FORT MYERS, FL - Francis Marion University senior Kevin Taylor is seeded second for the men's singles competition at this week's Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships, Oct. 13-16 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla.
Taylor will play Peter Grimsey of Rockhurst University, Thursday at 8 a.m. Win or lose, Taylor will play his second match on Friday at 9:30 a.m. The Division II championship match is set for Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
The Benoni, South Africa, native captured the Mid-Atlantic Region singles title on Oct. 3, the first FMU men's player to win an ITA regional championship. He was the top seed at the regional event, and dropped only two sets en route to winning six matches. Taylor was 19-3 last spring and ended the 2005 season ranked 12th among Division II singles players.
This is the second straight year the tournament will be played at FGCU. This event is presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and administered by the ITA. It dates back to 1986 and determines national champions for NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and junior/community college men's and women's singles and doubles during the first two-and-a-half days of play. Those champions then compete to become the overall national small college champs (for all divisions) on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning in the ITA "Super Bowl" of small college tennis.
The Division II men's singles bracket features eight players who earned spots into this event by winning their respective Wilson/ITA regional championships. This tournament is the only national championship event for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA levels, and the only tournament that combines all levels of junior/community college.
The overall ITA "Super Bowl" of small college tennis champions on Oct. 16 will earn wild cards into the Nov. 3-6 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, hosted by Ohio State University. This tournament is the second of three national championships for Division I tennis and offers the small college participants the opportunity to become champions for all divisions of collegiate tennis.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships; the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA; and the ITA Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and junior college levels.