Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nine Former Players Make Initial 2015 ITA Rankings

Nine former DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships participants were ranked in the Top 100 in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of 2015. The list of ranked players includes six former boys participants and four former girls participants.

Kourtney Keegan
Photo Courtesy of Florida Athletics
Kourtney Keegan
The Blessed Trinity graduate and University of Florida sophomore opens the 2015 season ranked No. 26 in singes. The former All-Tournament Team selection is looking to follow up her 2014 ITA Southeast Region Rookie Player of the Year honors. Keegan is the only former player to be ranked in both singles and doubles. The sophomore teamed with Brooke Austin to achieve a career-high ranking of 7th in the country after capturing the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championship this fall. Keegan was also ranked 47th in the country with teammate Belinda Woolcock.

Abigail Owens
Louisiana State University sophomore Abigial Owens opens the 2015 season with a No. 74 national ranking after a 9-4 singles record in the fall. The Peachtree Ridge alumni has a 24-18 career record at LSU including a semi-final finish at the Jack Kramer Invitational and a Round of 16 finish at the ITA Southern Regional Championship this fall. 

Cassie Mercer
The Huntington graduate and two-time National High School Tennis All-American begins her freshman season at the University of Virginia with a No. 11 national doubles ranking. Mercer and teammate Skylar Morton recorded a 11-3 doubles winning the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional doubles title to earn an automatic berth to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Jared Hiltzik
Photo Courtesy of Illinois Athletics
Jared Hiltzik
University of Illinois junior and 2012 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships MVP Jared Hiltzik begins the 2015 season ranked 31st in the country. Hiltzik a two-time NCAA Tournament selection finshed as runner-up in the ITA Midwest Regional Singles Championships and was an at-large selection for the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. The New Trier graduate finished his sophomore season as a First-Team All-Big Ten and All-American selection.

Aron Hiltzik
The younger Hiltzik begins his freshman season at the University of Illinois ranked 62nd in the nation in singles. Aron, 2012 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships All-Tournament Team selection, came to Illinois as the top ranked recruit in the Class of 2014. Hiltzik knocked off a pair of ranked players in route to a semi-final finish at the ITA Midwest Regionals. The 18 year old New Trier alumni has already earned a pair of ATP points with three wins on the professional circuit.

Beck Pennington
The University of Kentucky junior has made an impact for the Wildcats since he arrived on campus. Pennington, a Greenwood alumni, is ranked 92nd in the first ITA rankings of the 2015. Pennington won the White singles draw at the Fab Four in Durham, N.C. this fall and advance to the Round of 16 at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships.

Ziqi Wang
The Vestavia Hills graduate begins his freshman season at Yale ranked 95th in the country. The top ranked recruit in Alabama last year Wang already has a runner-up finish at the Connecticut State Championships and a Round of 16 finish at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships. Wang's fall results include a win over Dennis Nguyen of Harvard, the No. 18 ranked player in the country.

Chase Perez-Blanco
The University of Florida freshman opens his first spring in Gainesville as half of the 50th ranked doubles team in the nation. The Gulliver Prep alumni finished his fall season with five straight doubles wins at the Florida Invitational. In singles action Perez-Blanco finished as a semi-finalist at the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational.

Bradford Zitsch
The Rock Bridge graduate and University of Nebraska junior begins his 2015 season ranked 54th in the national doubles rankings. The 2014 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar teamed with Dusty Boyer to advance to the quarterfinals of the Rice Invitational and ITA Central Regional.

Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Tournament Divisions Announced

The DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by Icy Hot is pleased to announced the divisions for our 2015 tournament. 

The Girls A Division which will take place on March 20-21, 2015 in Chattanooga, TN features 16 teams from six different states. Both Tennessee and Georgia will send five teams to represent their state in the prestigious event. The tournament field features three-time tournament champion and host school Baylor. The Red Raiders are joined by fellow 2014 tournament semi-finalists Pine Crest and Walton. A young American Heritage team features four players rated as 5-Star Recruits or higher. Two-time tournament finalist Girls Preparatory School will participate in the event for the fourth time in tournament history and Assumption High School will make a tournament record sixth appearance in the event. The field includes a total of six defending state champions (Baylor, Blessed Trinity, Niceville, Ocean Springs, Starr's Mill and Walton). 

