JCCC Sends Two Tennis Players to ITA National Small College Championships

Two members of the Johnson County Community College women’s tennis team, freshmen Diana Goldsmith and Renae Wright, will compete in the ITA National Small College Championships, Oct. 14-17 in Fort Myers, Fla. The Lee County Sports Authority, in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast University, will host the event.

Both players qualified by winning the Midwest ITA Regional doubles title in late September at the Riverside Racquet Club in Wichita, Kan. Goldsmith also won the singles portion of the tournament, and will compete in both tournaments. Their appearance marks the first time a JCCC women’s tennis player has qualified for this event. Khaled Elsawi qualified for the JCCC men’s program in the fall 1993.

Goldsmith qualified for the ITA Championships by defeating Alajandra Miranda-Sanchez of Seward County 2-6, 6-4 (10-8). Sanchez, a sophomore, finished fourth in the tournament last year, and finished the season ranked second in the spring ITA rankings. Goldsmith won her first two matches easily, downing Molly Bowman of Cowley County 6-1, 6-1, and Patrizzia Rocha of Barton County 6-0, 6-2. She reached the final by coming back against Thu Ha Mai of Seward County, 1-6, 6-2 (10-8).

In doubles play, Goldsmith and Wright did not lose a set in four matches, winning 1 and 0, 1 and 2 and 3 and 0 in their first three matches. Their final opponent were familiar to Goldsmith, facing Sanchez and Mai of Seward County. The two teams battled in the first set, with JCCC edging Seward’s top team, 7-6. Goldsmith and Wright then took care of business, winning 6-3 in the second set, securing the win and a trip to Florida.

The ITA National Small College Championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association, began in 1985 and annually crowns men’s and women’s singles and doubles national champions in each of the ITA’s four small college divisions – NCAA Division II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. These championships are the only national tournaments for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA level, and the only tournaments that combine all levels of Junior/Community Colleges (NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, and California Community Colleges).

At the ITA National Small College Championships each division (men’s and women’s singles and doubles) consists of eight champions from regional tournaments played across the country, from which a national divisional champion is determined during the first two-and-a-half days of competition.

These national champions from each division square off in the ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis to determine the overall ITA National Small College Champions, who then earn berths into the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, a NCAA Division I event in November.

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