SAN DIEGO, CA – History was made today at the Barnes Tennis Center as four players and teams were crowned national championships after a week of high-intensity matches from the 2023 ITA National Fall Championships.
With some programs winning their first Fall Championship in program history, while others took home their fourth title in five years, this year’s finals showcased the best college tennis has to offer, not only in terms of competitiveness on the court, but with sportsmanship between opponents as well.
Wrapping up first on the afternoon, the Michigan State duo of Ozan Baris and Max Sheldon became the first players in program history to win an ITA National Fall Championship Title. Facing off against the Old Dominion pairing of Connor Van Schalkwyk and Codie Van Schalkwyk, Baris and Sheldon rode the waves of emotion throughout the match, coming out ahead 7-5, 6-3 to claim the championship.
Finishing just after the men’s doubles championship, in arguably the closest match of the afternoon, North Carolina’s Reese Brantmeier made it two straight championships for the Tar Heels, taking down South Carolina’s Ayana Akli 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the final. This title marks the fourth National Fall Championships singles title in the last five events for North Carolina, as well as the first individual collegiate title for Brantmeier during her young collegiate career.
After a straight-set win yesterday, Texas standout Micah Braswell continued his run of form here in San Diego, winning the men’s singles final 6-4, 6-4 over TCU’s Jack Pinnington Jones. The Longhorn senior did not drop a set the entire tournament and became just the second Texas player to be crowned the singles champion here at the National Fall Championships.
Finally, in the last championship of the day, singles champion Reese Brantmeier returned to the courts with teammate Elizabeth Scotty to claim her, and North Carolina’s, second national championship of the day. The NCAA National Runners-Up last season showed no signs of rust, winning 6-1, 6-2 over Oklahoma State’s Ange Oby Kajuru and Anastasiya Komar to claim the second national fall doubles title in the past three seasons for North Carolina.
Sights will now be turned to the 2024 college tennis dual-match season in which action will get underway early in January, leading up to the ITA Kickoff Weekend and ITA National Team Indoor Championships in January and into early February.
Men’s Singles: Petar Jovanovic (Miss. St) def. Leo Raquin (MTSU) 6-2, 6-3
Women’s Singles: Connie Ma (Stanford) def. Jessica Alsola (Cal) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Men’s Doubles: Hunter Heck/Karlis Ozolins (Illinois) def. Jay Friend/Colton Smith (Arizona) 6-3, 6-4
Women’s Doubles: Abbey Forbes/Reilly Tran (UNC) def. Melodie Collard/Annabelle Xu (UVA) 6-4, 6-3