2019 Oracle/ITA Preview: Spartan Tennis Teams Ready for Action at East Region Tournament

2019 Oracle/ITA Preview: Spartan Tennis Teams Ready for Action at East Region Tournament

SPARKILL, NY – After dropping their season opener to regional power Queens College, the St. Thomas Aquinas women’s tennis team has won three straight matches leading up to the 2019 Oracle/ITA East Region tournament.  The event, hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas and Queens, will be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY and features 250 athletes from 21 universities in singles and doubles action. 

This year’s women’s team features several firsts.  Freshman Eliza Mulder ’23 (Schoonhoven, Netherlands) becomes the Spartans’ first-ever ranked player, as she is seeded 16th in the tournament.  Junior Cassandra Rohr ’21 (Mallorca, Spain) and sophomore Carla Mentrup ’22 (Munich, Germany) join their teammate as unranked main draw entries.  Newcomer Sofia Shutko ’21 (Kiev, Ukraine) is the top-seeded player in the qualifiers. 

On the men’s side, the Spartans have three seeded players and an additional main draw entry.  Sophomore Marcel Volz ’23 (Iffezheim, Germany) is seeded seventh in the tournament, and will face a yet to be determined qualifier.  The reigning East Coast Conference Rookie and Player of the Year reached the second round of the main draw a year ago. 

Junior transfers Roberto Chong ’21 (Puigpunyent, Spain) and Alvaro Barranco ’21 (Lleida, Spain) are seeded eighth and sixteenth, respectively, while sophomore transfer Odysseas Papaioannou ’22 (Thessaloniki, Greece) joins his teammates as an unseeded main draw entry.  Papaioannou and Chong will team up as the sixth-seeded doubles pairing, while returning seniors Enej Hasicevic ’20 (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) and Tim Fleerkamp ’20 (Waalre, Netherlands) are seeded 23rd and 27th, respectively, in the qualifiers.

The four-day event begins at 2 PM on Friday, September 13 with the qualifying rounds.  Main draw matches will start on Saturday, September 14 in a single-elimination format.  Admission is $5 per person at the door.