American Heritage (Delray Beach, FL)
Assumption High School (Louisville, KY)

Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN)
Blessed Trinity High School (Roswell, GA)
Cambridge High School (Milton, GA)
Central Magnet School (Murfreesboro, TN)
Duncan High School (Duncan, OK)
Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga, TN)
Hutchison School (Memphis, TN)
Niceville High School (Niceville, FL)
Oceans Springs High School (Ocean Springs, MS)
Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Roswell High School (Roswell, GA)
Starr's Mill High School (Fayetteville, GA)
Union City High School (Union City, TN)
Walton High School (Marietta, GA)

The Boys A Division which will take place on March 27-28, 2015 in Chattanooga, TN features 16 teams from ten different states. Illinois, Florida and Tennessee will each send be represented by three teams in the prestigious event. The tournament field features back-to-back tournament champion Hinsdale Central and Ohio State signee Martin Joyce. Former tournament champions Saint Xavier (KY) and New Trier join the Red Devils. Winter Park, a 2014 tournament semifinalist also joins the field. Tournament host Baylor School will participate in their fifth straight event and are currently fourth in tournament history with nine all-time wins. The field includes a total of nine defending state champions (Cardinal Gibbons, Heritage Hall, Hinsdale Central, MICDS, Memphis University School, Saint Xavier (KY), Spartanburg Webb School of Knoxville and Wiregrass Ranch).

Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN)
Cardinal Gibbons High School (Raleigh, NC)
Edwardsville High School (Edwardsville, IL)
Heritage Hall High School (Oklahoma City, OK)
Hinsdale Central High School (Hinsdale, IL)
Mary Institute & Country Day School (St Louis, MO)
McCallie School (Chattanooga, TN)
Memphis University School (Memphis, TN)
New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL)
Pensacola Catholic High School (Pensacola, FL)
Saint Xavier High School (Cincinnati, OH)
Saint Xavier High School (Louisville, KY)
Spartanburg High School (Spartanburg, SC)
Webb School of Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
Winter Park High School (Winter Park, FL)
Wiregrass Ranch High School (Wesley Chapel, FL)

The Boys B Division which will take place on March 27-28, 2015 in Chattanooga, TN currently features 17 teams from seven different states. Georgia will send five teams and host state Tennessee will send four teams in the prestigious event. The tournament field features 2014 tournament finalist Edmond Memorial. Former tournament champion University School of Nashville will join the field. The field includes a pair of defending state champion Bishop McGuinness and four state finalists (Jenks, Edmond Memorial, R.J. Reynolds and Woodward Academy).

Bishop McGuinness High School (Kernersville, NC)
Blessed Trinity High School (Roswell, GA)
Cambridge High School (Milton, GA)
Carrollton High School (Carrollton, GA)
Edmond Memorial High School (Edmond, OK)
Ensworth School (Nashville, TN)
Jenks High School (Jenks, OK)
Menlo Atherton High School (Atherton, CA)
Riverside Military Academy (Gainesville, GA)
Red Mountain High School (Mesa, AZ)
RJ Reynolds High School (Winston-Salem, NC)
Santa Margarita High School (Santa Margarita, CA)
Siegel High School (Murfreesboro, TN)
Starr's Mill High School (Fayetteville, GA)
University School of Nashville (Nashville, TN)
Vandebilt Catholic High School (Houma, LA)
Woodward Academy (College Park, GA)

For the most up to date information regarding participating teams click here

Participating teams and divisions are subject to change.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tennessee Aquarium to Host 2015 Tournament Players Party

The Tennessee Aquarium located on the banks of the Tennessee River in beautiful downtown Chattanooga will play host to the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Tournament Players Party. Come see for yourself why the Tennessee Aquarium has been rated the best Aquarium in America for overall guest satisfaction.

The 2015 Tournament Players Party will be hosted in the Aquarium's River Journey building. River Journey fascinates visitors with river otters, turtles, alligators, giant catfish and thousands of freshwater wonders. The Players Party will take place from 7-10 pm the Thursday evening prior to tournament play. Event admission for players, coaches and family members is $15 per person, and includes access to River Journey and a snack!

The Aquarium's River Journey building allows visitors to follow a drop of water on a 1,500 mile trek from Appalachian Highlands to the Gulf of Mexico, a journey made by water that falls in the Chattanooga area. Beginning as rain high in the Appalachian Mountains explore the flora and fauna of the unique cove environment, including live songbirds, fish and amphibians that might live in the mountains near Chattanooga. This area also includes the aquariums newest exhibit River Otter Falls, where furry, feisty and fun to watch North American River Otters romp around their spacious new multi-tiered home.

