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Teams named for International University Challenge of Tennis

August 3, 2009 04:43 PM

Day 1 Results

Six top American collegians were selected to represent the United States in the International University Challenge of Tennis sponsored by BNP Paribas. The event, in its third year, features eight teams composed of college and university players from around the world.

The International University Challenge of Tennis will be held Dec. 4-7 in Poitiers, France. The seven nations competing with the United States, which is competing for the first time, include Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Montenegro, Russia and Switzerland. The teams will compete in a best-of-seven format consisting of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one men’s and one women’s doubles match, and one mixed doubles match.

John Kauss, Gustavus Adolphus CollegeAmanda Fink, University of Southern California
Nate Schnugg, University of GeorgiaJennifer Kung, University of Chicago
Michael Venus, Louisiana State UniversityKelcy McKenna, Arizona State University

The team will be coached by Michelle Dasso, the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Illinois, and Paul Settles, the head coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges men’s tennis team.

The U.S. team was selected as a joint partnership between the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) using the following criteria:

  • The top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA All-American Championships
  • The top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA Small College Championships
  • The top male and female Americans ranked in the 2008 ITA Preseason Division I Rankings

Kauss, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., won the ITA Small College Division III Championship earlier in October without dropping a single set in the tournament. Schnugg, a junior from Medford, Ore., was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2008 NCAA Tournament and is No. 12 in the ITA Preseason Division I Rankings. He was a member of the 2008 USTA Summer Collegiate Team. Venus, a senior from Orlando, Fla., won the 2008 D’Novo/ITA Men’s All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla., in October and earned first-team All-SEC honors for the 2007-08 season.

Fink, a senior from Calabasas, Calif., was the ITA Rookie of the Year in 2006 and starts this season at No. 5 in the ITA Rankings. She won her first professional title in July at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Atlanta and was a member of the 2008 USTA Summer Collegiate Team. Kung, a freshman from Sunnyvale, Calif., won the ITA Small College Division III Championship in October. McKenna, a sophomore from North Bend, Ore., won the 2008 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships and, as a freshman, received second-team All Pac-10 honors.


The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with 725,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

The office of Junior and Collegiate Competition works cooperatively with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), and USTA Collegiate Committee to promote varsity collegiate tennis and to increase opportunities and exposure for American players.


As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit presented by the USTA, and the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com.



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