For the first time in Lewis history, the men's and women's tennis teams will send members to the annual USTA/ITA National Small College Championships beginning on Thursday (Oct. 13) at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala. Senior Uno Lapimaa (Tallinn, Estonia, Audentese) from the men's team and sophomores Zsofia Kranczicki (Eger, Hungary, Szilagyi Erzsebet Gimnazium es Kollegium) and Zsofia Lanstiak (Budapest, Hungary, Karinthy Frigyes Gimnazium) from the women's squad will each compete in the tournament.
All three earned a bid into the tournament by winning the singles and/or doubles brackets at last month's ITA Midwest Regional in Indianapolis. The Championships are comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges. Kranczicki won the singles bracket over Lanstiak while both teamed up to win the doubles bracket. Lapimaa claimed the singles title on the men's side.
"All three have worked hard and have earned the opportunity to compete this weekend," Lewis head tennis coach Brett Bridel said. "We have nothing to lose and I am hopeful that they all play smart, fight for every point, perform at the level they are capable of and enjoy the experience."
Lapimaa will open up the singles bracket against No. 4 seed Christiaan Lee Daigle of Queens University. Should Lapimaa advance, he will play the winner of No. 1 seed Lucas Jovita of Rollins College or Lucio Cangaino of Metro State in the semifinals.
"I think I am more excited that Uno has qualified for the small college national tournament then he is," Bridel added. "I really wanted him to get this opportunity after all he has done and continues to do for Lewis University and our tennis program."
Kranczicki will play the No. 4 seed Ioana Ivan of Lynn University in the quarterfinals of the women's singles bracket. Should Kranczicki win, she will play the winner of No. 1 seed Annie Hwang of BYU Hawaii or Martina Rubesova of California (Pa.).
The combination of Kranczicki and Lanstiak open up doubles play against No. 4 seed Rubesova and Franziska Steinhardt. With a win, the duo will face either No. 1 seed Barbora Krtickova/Aleksandra Filipovski of Armstrong Atlantic or Sara Burinato/Gabriela Rodriguez of NYIT.
The USTA/ITA National Small College Championship is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels. It is also the only tournament that combines all levels of Junior/Community College. The singles and doubles champions at each divisional level will then compete to become the overall “Super Bowl” champions. The "Super Bowl" champions earn wild cards into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with the opportunity to win the culminating event held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
Follow Lewis University