The Auburn A team took a lead in the singles matches and then cruised to a 28-19 victory over South Carolina A to capture the 2014 Tennis On Campus Southern Championship.
South Carolina had a one game lead after the women’s and men’s doubles. But the Tigers’ Courtney Johns defeated the Gamecocks’ Elizabeth Holland 6-1 and Mitchell Vegas downed Paul Reed 6-3 to build Auburn’s lead to 22-15. In the final mixed doubles set Vegas and Reneé Nicholas nailed down the Auburn victory with a 6-4 win.
The Southern Sectional championship for USTA’s collegiate club team program – Tennis On Campus -drew 51 teams from 10 states to three tennis sites in Auburn and Opelika this weekend. More than 400 college tennis players competed.
Teams were vying for spots in the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Surprise, Ariz., April 10-12. Other schools besides Auburn and South Carolina to earn bids were: Elon, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State.
North Carolina-Chapel Hill B defeated Elon A 23-21 to take the Non-BCS title.
Shelley Knight of Tennessee A and Theo Kennedy of LSU A won Sportsmanship Awards presented by Tournament Director and USTA Southern Director of Schools and Collegiate Tennis Jeff Smith.
The championship consisted of 32 colleges and universities, with numerous larger schools sending A, B and C teams. Coed teams compete on five courts using World Team Tennis Collegiate rules. The team with the most games won is the winner of the match. None of the players can currently be on the varsity team and only one can be a former varsity player.
Matches were played at three sites: Yarbrough Tennis Center (headquarters), the intramural/students courts on the Auburn campus and the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National.
This year’s event drew the top teams from throughout the section’s nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Additionally, Texas A&M-Texarkana, which is in the Southern Section, played.
Tennis On Campus was established in 2000 as a coed non-varsity participation-based program designed to increase the number of active tennis players on college campuses. It is currently offered on over 600 college campuses and services over 35,000 students. Students can participate in on-campus play and championship play through the USTA National Championship, the Fall & Spring Invitational Events, Section Championships, other TOC & Alumni Events.