JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 6, 2004) - Sophomore Oscar Posada (Valencia, Venezuela) advanced to the main draw of the ICY/HOT ITA All American Tournament with a 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over Tony Haerle of Rice University Wednesday morning in Chattanooga, Tenn. Posada is the first Buccaneer since Gustavo Gomez in 2000 to advance to the main draw of an ITA national tournament.
Posada fought his way into the main draw of the Grand Slam tournament by winning three matches in the qualifying rounds.
"The Bucs are back in business," said an excited head coach Yaser Zaatini, who played in several ITA Grand Slam national tournaments during his playing career at ETSU. "I'm very proud of Oscar and how he is playing. I hope this is the start of a great future for him."
Posada now waits for the main draws to be announced which will determine his opponent in the first round on Thursday morning.
In doubles action, the pairing of Posada and Felix Insaurralde (Asunción, Paraguay) were eliminated in the first round of action late yesterday afternoon. The duo fell to David Goulet and Dmitiy Koch of Tulane in an 8-5 decision.
The Icy/Hot ITA All American Tournament is the first of three national championships for singles and doubles during the 2004-05 season. The Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee hosts the men's section, which runs until Oct. 10. The singles tournament fields can run over 350 players, making it the largest collegiate event of the season. A player who begins in prequalifying may have to win up to seven matches just to reach the main draw. Over 70 schools from across the country will be sending players to compete.This event has been played annually since 1979. A number of its past participants have enjoyed successful professional tennis careers, including 1999 U.S. Open finalist Todd Martin, formerly of Northwestern, and current pros like James Blake ('98 champ), Bob ('97 champ) and Mike Bryan, Alex Kim, Jeff Morrison and Brian Vahaly ('99 finalist). Washington's Alex Vlaski topped Baylor's Benedikt Dorsch in last year's singles final and Texas A&M's Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic beat Rice's Richard and William Barker in the doubles final.