Men's Tennis Begins Qualifying at ITA All-American

by (@LSUsports)
Men's Tennis Begins Qualifying at ITA All-American

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Six LSU men’s tennis players will begin competition in the pre-qualification rounds of the 2002 Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships on Friday here at The Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Tigers were scheduled to travel to the prestigious 10-day event on Thursday, but had their flight plans delayed until early Friday morning as hurricane Lili shut down both the Baton Rouge and New Orleans airports.

“Well, assuming that we get to the courts on time, it’s still going to be a difficult task for our guys to play right after traveling,” said LSU head coach Jeff Brown. “It’s going to take a lot of effort for our guys to get past the first round, but after that they should get their legs back and perform to the best of their ability.”

LSU’s Rafael Corazza, Jason Hazley, Brandon Nicholson, Peter Richman, Cory Ross and Sebastian Rutka will each participate in the first round of the singles pre-qualification competition beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday. The first-round winners will move on to play their second match of the competition at approximately 5 p.m.

The Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships is the first of three national championship events at the Division I level during the 2002-03 collegiate tennis season (followed by the Omni Hotels/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November and the season-ending NCAA Championships in May).

Leading the way in the event will be top-ranked Jesse Witten of Kentucky, along with 41 of the top 50 players in the preseason Omni Hotels/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings for the Oct. 10-13 main draw. Witten, last year’s ITA National Rookie of the Year, reached the quarterfinals at this event last fall and was also an NCAA singles finalist. Sixteen of the top 20 ranked doubles teams will also be competing.

“This is a very good opportunity for our guys to gain some experience,” Brown said. “This event is always comprised of the best collegiate players in the nation and it will benefit us to see what they can do against them.”

The LSU men’s tennis players look to advance to the qualifying draw of the 2002 Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships on Friday, as they compete in the pre-qualification rounds beginning at 2 p.m. here in Chattanooga, Tenn.

ITA All-American Championship Pre-Qualifying

First Round (256 draw)
Sebastian Rutka (LSU) vs. Matt Laramore (Ball State), 2 p.m.
Brandon Nicholson (LSU) vs. Jason Gould (Baylor), 2 p.m.
Jason Hazley (LSU) vs. Ravishankar Pathanjali (William & Mary), 2 p.m.
Cory Ross (LSU) vs. Jakub Ilowski (UL-Lafayette), 2 p.m.
Rafael Corazza (LSU) vs. Alex Anselme (UC-Santa Barbara), 2 p.m.
Peter Richman (LSU) vs. Alex Conti (Wisconsin), 2 p.m.