The Third Annual Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic featured some of the nation’s top tennis programs and raised $10,000 for cancer research this past weekend.
The three-day tournament boasted a field of 16 Division I teams and counts toward each player’s individual ranking. The men’s teams scheduled to compete are Arizona, Duke, Minnesota, Miami, Florida, Oklahoma State, Princeton, Virginia, USF and Pepperdine. The women’s teams are defending national champion Florida, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Miami, Alabama and Memphis.
The University of Florida tennis program enjoyed a strong showing. Men’s double team Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson defeated Minnesota’s Matthew Froment and Juan Pablo in the finals to win the championship while the Gators’ women’s team reached the singles and doubles finals. Florida’s Brianna Morgan and Alexandra Cercone lost to Memphis’ doubles team Kelly Gray and Courtney Collins in the finals and Caroline Hitimana finished runner-up to Memphis’ Liza Tymchenko in women’s singles.
Pepperdine University’s Finn Tearney defeated Andre Vidaller of Arizona to win the men’s singles competition.
The Vitales hosted a VIP party for the players at their home in Lakewood Ranch. The players were also visited by renown tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.
East Word features news and views about East Manatee from members of the Lakewood Ranch Herald and Bradenton Herald.
Jim Jones: Born in South Boston, Va., and raised in St. Augustine, Jim began working at the Bradenton Herald in 1999 and has 35 years of professional journalism experience. In addition, he served 21.5 years active and reserve duty in the Army. Jim earned his journalism degree at USF. He and his wife Kim have two grown children. Contact Jim at email@example.com