September 19, 2011

Men's Tennis Headed to ITA Southeast Regionals

Contact: Steve Cunha,

DAHLONEGA, GA - The North Georgia men's tennis team is preparing to compete in the 2011 USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional Championships September 23-25, hosted by Francis Marion and played at the Palmetto Tennis Center.

The 2011 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional is the Saints first tournament of the 2011-12 season. Head coach Kent Norsworthy has high expectations for the men this year with four of his top five players from last season returning.

Last season Norsworthy led North Georgia to 10-10 record, while going winless in Peach Belt Conference matchups. With a strong group of returning players and a new quartet of freshman, the Saints are primed for a jump in the Peach Belt standings during the 2011-12 campaign.

Leading the way amongst the returning players is Mateus Camasmie who had a 14-4 individual record in 2010-11, including a 6-3 mark against Peach Belt foes. Camasmie had a solid freshman year and capped it off with four straight victories. Camasmie was also the only North Georgia player to have a record above .500 in league play.

Felipe Friedrich had a 10-9 individual record last year, while going 2-7 in Peach Belt play. Giovani Santos was the only other member of the team to finish the season with an overall record above .500, going 11-7 overall and 3-6 in Peach Belt action.

Brandon Sloan ended his junior campaign with an 8-11 overall record, while capturing just one conference victory. Ernesto Farinias had a record of 7-11 overall record and failed to record a conference win in eight matches.

In last year's USTA/ITA Southeast Regional, North Georgia competed admirably. Friedrich had an impressive showing in the Men's Single-A Draw, beating Wingate's Braeden Patchell in the opening round, before battling nationally ranked GCSU's Jerome Leborgne in the round of 32. Friedrich was serving to win the match before falling 6-0, 6-7, 7-5 to the conference rival.

Camasmie ran through the Men's Singles B-Draw, taking down Catawba's Tycho Lambergitis, Wingate's Fernando Montemurro and Mount Olive's Diogo Sender all in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinal round. In the quarters, Camasmie had a come-from-behind victory over Mount Olive's Thiago Dualiby to advance to the championship round where he withdrew due to travel arrangements.

Santos opened the weekend with a three-set victory over Lander's Ross Armstrong, but fell in the second round to Francis Marion's Ryan Siney 6-3, 2-6, 6-0. Farinias fell to Augusta State's Jenner Stevenson in straight sets, before coming back in the consolation bracket and advancing to the quarterfinal round. Sloan lost to Pfeiffer's Ben Hunter in his opening match.

In doubles action last year, Camasmie and Santos teamed up to win four straight matches, including a 9-8 victory over Francis Marion's Mickey Poirier and Tanguy Montoisy to advance to the championship where the duo withdrew due to travel arrangements.

The 2011 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional is an individual tournament with 400 players taking part from schools in the Peach Belt Conference, Conference Carolinas and the South Atlantic Conference. This year's tournament takes place at the Palmetto Tennis Center is located in Sumter, South Carolina. The Palmetto Tennis center features 24 courts, 18 of which are lighted.

The Small College (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) singles and doubles champions from the USTA/ITA Regional Championships will advance to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, held October 14-17 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The USTA/ITA National Small College Championships are comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges.

The singles and doubles champions at each divisional level will then compete to become the overall "Super Bowl" champions. The "Super Bowl" champions earn wild cards into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with the opportunity to win the culminating event held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The most unique element of the USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Championships program is the fact that all levels of varsity college tennis (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) are competing in one comprehensive event, and any ITA varsity student-athlete has the opportunity to play and win at the prestigious USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The ITA Regional Championships, sponsored by the USTA, date back to 1981 and for nearly two decades were also known as the Rolex Regional Championships. The ITA Regional Championships featured the top men's and women's players from each of the ITA's regions. All in all, 8,000 varsity tennis players from 600 schools participated in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships.