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Day 2- Champions to be crowned at Southern Campus Championships

March 2, 2008 08:34 AM

Results: Championship Draws

Championship action is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 2nd in Dothan, AL at the Southern Campus Championships. With six divisions of the draw, teams will fall in the championship, platinum, gold, silver, bronze or copper bracket. The four teams of the championship bracket receive an automatic bid to the USTA National Campus Championships to be held in April at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, NC. There are two at-large bids to the national tournament up for grabs as well. A new Southern Section champion will be crowned in 2008 after defending champions Georgia Tech suffered a tough loss yesterday to LSU.

ECU Pirates Find a Treasure…

East Carolina University team member Kenneth Warner is no stranger to the court and the work it takes to win. As a junior playing in Fayetteville, NC, he was ranked in the North Carolina top-ten and the top 25 of the Southern Section. Taking a break from the tournament circuit to focus on education, Warner is currently majoring in Finance with aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur. The club team and Tennis on Campus program allows him the opportunity to work on his game while not having the full pressures of a tournament circuit. Warner says he hopes to begin playing tournaments again but in the meantime enjoys his opportunity to play competitively at the Campus Championships.

Warner is beginning his entrepreneurial skills with and his teammates by trying to build an interactive website for club team members. “There are so many club team members out there.” Warner states. “So many people play as juniors and then may not want to play on a varsity team. The club team still lets them enjoy tennis and not deal with the pressure of a varsity team.”

16 - Love…

Three years ago at a Louisiana Qualifier, Jonathan Pizzo and Kristin O’Brien met due to their love of tennis. They became best friends for about two years realizing that they actually lived about five minutes away from each other. Kristin attended an all girl’s high school while Jonathan attended an all boy’s high school. It wasn’t until they both showed up on the Louisiana State University campus that they realized there was something more than just friendship between them.

Joining the club team on campus, Jonathan and Kristin team together during mixed doubles. In fact, they won the match 6-2 over Clemson clinching the victory to send the Tigers to the title match. Off the court, the pair is just as great a duo. “They are too cute to fight,” states one teammate. “They never fight and are completely in love,” echoes another. Jonathan and Kristin will take their love to the court yet again when the Tigers face Georgia for the championship.

Hunting for a Title…

The Clemson Tigers came out of the bushes this year with a championship title as their target. From the moment Team Captain Lisa Felder came to the captain’s meeting Saturday morning, it was obvious that Clemson wanted, if not the Southern title, then definitely a bid to the National tournament. Focused and determined, the Tigers went 2-1 on the first day landing them a spot in the championship bracket and an automatic bid to the National Campus Championships.

The team’s unity and passion was never more eminent than when they arrived at Westgate Tennis Center Sunday morning dressed in camoflouge shirts and orange shorts. It was a meeting of Tigers in the first match, with LSU being a little too tough for Clemson. They may not play for the Southern Section Campus championship, but the Clemson Tigers are still on the hunt for a national title.

Break Points...

LSU was playing without one of their top girls this year since she transferred to Georgia to play for the Bulldogs varsity team... After the final matches, some of the teams had long drives ahead of them before reaching their college campus. Arkansas clocked in the most drive time with 12 hours followed by East Carolina with 11. Elon came in close with almost 10.5 hours on the road... The final match between Georgia and LSU was more than just another rival matchup. It was a meeting of many childhood friends. Several team members all grew up in the New Orleans area, playing against or with each other on the court.




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