Champions Crowned on Historic Day at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
Sep 11, 2009
HAVEN, Conn. - For the first time in the history of the
ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the men's and
women's teams from the same school captured the doubles title as
Stanford was able to accomplish this feat at this year's event,
hosted by Yale University, November 5-8 at the Cullman-Heyman
Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn.
In addition, with USC's Steve Johnson and Cal's Jana Juricova
defeating a pair of Yellow Jackets in the men's and women's singles
final, it marked the first time since 2001 both sets of
singles and doubles champions all hailed from the same state
Ironically, 2001 was also the last and only time that the men's and
women's champions were both representing the same school, a quest
that Irina Falconi and Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech were unable
to accomplish today as both players lost in last set
Falconi was also seeking to become the first woman since 1985 to
capture the singles titles at both the Riviera/ITA All-American
Championship and the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor
singles match, which will no doubt be remembered for quite some
time, was the matchup between fifth-seeded Steve Johnson from USC
and fifth-ranked Guillermo Gomez of Georgia
Tech. The match literally went back an forth for the full
three-set tiebreak match, with both players continually battling
one another on the game-changing breakpoints.
was just incredible on the breakpoints but I kept my composure out
there and I played a really good tiebreaker in the third set", said
Johnson. "I was just really tired of losing tiebreakers after
losing the first tiebreaker, two tiebreakers at All-American - I
knew had to get one."
Gomez, it was a rematch opportunity to exact revenge on Johnson,
who downed him in a three-set match in the 2009 NCAA Singles
Championship. "I played Steve in the NCAA's but I had some problems
physically", said Gomez.
Gomez wasn't the only one attempting to dish out revenge as
Guillermo upset Johnson's doubles partner, No. 3 Robert Farah in
yesterday's quarterfinals. "I got my revenge on J.P. for beating
Rob [Farah] at All-American and now I will do the same for
Guillermo because nobody beats two Trojans", Johnson said
Johnson, who was recently selected by the USTA to represent the
United States in the fourth annual Master'U BNP Paribas, an
international collegiate competition held December 9-14 in
Poitiers, France has made huge strides since last year's freshman
"I haven't won a singles championship since juniors so it felt
really good to get back on track", said Johnson. "The hard work I
put in really paid off here with lots of time in the gym over the
summer -- I feel so fresh I could easily play some more."
Also selected to the US team on the women's side was second-seeded
Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech. The 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American
singles champion had outscored her last three opponents, an
astounding 36-5 going into today's match against her toughest
challenge in California's Jana Juricova, another sophomore ranked
fourth in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings.
The two were close to meeting in the finals at the Riviera/ITA
All-American Championships but Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson, ranked
No. 3 was able to hold off Juricova in the semifinals. This time it
was Juricova who was able to hold off a top-ranked opponent as the
two fought to the end of each set, including a tie-break last
The women's doubles final was as equally entertaining as the
singles matches, also ending on a tie-break set. For the second
time this season and third in the past two, Natalie Pluskota and
Caitlin Whoriskey of the No. 1 Vols and Hilary Barte and Lindsay
Burdette of the No. 2 Cardinal went head-to-head, with each team
having claimed a win.
"We were in the exact same situation that happened at the NCAA's
when we were down 6-5, serving for the tiebreak but we ended up
winning that as well", said Burdette. "That gave us a boost of
confidence like here we go again.
"We've played together a lot more since All-American causing us to
be much more in sync", said Burdette referring to their recent loss
to Tennessee, who went on to capture the 2009 Riviera/ITA
All-American doubles title. "Both teams play a similar game style
so it's like we're playing ourselves. I think it comes down to a
matter of execution because it's not rocket science."
The other end of Stanford's historic doubles sweep was No. 3
Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher, the only seeded team to make it
past the quarterfinals. Their victory over Duke's Reid Carleton and
Henrique Cunha was the only finals matchup to not feature a
tiebreaker. The Blue Devils loss snapped the D'Novo/ITA
All-American Consolation Champions' 11 match winning streak.
championships featured a 32-player singles field and 16-team
doubles field for men and women, including: champions from
Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during
October, the ITA National Small College "Super Bowl" champions, the
singles semifinalists and doubles champions of the D'Novo/ITA Men's
All-American Tennis Championships and Riviera/ITA Women's
All-American Championships, and at-large and wild card selections
made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.