Descending on a ramp through the center of the aquarium, the “river” gets deeper at the bottom of re-creations of Nickajack Lake and Reelfoot Lake, two vastly different bodies of water on the Tennessee River. Your journey through the lakes will feature sunfish, bass, catfish, amphibians, turtles, birds and an array of other fish species. As you enter Discovery Hall, the Tennessee River joins the Ohio River in a swamp environment featuring prehistoric alligators and lake sturgeon that once ruled the land. Paddlefish and salamander abound, swimming to bluegrass music. Finally, our drop of water enters The Mississippi Delta in an exhibit called Delta Country. Through a river of cypress trees and swamps turtles and alligators live with bass and sunfish while herons eagerly patrol the shoreline.

For more information on the Tennessee Aquarium please visit their website at

NEW FOR 2015 -- Tournament Receives USTA Sanction

The 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by IcyHot will have a special feel, for the first time since 2012 the event will be a USTA sanctioned tournament. USTA Junior Tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want—high school, college or pros—or just have fun competing, all while advancing as players.

"The USTA sanction is important because it gives players an opportunity to earn valuable USTA ranking points and exposure via Tennis Recruiting Network," Tournament Director Brandon Feusner said. "It really helps put the tournament on the radar of collegiate coaches."

As part of the registration process players will now have to register to participate via TennisLink before February 27, 2015. This new process will streamline the registration process making to easier than ever before for all players to ensure there spot in the event. The individual registration for the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by IcyHot will be $5 ($2 Entry Fee, $3 Tennis Link Fee). This fee includes a complimentary t-shirt for each player. 

Only players on teams that are officially registered to participate in the event will be allowed to register. Please contact your coach prior to completing your registration so you can register for the correct division. Players will NOT be allowed to compete in the event without a registration prior to the deadline.

Click below to register for your event:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tournament Prepares for Move to Chattanooga and Adds Icy Hot as Sponsor

The DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships will have a new home and a new presenting sponsor next spring. The tournament which began in Louisville, KY in 2007 as the King of the Bluegrass Spring Fling has made some drastic changes over the past eight years. One of the most significant changes in tournament history will come in 2015 as the tournament as the tournament will move to Chattanooga, TN. 

The Scenic City will serve as the host of the prestigious event in 2015 and 2016. Baylor School and Champions Club will serve as the sites for the event providing 50 courts for tournament play. Chattanooga which has served as the home for numerous USTA sectional and national events "Will serve as a fantastic host city for our event," said Tournament Director Brandon Feusner. Feusner added “What Chattanooga brings to the table is a vibrant, mid-sized city with excellent Southern hospitality, high quality tennis facilities, tradition of hosting local, regional and national tournaments and a knowledgeable, hard-working tennis community.”

Tim Morgan, President of the Chattanooga Sports Committee states, “Chattanooga is excited to be working with the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships. Our family-friendly sports destination will work hard to maximize the experience for all athletes & spectators traveling in to compete in next year’s championships! We look forward to being your host.”

The Champions Club Tennis Complex features 26 outdoor hard courts and was named the USTA National Facility of the Year in 2001. The public facility also features a 6,000 square foot clubhouse with lockers, showers, viewing areas, and pro-shop. Champions Club also provides access to 12 lighted courts for evening match play. Champions Club was recently the host site for the Southern Conference Championships in April 2014. 

"We are excited to host this high profile tournament at Champions Club. The caliber of tennis is second to none, what a treat for the citizens of Chattanooga.“ said Orlando Lourenco, Director of Tennis at Champions Club.

The Alexander & Zan Guerry Tennis Center at Baylor School features 16 outdoor hard courts and 8 indoor hard courts. The complex was initially completed in 1987 but received an update including additional courts in 2012. The facility also includes a 1,500 square foot clubhouse including a lounge and restroom facilities. The facility is home to the Baylor School boys and girls tennis programs, winner of 23 Tennessee Tennis State Titles, and has hosted numerous USTA events.

Chattanooga tennis pro and McCallie School Head Coach Eric Voges said “I am very excited this prestigious tournament has found its way to Chattanooga. Teams from all over the eastern and mid-west part of the nation will be here to play. With the nice tennis facilities and an amazing, vibrant downtown, I believe the players will love coming here to play.”

