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Lake Nona, FL. – National Champions have been crowned at the 2024 ITA National Wheelchair Tennis Championships as the premier event in all of collegiate wheelchair tennis comes to a close after three days of highly competitive competition from the USTA National Campus.

Played alongside the Billie Jean King Cup tie between the United States and Belgium, the excitement and fan engagement for today’s championship have never been greater as thousands of fans laid eyes on the championship action, marking the single-largest attended collegiate wheelchair tennis match in the events history.

Starting the day with individual play, the finals for Flights B & C were some of the closest we have seen over the three days of competition as a third set tiebreaker was needed to determine a victor in each.

In the Flight B draw, Virginia’s Jacob Wald defeated Auburn’s Evan Heller 5-7, 6-4, 10-4 to take home the singles title. This title marks the second singles national championship for Wald as he also won in 2023 competing in Flight C.

Meanwhile, in Flight C, two teammates went up against each other as Arizona’s Den Baseda and Anthony Lue battled it out for the title. After splitting sets it was ultimately Baseda who came away with the national championship, winning 5-7, 6-4, 10-6 over his teammate. The ITA National Wheelchair Tennis Championships were just the third tournament played by Baseda who looked like a serious contender within the sport in years to come.

For Flight A, the four competitors competing these past three days were doing so for seeding at the upcoming Final Four showcase at the 2024 NCAA Division I Singles Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This is in part of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and NCAA release in March, and will see Eric Court (Arizona), Martha Harris (Alabama), Gabe Puthoff (Auburn), and Nicholas Tijerina (Houston) all compete this May.

In the team competition, San Diego State [1] and Houston [3] took to the courts for what would be an over three-hour battle to determine the ITA National Wheelchair Tennis Team Champion.

With a sidewalk full of fans and fellow competitors, it was Houston that got out to a fast start in the championship match, taking the lone doubles point as Jose Arriaga and Nicholas Tijerina would defeat Manuel Gomez and Ryotaro Sakaguchi 8-6 to propel the Cougars ahead 1-0 in the match.

Moving into singles, Arriaga (Houston) would take on Gomez (SDSU) at the No. 1 singles position while Tijerina (Houston) would face off with Sakaguchi (SDSU) at the No. 2 singles position. With a match being clinched at two total team points, the Cougars would need just one singles win to take home the title.

After trading sets, it would ultimately be Arriaga who would clinch the match for Houston, winning 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 over Gomez to secure the national championship for Houston. Marking a defining moment for the Houston program, this national team title put an end to the historic seven year winning streak that Alabama brought into the 2024 ITA National Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

For those interested in following along with the Final Four Flight A singles draw in Stillwater, play will be from May 24-25, 2024 with the finals being played on the 25th. Both the semifinal and final wheelchair matches will take place on the primary courts strategically timed between the NCAA championship singles and doubles finals.

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