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Golden Hurricane To Host ITA All-American Championships

Junior Clifford Marsland will compete in the Main Singles Draw and the Main Doubles Draw.
Junior Clifford Marsland will compete in the Main Singles Draw and the Main Doubles Draw.
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Sept. 30, 2011

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TULSA, Okla. -The University of Tulsa men's tennis team is set to play host to the 2011 ITA Men's All-American Tennis Championships for the seventh-straight season. The event is scheduled for Oct. 1-9 and will be held at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the Tulsa campus.

The tournament features the largest field of any collegiate tennis championship, as more than 300 players are expected to compete for the first national title of the 2011-12 college tennis season.

The prestigious nine-day tournament begins on Saturday, Oct. 1 with the pre-qualifying singles event. The last 16 spots in singles and eight spots in doubles will be on the line when qualifying matches conclude on Wednesday, Oct. 5. On Thursday, Oct. 6, main draw play gets underway as 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams vie for the title.

Singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 3-6 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Those competing for Tulsa will be senior Ashley Watling (Main Draw Singles, Main Draw Doubles), juniors Clifford Marsland (Main Draw Singles, Main Draw Doubles), Grant Ive (Qualifying Draw Singles, Main Draw Doubles) and Tristan Jackson (Qualifying Draw Singles, Main Draw Doubles) and sophomore Japie De Klerk(Main Draw Singles).

MARSLAND, WATLING NAMED NO. 4-RANKED DOUBLES TEAM IN NCAA
The doubles team of senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland will begin the fall campaign as the No. 4-ranked doubles team in the nation, according to the preseason ITA rankings released Sept. 9. The second-highest ranking in school history comes on the heels of the duo advancing to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championship last May. Watling is also ranked No. 44 in singles, and Marsland earned a career-high singles rank of No. 51. Sophomore Japie De Klerkis the highest-ranked member of the Golden Hurricane at No. 29.

TULSA MEN'S TENNIS ENDS YEAR WITH FIRST TRIP TO ROUND OF 16
The University of Tulsa reached the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship Round of 16 for the first time in school history in 2011, and the Golden Hurricane fell 4-0 to No. 4 Ohio State at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. TU was the lowest-ranked team that advanced to the Round of 16 and was only one of two unseeded teams to reach that plateau (No. 17 Illinois). The Golden Hurricane lost the doubles point and fell at No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 singles.

GOLDEN HURRICANE ADVANCES TO FIRST ROUND OF 16 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Tulsa upset two Big 12 schools on back-to-back days to reach the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship Round of 16 for the first time in school history. The Golden Hurricane upset No. 20 Oklahoma (Big 12 runners-up) in the first round on the strength of three singles victories and the doubles point. The No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams picked up wins, and juniors Marcelo Arevalo, Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson led TU to victory in singles action. Tulsa won the doubles point over Texas when senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland won at No. 1, and Arevalo and sophomore Japie De Klerkwon at No. 2. The Golden Hurricane jumped ahead 3-1 when Arevalo and Marsland won their singles matches, but the Longhorns knotted the match at 3-3. Ive sealed the victory for Tulsa when he won at the fifth position.

TULSA WINS FIFTH C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP IN LAST SIX YEARS
Tulsa swept the Conference USA Championship with three 4-0 victories to claim its fifth league crown in the last six years. The Golden Hurricane defeated East Carolina, Memphis and Rice en route to a conference title. This marked just the second time in conference history that a team won the championship without conceding a point (Tulsa, 2007). Senior Ashley Watling was named the Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship, while Watling and junior Clifford Marslandwere named the Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship.

FOUR TULSA ATHLETES COMPETED IN NCAA SINGLES, DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
Four members of the TU men's tennis team were selected to the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships. Sophomore Marcelo Arevalo earned Conference USA's automatic bid into the 64-player singles field by way of being the highest-ranked player in the league at No. 27, and he made his second-straight appearance. He played just two games against No. 5 Michael Shabaz before defaulting. Freshman Japie De Klerk was originally the fourth alternate and was selected as the last player in the field. The No. 62-ranked player went up against No. 7 Alexandre Lacroix of Florida and nearly pulled off the upset, falling 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The No. 24-ranked doubles duo of junior Ashley Watling and sophomore Clifford Marslandgrabbed C-USA's automatic bid into the field of 32 doubles teams and fell one win shy of earning All-American status. They won their opening-round match with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the No. 16-ranked pair of Dean Jackson and Patrick Pohlmann of San Diego, and the Tulsa tandem lost 7-5, 6-1 to the No. 3-ranked duo of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford, who went on to capture second place in the tournament.