Along with a new host city in 2015 the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships welcomes Icy Hot as the presenting sponsor. Icy Hot, America’s #1 topical pain reliever, is a product of Chattanooga based Chattem, Inc a subsidiary of sanofi-aventis Group. The Icy Hot brand is a big supporter of tennis and also serves as the title sponsor of the Icy Hot USTA Southern Level 2 Championships.

“Tennis in Chattanooga has a strong heritage and athletics is a natural fit for the Icy Hot brand. We are very excited about the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships coming to Chattanooga in 2015 and are happy to have Icy Hot sponsor this prestigious event.” said Zan Guerry, President of Chattem.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Former Tournament MVP Wins NCAA National Championship

In 2010, defending Ohio Division II Singles State Champion, Joey Fritz and his Cincinnati Country Day team came to compete in the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Boys B Division. Fritz went 4-0 in tournament play to lead the Indians to a grueling 3-2 win for tournament championship.Fritz's victory in the championship match took less than thirty minutes helping earn the nation's 19th ranked senior Most Valuable Player honors. 

Fritz went on to finish his senior season as an Ohio Division II Singles State Finalist. He was named a First-Team All-State selection by the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association. Fritz also become just the third player in tournament history to be named a NHSTAAF All-American. 

Following his outstanding high school career Fritz signed to play his collegiate tennis at Amherst. “It was really difficult. I struggled a lot with nerves," said Fritz following his freshman year for the Lord Jeffs "It’s different going from individual competition to team competition. I really enjoy the team environment more than the individual one.” His transition to the collegiate level was seamless though as he was a key contributor on the Amherst team that captured the 2011 NCAA Division III National Championship. Fritz's 6-1, 6-2 win over Emory's Nicolas Szureck helped the Lord Jeffs clinch the 5-2 victory for the programs first national title.

During his sophomore season Fritz continued his success winning the USTA/ITA New England Regional Championship singles tournament in the fall. Despite not competing in the NCAA singles or doubles tournaments in the spring Fritz garnered ITA Division III Singles All-American honors. During his sophomore season he was also named an ITA Scholar-Athlete.

Moving to the top of the lineup his junior season Fritz posted a 11-3 record including notching six wins in a row during a key stretch in April. He was named First-Team All-NESCAC and his on-court success helped Fritz garner ITA Division III Singles All-American honors for the second straight season. He was also selected for the CoSIDA Capital One At-Large Academic All-District first team.

Fritz took a 43-17 career record into his senior season. He rolled off an 18-5 regular season record as the top-ranked singles player in the ITA’s Northeast Region. Fritz's accomplishments included a season-best eight-match win streak and an 18-5 doubles record as half of the top-ranked doubles pairing in the region. His success earned his NESCAC Player of the Year honors.

He began his championship run playing the top singles spot for the Lord Jeffs who captured their second NCAA team championship with a 5-3 victory against the Claremont-M-S Stags. Fritz's run for the NCAA Division III Singles Championship began as the No. 2 overall seed. Fritz won the coveted prize with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against top seed Warren Wood of the host Claremont-M-Sc Stags. The singles championships was the first in Amherst history. During his tournament run it was announced that Fritz had been named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Senior Player of the Year. 

"Going into this week, the team championship means everything to us," Fritz said. "This individual championship is great, but it's icing on the cake. In the [singles final] match, that is probably the best I have served all week. I needed it because my legs were really tired."

Fritz's success at Amherst were not just on the court, he was once again named to the CoSIDA Capital One At-Large Academic All-District first team and received a bachelor's degree in Asian languages and civilizations. Fritz plans to work in Beijing, China, for Admissionado, an education consulting firm which advises Chinese students how to get into American universities.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nine Former Players Named ITA All-Americans

Jared Hiltzik from Illinois Athletics
Jared Hiltzik -- University of Illinois
The Fighting Illini sophomore has accomplished a number of accolades in his first two seasons in Champaign, Illinois. The former tournament Most Valuable Players list now includes 2014 ITA Division I Singles All-American. Hilzik completed his sophomore season of play with a a 17-6 dual match record finishing the year at 31-11 overall in singles. He was selected as the eighth overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Division I Singles Championships. He is a two-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection and was selected as Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013 after finishing dual match play with a 13-4 record at No. 1 singles.

