Tennis players have strong showing at ITA Summer Circuit
By Katie Paxton, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Incoming freshman Sarah Leonard ’13 placed first in the women’s singles tournament, and men’s tennis co-captain Curtis Roby ’11 placed second in the men’s singles tournament this weekend in the College’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Summer Circuit. Leonard also teamed up with Molly Scott ’11 to place second in the women’s doubles tournament. This is the fourth year Dartmouth has hosted the national competition, which includes high school, college and post-graduate athletes from all around the country.
Dartmouth students were seeded highly going into the tournament, with Roby as the top seed for men’s singles and Scott the top seed for women’s singles. Leonard was originally the seeded seventh. Fifteen Dartmouth students competed in the field of 128 competitors.
Although Roby advanced to the finals, he lost to Dillon Pottish of Emory University. Leonard defeated Emily Harman of Syracuse University to take the women’s title.
Roby said this tournament was his first competitive match since last season’s Ivy League Champsionship three months ago.
“I definitely felt a little rusty at the beginning,” Roby said. “It was fun seeing a lot of my old friends who go to different colleges now but all came out for this tournament.”
Men’s assistant coach Dave Jones said that the tournament gave the team members a chance to face competition over the summer, including incoming freshmen who are preparing for tennis at the collegiate level.
The tournament also allows high school players to see the College’s facilities, head men’s coach Charles Kinyon said.
“Some of them are rising [high school] seniors who can come see the campus; some are from other colleges,” he said. “They can see the great facility we have — plus, it’s a great competition for the [players] on campus.”
The tournament took place at the outdoor courts and the Alexis Boss Tennis Center, which opened in 2000.
“The Boss Tennis Center is one of the top five tennis facilities in the country, so it gets a lot of exposure that way,” Jones said. “Before, we just had Leverone Field House as our indoor tennis courts, and we could never run an event like this.”
Women’s head coach Rob Dallis said he thinks this exposure is one of the reasons Dartmouth has hosted events for the past several years.
“It raises the stability of the tennis community [and] lets people know what a great facility we have and gets the word out to lots of places,” he said.
Dallis said he hopes that the large number of spectators present this weekend will also be seen in the fall season and at the ITA tournament for Region One, which the College will host this fall. Region One, the largest Division I region in the country, includes colleges north of Virginia and east of Illinois.
“Having such a nice tennis center allows us to do these types of events, so we don’t have to travel like we used to,” Jones said.
The summer is the only “off season” for the team, according to Jones, as the season runs from mid-September to April.
During the summer, sophomores on the men’s team have been lifting together and bonding as a team, Kinyon said. He also said he has personally been able to see many of the incoming freshmen play at tournaments while he is traveling for recruitment.
Sophomores on the women’s team have been lifting with a strength coach and playing each other and members of the men’s team, according to Dallis.
The ITA Summer Circuit consists of about 30 tournaments each summer held at colleges nationwide. Players compete tournament style in men’s and women’s doubles and singles.