SUMTER, SC – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s tennis programs will serve as the host for the 2010 USTA/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Southeast Regional Championships, Friday through Monday (Sept. 24-27) at the Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter.
Admission is free. Action will begin with doubles play on Friday at noon. This is the second year in a row, FMU has served as the host.
At the 2009 event, Francis Marion captured both the men’s and women’s doubles titles and sent the four athletes to the ITA National Small College Championships in Mobile, Ala.
The ITA Regional Championships, currently sponsored by the USTA, date back to 1981 and for nearly two decades were also known as the Rolex Regional Championships. The ITA Regional Championships feature the top men's and women's players from each of the ITA's regions. All in all, 8,000 varsity tennis players from 600 schools will participate in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships.
Twenty-four men’s programs and 27 women’s programs are expected to send participants to the Southeast Regional.
The Small College (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) singles and doubles champions from the USTA/ITA Regional Championships will advance to the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, held October 14-17 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The USTA/ITA National Small College Championships are comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges.
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.
The most unique element of the USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Championships program is the fact that all levels of varsity college tennis (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) are competing in one comprehensive event, and any ITA varsity student-athlete has the opportunity to play and win at the prestigious USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
In addition to last year’s two regional championships, Francis Marion student-athletes have won a men’s single title (2005), a women’s single title (1993), and two women’s doubles championships (1993, 1994).