Bulldog Freshman Tennis Player To Compete In 2019 ITA Cup This Week

FSU

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University freshman men's tennis player Yannic Alexander Mader (Berlin, Germany) has been chosen to compete as an at-large selection for the 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Cup set for this coming week in Rome, Ga.

Mader, who earned runner-up honors at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in late September, was among the at-large selections chosen from the group of regional finalists and nationally-ranked performers across the country. He will take part in the event Oct. 17-20 and travel to the tournament along with FSU head coach Mark Doren.

Four divisions of collegiate tennis will converge on the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Ga., to take part in the 2019 ITA Cup. Student-athletes will receive an opportunity to qualify for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, where they will compete in the same tournament as the nation's top Division I players. The ITA Cup serves as an individual national championship for NCAA Division II and III, NAIA and Junior College men and women and has been held in Rome, Georgia, since 2017. The ITA Cup format guarantees at least three matches for all competitors. 

Prior to 2017, only one singles player had earned that distinction, by winning the "ITA Cup", which pitted the four divisional winners against each other for the right to play in the fall season's final tournament. Now, each of the four divisional champions (Divisions II, III, NAIA and JUCO) will be automatically entered in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which takes place at the Newport Beach Tennis Club & The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif.

Formerly known as the Small College Nationals, the ITA Cup has history dating back to 1986, and it is the only singles and doubles national championship event for the Division II and NAIA levels. This year, more then 8,000 players took part in a total of 60 regional tournaments to gain entry into the ITA Cup field.

Each division represented will feature between eight and sixteen singles players and eight to sixteen doubles teams, competing in their respective draws.

Mader earned his opportunity thanks to a strong showing at the ITA Regional Championships, which were held Sept. 28-30 in Grand Rapids. The rookie, who had won his first four matches in the event, topped second-seeded and defending regional champion Renato Lima of Indianapolis in the top "A" bracket semifinals by a 6-2, 6-3 score before falling in the championship match to UIndy's Dario Huber 7-5, 6-0.

The Bulldog newcomer earned runner-up recognition in a large field that consisted of 128 players from 22 schools.

Mader's performance capped off a strong weekend of action for the Bulldogs that saw nearly ever player in the lineup record at least one victory in the regional championships. Mader led the way, finishing with a 5-1 singles mark.

The regional championships capped off the fall competitive season for the Bulldog men's squad under head coach Mark Doren with the bulk of FSU's schedule taking place with conference and national competition in the spring beginning in February.