The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s and women’s tennis teams host the 31st UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic this weekend at the Champions Club in Chattanooga. The Mocs welcome top-flight competition for what is annually one of the best fall collegiate tournaments in the region.
On the women’s side, UTC is joined by UAB, Eastern Kentucky, UT Martin, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, Murray State and Lee University.
The men welcome Abilene Christian, Samford, ETSU, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee Tech, Lipscomb, Belmont and Lee.
Competition begins at 8:00 a.m. (E.D.T.) each day and runs Friday through Sunday. Complete results will be available on GoMocs.com each day. Full draws are available at the top of the page.
“We are excited about hosting the UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic at a place like the Champions Club” stated women’s tennis head coach Jeff Clark. “It is has grown into one of the top tournaments in the Southeast and we look forward to competing against quality opponents.”
The Lady Mocs are coming off an 18-6 overall record in 2013, the most wins for the program since 1991. UTC returns eight of its nine letter winners from last season’s squad that went 12-1 in home dual matches.
Sophomore Kayla Jones (Memphis, Tenn.) and junior Kaylene Chadwell (Franklin, Tenn.) are both in the No. 1 draw, while the lone senior, Alexa Flynn (Memphis, Tenn.), is in the No. 2 bracket.
Junior Claire Mulyadi (Semarang, Indonesia) is in the No. 3 draw and sophomore Alison Storie (Johnson City, Tenn.) is in No. 4. Sophomore Jovana Pecovski (Apitan, Serbia) rounds out UTC’s singles competitors in the No. 5 bracket.
Flynn and Chadwell are teaming up at No. 1 doubles, while Jones is in at No. 2 with fellow sophomore Katie Polk (Woodstock, Ga.). Mulyadi and Storie are in the No. 3 doubles bracket.
“Not only do we get to play against a strong field, but we also have the benefit of competing at the same site that will host our conference tournament in the spring,” added Clark. UTC is set to host the 2014 Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at the Champions Club on April 16-19.
Men’s head coach Carlos Garcia has already competed in one tournament this semester and is looking for continued improvement from a young squad. The Mocs are replacing seven seniors from last year’s 12-9 team that posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008.
“This is an excellent field on the men’s side,” stated Garcia. “There are a lot of quality teams and a lot of good players. We have some young guys who are going to experience tough competition early in the season. That will help give us an idea of where we are what we need to do to improve for the spring duals.”
Junior Pavels Grigorjevs (Riga, Latvia) and senior Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) are in the top singles draw and will also team up in the No. 1 doubles bracket. Freshmen Derrick Brown (Marietta, Ga.) and Marcos Morelli (Pilar, Argentina) are in the No. 2 singles draw, while sophomores Luke Saunders (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and John Peacey (Emerald, Australia) are playing in the No. 3 group. Peacey and Saunders are teaming up for No. 2 doubles.
Sophomore Gino Delavalle (Rosario, Argentina) is the No. 4 seed in the No. 4 draw. Freshman Drew Wendel (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Austin Boaz (Dunwoody, Ga.) are also in the No. 4 singles bracket. Wendell and Brown are in the No. 3 doubles bracket while Boaz and Morelli are in No. 4.
“This is a great tournament and it is a great way to honor the legacy and memory of Steve Baras,” said Garcia. “The Baras Scholarship is very important to the tennis programs and this is a great way to draw attention to that endowment.”
The Steve Baras Memorial Scholarship Endowment is set up in memory of former UTC men’s tennis player Steve Baras. The annual recipient of the scholarship is a Business major who is also a member of the men’s or women’s tennis teams. To learn more about the UTC’s scholarship endowment program, or to make a gift to the Baras Endowment, contact Senior Associate Atheltics Director Andrew Horton at (423) 425-5285 or Andrewfirstname.lastname@example.org.