CONFERENCE USA POSTSEASON AWARDS ANNOUNCED
TU dominated the 2011 Conference USA postseason awards as the Golden Hurricane nearly swept the specialty awards and had four student-athletes named to the All-Conference USA Singles First Team. The four selections to the first team by one school has never been done before in league history. Senior Ashley Watling, juniors Marcelo Arevalo and Clifford Marsland, and sophomore Japie De Klerkwere all named to the All-Conference USA Singles First Team. Watling and Marsland were also named to the All-Conference USA Doubles First Team, and Arevalo and De Klerk landed on the All-Conference USA Doubles Second Team. Arevalo was named the Conference USA Player of the Year, and De Klerk was named the Freshman of the Year.

GOLDEN HURRICANE DOMINATE CONFERENCE USA MEN'S TENNIS ATHLETE OF WEEK HONORS
The C-USA Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week award should be renamed The University of Tulsa Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week after TU dominated the honor last season. Members of the Golden Hurricane captured 11 of the 13 possible weekly honors, which included a streak that saw the Golden Hurricane win the final nine. The overall amount and the streak are both conference records. Junior Marcelo Arevalo picked up four honors (Feb. 1, March 22, March 29, April 12), while both senior Ashley Watling (March 8, March 15, April 19) and sophomore Japie De Klerk (Jan. 25, March 1, April 5) each won the award three times. Junior Clifford Marslandgot himself an honor on Feb. 22.

WESTBROOK REACHES 300-WIN PLATEAU
Vince Westbrookearned his 300th-career victory as head coach of The University of Tulsa during last season. He reached the historic milestone with a 4-0 triumph over Oklahoma State April 19 in Stillwater, Okla. Westbrook ended 2011 with a career record of 305-221 in his 20 years at the helm for a .580 win percentage.

DE KLERK EARNS THREE WEEKLY HONORS DURING FIRST SEASON
Sophomore Japie De Klerk was named the Conference USA Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week on three occasions last season. De Klerk started his career with a perfect 19-0 mark in singles and ended the year at 20-6. He also posted a 21-6 doubles record. The duo of De Klerk and junior Marcelo Arevalowere TU's No. 2 doubles team, and the tandem won their first 13 matches together. They ended last season at 17-4.

TULSA LEAPS TO NO. 26 IN THE ITA POLLS - 4 INDIVIDUALS EARN FINAL NATIONAL RANKS
Tulsa jumped 10 spots to be ranked No. 26 in the final Campbell/ITA College Rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association May 30. TU made the largest leap of any team in the final polls and ended the year as the highest-ranked Conference USA team. Four players ended the year with national singles rankings, while only two other players in the entire league were ranked. Junior Marcelo Arevalo ended the year with his No. 24 rank, which was a career high. Sophomore Japie De Klerk was No. 65, senior Ashley Watling was tabbed No. 94 and junior Clifford Marsland was No. 105. The doubles team of Watling and Marsland ended the year at No. 20. Tulsa has had four players ranked nationally on nine occasions this season. The feat had only been accomplished twice in TU history prior to 2011. The last time before this year since the rankings system began in 1994 that Tulsa had four individuals ranked at the same time was March 7, 2006. Those ranked in that poll were No. 21 Arnau Brugues, No. 79 Federico Soriano, No. 80 Ricardo Soriano and No. 100 Andy Connelly. There are only eight teams in the NCAA with at least four players ranked in the top 105. No. 2 Virginia (5 singles players ranked in the top 100), No. 3 Ohio State (5), No. 1 USC (4), No. 4 Tennessee (4), No. 6 Baylor (4), No. 11 UCLA (4), No. 20 Mississippi State (4), and No. 26 Tulsa (4).