Alabama State & Xavier of LA take HBCU titles
The 21st edition of the HBCU National Tennis Championships was played at the South Fulton (Ga.) Tennis Center, marking the first year the event was sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the governing body of college tennis.
The Alabama State men and the Xavier Universtion of Louisiana women won the team titles after three days of play.
USTA and USTA Southern also hosted a HBCU Youth Combine for more than 25 metro Atlanta high school juniors and seniors. Programs included an Arise Athletes College Session along with fitness drills, coaching and matches.
“The HBCU National Tennis Championships is great,” said Tuskegee University’s head men’s and women’s tennis coach, Gregory L. Green Sr.
“It allows the players to compete with one another, fellowship with one another and the program is a classic, classic program,” Green stated emphatically.
Hosted by the City of South Fulton at its Department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs’ South Fulton Tennis Center, the organizing committee take pride in providing HBCUs the opportunity to compete during the fall semester.
“It’s been a beautiful few days,” said Florida A&M University’s Director of Tennis Rochelle “Nikki” Houston.
“A lot of matches have been going on. It’s been a great tournament, it’s something that everyone should come out and see,” said Houston, the 2007 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Coach of the Year.
Founded by former Florida A&M University head men’s tennis coach Dr. Carl Goodman, the long-standing event provides student-athletes the opportunity to meet, compete, and earn the title of national champions.
“The experience has been nothing but amazing,” said Dr. Tara Turner, head Women’s tennis coach at Clark Atlanta University.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to be amongst other likeminded tennis folks who represent our institutions.”
“We’re thankful to South Fulton Tennis Center for hosting us and excited for the next years to come,” said Turner.
Prior to the start of the championships, the City of South Fulton’s Chamber of Commerce hosted a VIP reception welcoming coaches, supporters and local dignitaries.
The USTA and USTA Southern, a major sponsor of the championships, hosted a Careers in Tennis session for collegiate student-athletes on Day 2 and a recruiting showcase on Day 3 for high school students seeking to play on the university level.
“It’s a really good opportunity to be seen by coaches from different states and all over the world,” said 16-year-old Brooke Smalls, a Georgia native and member of the class of 2024.
Individual champions were:
Men's A Singles
Jonasz Dziopak [TSU] def Ruan Du Preez [ASU] 7-5; 6-0
Men's B Singles
David Jeanne-Grandinot [ASU] def Matis Amier [ASU] 4-6; 6-2; Ret. (Inj)
Men's C Singles
Nereo Suarez [XULA] def Kristofer Johnson [ASU]6-3; 6-7(8); 6-3
Women's A Singles
Jasmine Boyd [AAMU] def Kennedy Hill [NCCU] 6-4; 6-3
Women's B Singles
Genesis Whitelock [FAMU] vs Claudia Orsini [ASU] 6-7(5); 7-6(8); 0-0 DNF
Women's C Singles
Alejandra Hildalgo [NCCU] def Valetina Largarcha [XULA] 7-6(5); 6-3
Men's A Doubles
Jacobi Bain / Vander Woody [XULA] def Ruan Du Preez / Samrakshyak Bajracharya [ASU] 6-3
Men's B Doubles
David Jeanne-Grandinot / Matis Amier [ASU] def Kristofer Johnson. /Louca Bertone [ASU]
Women's A Doubles
Veronica Rodriguez / Andrea Quiroz [INDP]* def Genesis Whitelock / Reagan Harris [FAMU] 6-4
Women's B Doubles
Tianna Dixon / McKenna Wheatley [XULA] def Natalya Ogunwale / Asia Raulerson [Albany] 6-1