Joey Fritz from Amherst Athletics
Joey Fritz -- Amherst College
The 2010 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Boys B Division Most Valuable Player clinched his place in Amherst history this year claiming the NCAA Division III Singles Championship. Over the course of his illustrious four-year career, Fritz has racked up a 68-22 overall record. He led his Amherst squad to 30-win seasons in all four years and a NCAA Division III National Championship as a freshman and senior. Fritz was selected as the 2014 NESCAC Player of the Year and is a two-time First-Team All-NESCAC selection in singles and was selected as First-Team All-NESCAC for doubles as well in 2014. Fritz's collegiate accomplishments now also includes back-to-back ITA Division III Singles All-American selections and a doubles All-American selection this season.

Emerson Walsh -- Johns Hopkins
The Johns Hopkins freshman got off to a hot start in his collegiate career winning the winning the ITA Southeast Regional Championship in the fall. The Trinity alum finished his first collegiate season with a 20-9 doubles record with freshman teammate Michael Buxbaum. He earned the third overall seed the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships. Walsh was a First-Team All-Centennial Conference selection for doubles and finished the season as half of the nation's 6th ranked doubles team in the ITA Division III rankings. His accomplishments earned him the honor of ITA Division III Doubles All-American.

Palmer Campbell -- Middlebury
The Montgomery Bell Academy alum had an outstanding sophomore season for Middlebury. Playing the No. 2 doubles slot for the Panthers Campbell and teammate Brantner Jones tallied a successful 24-9 record. The duo won the USTA/ITA Small College National Tennis Doubles Championship last fall and ended the season ranked 21st nationally, the highest of any No. 2 team in the country. The team's overall record included a 4-1 record during Middlebury’s five NCAA Tournament matches. Campbell was selected as First-Team All-NESCAC for doubles and was named an ITA Division III Doubles All-American.

Ben Shklyar -- UW-Whitewater
Shklyar, who finished the season having played with three different doubles partners, claimed his first ITA Division III Doubles All-American selection. The UW-Whitewater junior finished his season with a 23-10 overall doubles record including a 10-6 record at No. 1 doubles for the Warhawks. In the fall, Shklyar paired with teammate Byron Balkin to win the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles title. 

Joulia Likhanskaia -- Bowdoin
The Bowdoin freshman set a number of records her freshman season including tying the school record for wins by a freshman with a 19-3 record during the spring. The Winter Park alum finished the year ranked 19th nationally in the ITA Division III rankings. Likhanskaia was named First-Team All-NESCAC for singles and selected as NESCAC Rookie of the Year. She enjoyed win streaks of six and nine matches in singles play during the spring season. Likhanskaia and teammate Emma Lewis also finished the year ranked 18th nationally in doubles. Her accomplishments earned her the honor of ITA Division III Singles All-American.

Bronte Goodhue -- Sewanee
Girls Preparatory School alum Bronte Goodhue is the only former girls participant to be selected as an ITA Division III All-American in both singles and doubles. The Sewanee junior captured All-American accolades for the second straight year. Goodhue finished the season ranked 15th in the nation in singles and 10th in the country in doubles in the ITA Division III rankings. Undefeated in both singles and doubles during the Tigers championship winning run through the conference tournament, Goodhue was named Southern Athletic Association Player of the Year and received First-Team All-Conference honors.

Madeline Benn -- Skidmore
Skidmore freshman Madeline Benn was dominant in her freshman year of play for the Thoroughbreds. The Gulliver Prep alum was a five-time Liberty League Rookie of the Week selection and received First-Team All-Liberty League honors in both singles and doubles. Benn and Liberty League Player of the Year Ford Lee advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships. Benn's honors make her just the ninth women in school history to receive All-American honors. The duo of Benn/Ford finished the season ranked 14th in the nation in the ITA Division III rankings. The final ranking cemented Benn's selection as Liberty League Rookie of the Year and ITA Division III Doubles All-American.

Jessica Bourque -- Stevens
The 2011 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Girls B Division Most Valuable Player has garnered plenty of honors in her first three seasons at Stevens. Her freshman year she was named Empire 8 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Her sophomore season she was honored as First-Team All-Empire 8 for both singles and doubles with 20 singles wins and 15 doubles wins. Bourque led the Ducks this past fall with 14 singles wins en-route to being named Empire 8 Player of the Year and First-Team All-Empire 8 for the second and third time respectively. Additionally, Bourque represented Stevens for the third-straight year at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships, playing for the first time in doubles with senior Lisa Tessitore. The junior currently stands top-five in school history for career wins. Borque and Tessitore were selected as ITA Division III Doubles All-Americans.