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Nov. 1, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate tennis players will be competing in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championships starting this Thursday. This is the second of three national tournaments for singles and doubles during the 2006-07 collegiate tennis season. The Ohio State University is hosting this week’s championships at the Racquet Club of Columbus.

Matches begin at 11 am ET Thursday. First round doubles are followed by opening round singles (play concludes at approx. 9:30 pm). Admission is free.

The top seeds in singles for this week’s championships are as follows:

Men’s Singles:
1. Ben Kohlloeffel, UCLA
2. John Isner, Georgia
3. Arnau Brugues, Tulsa
4. Lars Poerschke, Baylor
5. Somdev Devvarman, Virginia
6. Luis Flores, Georgia
7. Travis Helgeson, Georgia
8. Erling Tveit, Mississippi

Women’s Singles:
1. Suzi Babos, California
2. Audra Cohen, Miami (Fla)
3. Kristi Miller, Georgia Tech
4. Melanie Gloria, Fresno State
5. Theresa Logar, Stanford
6. Jelena Pandzic, Fresno Pacific
7. Diana Srebrovic, Florida
8. Megan Moulton-Levy, William & Mary

Cal’s Babos is looking to reach her third straight national final after winning the NCAA title last May and All-American crown last month. She is the first player since UCLA’s Keri Phebus in 1994-95 to reach the All-American, National Indoor and NCAA singles finals during her career. As a freshman, Babos lost to Miami’s Megan Bradley in the 2004 ITA National Indoor final in Ann Arbor, Mich. UCLA’s Kohlloeffel, a senior, became the first Bruin to win the ITA National Indoor singles title last year in Columbus and in May he was the first UCLA player since his coach, Billy Martin in 1976, to win the NCAA title.

Georgia’s Isner and Flores are the top seeds in men’s doubles and Notre Dame’s Catrina and Christian Thompson are tops in the women’s doubles draw.

Both of last year’s singles champions are back to defend their titles – UCLA’s Kohlloeffel and Florida’s Srebrovic. Two men have successfully defended their singles crowns at this event – Trinity’s Erick Iskersky, who won the first two championships in 1978-79, and Arizona State’s Sargis Sargsian in 1994-95. Two women’s players have repeated as champions, both coming in this decade – Stanford’s Laura Granville in 2000-01 and Georgia’s Agata Cioroch in 2002-03. This is the first championships since 1995 that both of the defending singles champions are competing (Texas’ Lucie Ludvigova and ASU’s Sargsian).

These championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: champions from Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during October, the ITA National Small College champions, the winners of the Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s All-American Tennis Championships and Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships presented by Fila and at-large and wild card selections made last week by the ITA National Tournament Committee. Overall, more than 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the ITA Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships.

The championships will take place at the Racquet Club of Columbus (1100 Bethel Road), one of the best indoor facilities in the region that features 10 Novacrylic tennis courts in three separate bays with spacious viewing lounges. The club hosts several junior and adult tournaments throughout the year.

This weekend’s semifinal and championship matches will be broadcast live by Ken Thomas at www.RadioTennis.com.

The 2006-07 collegiate tennis season’s first of three national championship events were the ITA All-American Championships in October, followed by the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November. The NCAA Championships in May are the third (and not administered by the ITA).

The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships were inaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women and recent champions and finalists include current and recent top 100 professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), Laura Granville (Stanford), Marissa Irvin (Stanford), Kevin Kim (UCLA), Jeff Morrison (Florida) and Lisa Raymond (Florida). Big Ten legends and Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin (Northwestern) and MaliVai Washington (Michigan) are also among the past champions. Host Ohio State has had champions each of the last three years: Jeremy Wurtzman in 2003 (singles) and Scott Green and Ross Wilson the past two years in doubles.