The University of Florida and the University of Central Florida posted Top 10 finishes, while the University of Miami won the Silver Bracket among the Top 64 co-ed club tennis teams in the country at the USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships, held on April 13-15, 2017 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
UF and UCF came out on top among the 16 pool groups, earning a spot in the coveted Gold Bracket.
The Gators were edged 24-22 in their first Gold Bracket match by Georgia Tech, but went on to beat Harvard and Cal Poly before losing a tight one against Wisconsin.
“We were a little fatigued [against Wisconsin] as it has been a long weekend,” said UF senior captain Max Koller. “Given a couple points here and there against Georgia Tech we think we could have won this tournament. The margins are so small, there’s so many great teams here. All credit to these teams here.”
Koller ends his UF Tennis on Campus career with a number of accolades — winning the year-end USTA Florida Tennis on Campus year-end championships every year except 2016-17, capturing the title at the national Tennis on Campus Fall Invitational in 2013-14 and ’16, and in 2013-14 reaching back-to-back TOC National Championships finals, just to name a few.
“For a lot of us it’s our last tournament,” he said. “It’s my last tournament, we had a lot of seniors that were looking forward to their last tournament and doing well, and we did, finishing Top 10 in the nation. Now we’re going to go to dinner and celebrate.
Even though we had the lowest finish in my four years [at the TOC National Championships], I’d say we had the best team in terms of our skill level and team camaraderie — it’s a testament to the strength of the league. Tennis on Campus is so tough and so difficult, I don’t think it’s even close to being the level it was four years ago. Every year the competition gets stiffer and stiffer, and every year we’ve been able to finish Top 10.”
The University of Central Florida, the USTA Florida Section year-end tournament champions for 2016-17, defeated Wisconsin in its first Gold Bracket match, then fell to 2015 runner-up Minnesota. In their consolation match they defeated Georgia Tech to finish in the Top 10.
The University of Miami finished second in their pool play, falling into the Silver Bracket which it then won, in the championship match defeating Boston College.
In the Gold Bracket final the University of Michigan won its first USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships crown, defeating the University of California-Irvine 24-20.
USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship Finals History
2017 — University of Michigan d. University of California-Irvine
2016 — Auburn University d. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
2015 — University of California-Berkeley d. University of Minnesota
2014 — University of California-Berkeley d. University of Florida
2013 — University of Georgia d. University of Florida
2012 — University of California-Berkeley d. University of Virginia
2011 — UCLA d. University of Florida
2010 — University of California-Berkeley d. University of Florida
2009 — Duke University d. University of Wisconsin
2008 — University of Texas-Austin d. University of California-Berkeley
2007 — Texas A&M University d. University of Virginia
2006 — Texas A&M University d. University of Virginia
2005 — Texas A&M University d. University of Texas
2004 — Texas A&M University d. University of Virginia
2003 — University of Florida d. Texas A&M University
2002 — Texas A&M University d. University of Texas
2001 — University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill d. University of Texas
2000 — University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill d. University of Texas
The USTA Tennis On Campus program features more than 35,000 college students competing nationwide in intramural and intercollegiate coed club play. Since its inception in 2000, Tennis On Campus has grown significantly and today is played on more than 700 college campuses.
Developed by the USTA in partnership with NIRSA and World TeamTennis, the Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years.
For more tournament info go to www.tennisoncampus.com/Events/USTATennisOnCampusNationalChampionship/USTATennisOnCampusNationalChampionship.htm.