Rome, GA—By winning their respective ITA Regional doubles championships in Meridian, MS, MMI's two No. 1 doubles teams (Anna Waller/Kitty Greenwalt and Andrew Branicki/Joseph Tanjuatco) advanced to the ITA Cup in Rome, GA, to compete against the top JUCO doubles teams in the nation from such perennial tennis powerhouses as Tyler Junior College, ASA College Miami, Cowley College, Seward County Community College, and ABAC. The ITA Cup is the only tournament in any sport that brings together players from every athletic division except DI. More than 8,000 players from DII, DIII, NAIA, and JUCO schools competed in 60 regional tournaments around the country, with the winners advancing to the ITA Cup, which was held at the Rome Tennis Center from Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20.
Greenwalt and Waller faced the No. 4-seeded team from ABAC in the first round, falling to Natalie Kohoutkova and Irene Romero, 6-4, 6-0. In the next round, they lost in a very close match to Kia Landell and Mariana Ramirez from Eastern Arizona College, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 11-9. And in the last round of the tournament, Greenwalt and Waller bested Nora Ribeiro and Maya Young from Modesto Junior College, 6-0, 6-4.
Branicki and Tanjuatco squared off against Sander Jans and Karl Wurth, the No. 1 seeds from Seward County Community College. Branicki and Tanjuatco fell in a tough two-setter, 7-5, 7-5. The next round pitted the MMI pair against Tyler Junior College's Matthew Beecher and Ryo Minakata. Branicki and Tanjuatco fell again in another tough two-setter, 6-4, 6-4. Rain put an end to tournament play on Saturday, with Branicki and Tanjuatco leading American River College's Jack Hall and Gabriel Kinder, 6-4, 4-3, before play was suspended.
"I thought both of our doubles teams competed very well against some very strong international competition," said coach Charles Wright. "With the exception of maybe one set, we hung in there set after set. The girls had a match point in their second match, and the boys almost upset the No. 1-seeded team. We held our own against some of the top tennis talent in the world."