team player Jodi Kleiner predicted the Sunday outcome on Saturday as play began, summing up the opposition.
"Obviously UCF is tough, we usually play them in the finals, so that's going to be a tough one," Kleiner said. "USF has a pretty good team here -- even our 'B' team is going to be tough competition, hopefully we don't have to play them."
The UF "A" squad was the top seed in the Gold Bracket, determined after opening pool play, and the UCF "A" team the No. 2 seed. On Sunday the two teams began their Gold Bracket play and UF was never challenged en route to the final, defeating the UCF "B" squad 29-14, and rolling past the FGCU "A" team 30-5. UCF's top squad likewise cruised to the final in Gold Bracket play, defeating FSU's "A" team and USF's "A" squad.
USTA "Tennis on Campus" scoring is a total games-won accumulation from five short-set no-ad scoring matches -- men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles.
The 10 teams reaching the Gold Bracket from pool play in order of seeding were UF "A," UCF "A," UF "B," UCF "D," Florida Gulf Coast University "A," USF "A," Florida State University "A," UCF "B," Stetson "A," and University of Miami "B."
"I was happy to have 20 teams from eight unique schools competing this weekend," said USTA Florida Team Tennis Coordinator Michelle Brown. "I would love to have more schools participating in club tennis. I think that most schools do not realize how easy it is to form a club team and compete locally, and at series events, and at the Florida championship which is open to all teams to have a shot at going to nationals."
The USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" circuit in 2011-2012 consisted of six regular-season events in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Myers and Miami, leading to the Florida "Tennis on Campus" Championships in Altamonte Springs.
The USTA "Tennis on Campus" team format features men's and women's singles, doubles and mixed doubles, with a minimum of two men and two women per team. The format uses World TeamTennis (WTT) scoring, where the first up to five games wins the match, with a 12-point supertiebreak if the match is tied at four games all. Total cumulative games determine the overall winning team of each match. The WTT scoring format also features no-ad scoring, player substitutions, and player on-court coaching is allowed.
The 2012 USTA National Campus Championships, featuring the Top 64 college and university club tennis teams in the country, will be held on April 12-14, 2012, in Cary, N.C., at the Cary Tennis Park.
USTA Tennis On Campus
The USTA's Tennis On Campus program is designed to provide college students with opportunities for team camaraderie, social networking, and rivaled competition through tennis without the rigors of a varsity program via college/university "club" tennis teams. Perfect for athletes who have chosen not to make the jump from high school to college varsity, Tennis On Campus offers co-ed team-based play (using the World TeamTennis scoring format), regional and national championship competition, and helps students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years. Currently, the program is offered on over 500 college campuses and services over 30,000 students.
2011-12 USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" schedule/results:
Sep. 24 -- 2011 FSU Capital Challenge, Tallahassee (Team final: UCF d. UF)
Oct. 15 -- UF Gatorbowl, Gainesville (Winners: UF-men, UF-women)
Oct. 29 -- USF Bullrun, Tampa (Winners: USF-men, UF-women)
Nov. 19 -- UCF Knightro Cup, Orlando (Team final: UCF d. UF)
Jan. 28 -- FGCU Open, Ft. Myers (Team final: UF d. UCF)
Feb. 11 -- UM Ibis Open, Miami (Team final: USF d. UF)
Feb. 18 -- USTA Florida Tennis on Campus Championships, Altamonte Springs (Team final: USF d. UF)
USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" Championship Winners:
2012 -- University of Central Florida
2011 -- University of Florida
2000 -- University of Florida
2009 -- University of Florida
2008 -- University of Central Florida
2007 -- University of Central Florida
* Prior to 2007, all Florida teams advanced directly to nationals
USTA National Campus Championship Winners:
2011 -- University of California -- Los Angeles
2010 -- University of California -- Berkeley
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
For more information on the USTA Florida "Tennis on Campus" series contact Michelle Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.