Blue Gray National Tennis Classic
Annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic
Blue Gray National Tennis Classic
Junior Alizee Michaud is off to another great year. The All-American won the ITA Southern Region Singles bracket in the fall, has a current singles record of 18-4, and has been ranked as high as #13 in the country. She and super-frosh Taylor Russo have become a force in doubles. Michaud and Russo have won their last 7 doubles matches and come into Blue Gray as the 6th best doubles team in the nation. Michaud hails from Orlando, Florida where she was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school.
Alabama freshman Thibault Cancel has made an immediate impact on the Crimson Tide lineup. The gifted Toulouse, France native is tied for first on the team for best singles record at 5-1 in dual play matches and an overall singles record of 11-3. Cancel recently earned his first SEC Freshman of the Week honor and is currently ranked # 82 in the country in singles. Cancel achieved a top-five junior ranking in the French U-19 category, and he reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 1,438. Off the court, Cancel enjoys playing the guitar, ukulele, kickboxing and swimming. He also loves card tricks and will regularly perform his latest and greatest for the men’s and women’s tennis players.
Junior Sarah Dvorak came to Lubbock as the highest rated recruit in program history. Hailing from Kurtistown, Hawaii, she is the first Hawaiian to be a part of the Red Raider tennis family. The 2015 Texas Region Rookie of the year has notched over 50 wins in her first two years and has been named to the All Big 12 team in back to back years. Not having very many people to play with growing up, she learned the game and trained with her mother, who would feed her balls out of her hand at the local park courts. She’s a strong advocate for Hawaiian culture and food, so if you see her, be sure to say Aloha!
Freshman Carles Sarrio from Valencia, Spain, was 10-4 during the fall tournament season with wins over multiple SEC players. When he arrived on campus this summer, Sarrio spoke very little English, but he has adapted so well to the culture and community in Auburn that he is practically fluent now. Sarrio was the No. 1 ranked junior in Spain and won the Spanish junior doubles championship. He is currently studying in the College of Business.
Julia O'Loughlin was named Summit League Player of the Year last season after a stellar season playing #1 singles and #1 doubles. This year, she and doubles partner Maureen Slattery are currently ranked #13 in the country. Julia was the #1 junior player in the entire country when she was 12 years old (originally from Denver, CO), and was scooped up by the USTA in Florida shortly thereafter. After some tough circumstances, Julia briefly quit tennis by age 15, only to return to the sport ready for college and a comeback.
O’Keefe, a junior from Salem, Virginia, led the South Carolina men in nearly every major category last season, including single wins (31), dual-match singles wins (18), SEC wins (8), doubles wins (19), dual-match doubles wins (14) and tied for the team lead in three-set wins (7). He was ranked as high as No. 65 in singles during his sophomore campaign, while earning rankings with three separate doubles partners, including Thomas Mayronne, Alex Fennell and Gabriel Friedrich. O’Keefe finished the season with a 31-13 singles record and 19-16 in doubles play adding an SEC Player of the Week honor to his name. He began the 2017 season ranked 89th in singles after completing the fall season with a 9-5 record.
Senior standout and three-time All-Conference selection Erin Routliffe has experienced national and international success since arriving at Alabama. The gifted Caledon, Ontario native won back-to-back NCAA Doubles Championships in 2014 and 2015. Routliffe was named a two-time ITA Doubles All-American, while earning two ITA Women’s Doubles Team of the Year awards. Routliffe’s talents are not limited to the NCAA, as she won four matches in the 2015 U.S. Open National Playoff Doubles Finals to earn a wild card entry to the 2015 U.S. Open.
Senior Jolan Cailleau piled up 15 of his 20 dual match victories at the No. 4 singles position as Texas Tech racked up a program record 28 wins and captured its first Big 12 regular season championship in 2016. Cailleau has improved his game and risen to the No. 1 singles spot to start the 2017 season. He had a successful fall campaign highlighted by a runner-up finish at the ITA Texas Regionals and an appearance at the ITA National Indoors. Cailleau climbed to a personal best #25 ranking in singles.
Tulsa junior Ksenia Laskutova went 23-5 in singles play last season on her way to being named to the American Athletic All-Conference team. The Moscow, Russia native also excels at doubles. In addition to being ranked as high as #87 in the country in doubles, she won a doubles title at an ITF tournament in Rabat, Morocco. Laskutova, who was named conference co-freshman of the year in 2015, has been instrumental in helping the Hurricane win back-to-back American Athletic Conference titles.
Kyle Butters is the leader of the Kiwi Konnection for Boise State Tennis. He was the Broncos most Valuable Player last season as a freshman, which was a first for Boise State. Butters was named the Freshman of the Year in the Mountain West Conference and the ITA Mountain Region after he posted a 25-10 record and won 16 straight singles matches. Butters and his fellow countryman Jack Heslin have been ranked as high as #51 in the country in doubles. Butters grew up in Wanganui, New Zealand, which is a small town in the central area of the North Island. In order to play tennis, his parents had to drive him four hours to Auckland for training sessions. Off the court, Kyle was an avid Rugby player growing up.
In just 16 dual matches over the last two years, Rice’s Tommy Bennett and David Warren have become one of the top doubles teams in the nation. Last year, Rice’s dynamic duo teamed up to win 8 of 10 matches to earn Rice’s first NCAA doubles berth since 2008. Their stout play carried over to this fall as they won the consolation title at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championship and earned a wild card entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. They opened the 2017 dual season with a 5-1 mark this spring, including a 6-4 win over Texas A&M’s 7th ranked doubles team of Max Lunkin and Arthur Rinderknech.
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