Sept. 19, 2007
Complete Weekly Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's tennis team will head to Athens, Ga., and the Dan Magill Tennis Complex for the Southern Intercollegiates. The Spartans will head to the tournament, one of the largest collegiate tournaments in the country, for the first time and its players will be split among three 64-player brackets in singles and two 64-team brackets in doubles. Last year's singles winner in the `A' Draw, John Isner was a four-time All-American for Georgia. Upstate will bring five players to the tournament, with two pairs competing in the doubles draw.
The USC Upstate women's tennis team heads to the Residence Inn North Wolfpack Invitational at N.C. State. The tournament should prove a good marker for the Upstate women, as it features 15 schools, but only four (North Carolina, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia) in a BCS conference. Two schools will be coming from the Atlantic Sun Conference (Campbell, Gardner-Webb), two from the Colonial Athletic Association (James Madison, UNC Wilmington) and two are from the Southern Conference (Wofford, Elon). Upstate will bring five players, with two pairs competing in the doubles draw.
Women, Novo Dominate At USC Upstate Fall Tournament
Junior Anna Novo won both the women's singles `A' draw and doubles titles at the USC Upstate Fall Tennis Tournament, but she wasn't the only Spartan to find success at the tournament. Three Spartans reached the semifinals of the `A' draw in singles, with Novo advancing to the finals after Diana Martinez withdrew. She met teammate Susana Hernandez in the finals, winning, 6-3, 6-2. Hernandez finished 2-1 during the tournament.
In doubles, Novo teamed with freshman Emilia Milovanovic to win three matches en route to the championships, beating Wofford's Mary Ellen Henry and Cayley Wetzig, 8-2 in the finals. The Spartans' other women's doubles' team, Martinez and junior Maria Herrera advanced to the semifinals before falling to Henry and Wetzig, 8-6.
Franz, Airaldi Lead Men At Upstate Tournament
Both junior Sandy Franz and sophomore Renzo Airaldi dominated en route to the their flight's finals at the USC Upstate Tennis Tournament. Franz, in the `A' draw, posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory in the round of 16, a 6-1, 6-4 win in the quarterfinals, and a 6-4, 6-1 decision in the semis en route to the finals. Airaldi, in the `B' draw, took a similar dominant route, winning 6-2, 6-3; 6-1, 6-4; and 6-2, retired. Both were set to meet Wofford players in the finals and it was decided the finals would be played later in the week. However, due to injuries to the Wofford players, the matches have not been completed.
However, Franz and Airaldi did team together to win the men's doubles `A' draw, winning three matches to earn the title, including a 9-8 tiebreaker against teammates senior Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso and sophomore Javier Tori.
Junior Anna Novo, from Caracas, Venezuela, earned back-to-back Division II All-American honors in her first two years on campus. She finished her sophomore season with a 22-4 singles record playing at the No. 1 position. She was 10-1 in Peach Belt Conference play, losing only to the No. 1-ranked player in the nation and finished the year ranked No. 11 in the country. She earned All-America honors as a freshman after finishing the season with an 11-7 record at No. 1 singles and also earned Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Novo is a combined 36-11 in singles play, having showed no signs of slowing down as the Spartans enter DI, winning the USC Upstate Fall Tennis Tournament women's title.
Three players on the women's tennis team are right on target to reach 50 wins in singles in a career. Senior Diana Martinez needs just three wins to reach the mark, having compiled a 47-12 record during her career. Senior Susana Hernandez is nine wins from reaching the half-century mark, having posted a 41-14 career record in singles play and junior Anna Novo enters the N.C. State tournament 14 wins shy of the mark with a 36-11 career record.
Going Out With A Bang
The 2007 season marked the last in both USC Upstate tennis programs' tenures in Division II and both teams posted the best season in school history. The men's program finished with a school-record 23 wins, had two All-Americans, Stefan Dumitrescu and his doubles partner, sophomore Renzo Airaldi, and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The women's program posted a school-record 21 wins, added an All-American in Anna Novo and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 for the first time in school history.