Schmandt & Tsoubanos Win ITA All-American Championship

Schmandt & Tsoubanos Win ITA All-American Championship


Senior duo gives ‘Dores their second-consecutive win at tournament

Pacific Palisades, Calif. — Seniors Kelly Schmandt and Aleke Tsoubanos of the Vanderbilt women’s tennis team captured the doubles title at the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, one of the premier events in collegiate tennis, played at the Riviera Country Club. Schmandt and Tsoubanos won seven matches in six days, defeating six teams ranked in the top 50 and three in the top 10 to capture the crown at the first of three national championship tournaments contested during the season.

“I’m so proud of these ladies,” Coach Geoff Macdonald said. “What a great way to start off their senior year. We have amazing upperclass leadership, and that is a big reason that our team is going to be among the nation’s elite all season.”

Tsoubanos, the 2002 ITA All-American doubles champion with 2003 graduate Sarah Riske, became the first player ever to win two ITA All-American doubles titles. This year’s tournament took a little more work for the Chesterfield, Mo., native, who along with Riske was the No. 1 seed of last year’s main draw. The 2003 pairing of Tsoubanos and Santa Barbara, California’s Schmandt was seeded second in the qualifying draw.

The pair breezed through Tuesday and Wednesday’s qualifying matches, giving up only eight games in three pro-sets to advance to Thursday’s main draw. Their next four matches were all against top-15 competition. The duo defeated teams from SEC-rivals Louisiana State, Florida and Georgia to reach Sunday’s final match against No. 6 Christelle Grier/Jessica Rush from Northwestern. In the championship match, Schmandt and Tsuobanos, playing as a team in their first collegiate tournament, earned a hard-fought 8-6 win.

“I am very happy for these girls — they are the biggest ‘comeback kids’ I have ever coached,” first-year Vanderbilt assistant Meike Babel said. “There was no more-deserving team at this tournament. They have the biggest hearts of any pair I’ve seen. They fought through qualifying and battled in every single match, always keeping their heads in the game.”

“This win is very special,” Tsoubanos said. “It’s different than last year with Sarah. Kelly and I came out here as a pair of seniors, having never really played together before. We stuck to our fundamentals all week. We never really played ‘lights out,’ but we did what we had to do and things worked out in our favor.”

“We knew we were doing the right things, and our coach told us to keep perservering,” Schmandt said. “The balls eventually started falling in our favor. We were playing a really solid team today, we just had to stick with it.

“I’ve always really enjoyed playing doubles, but I’ve looked forward to the opportunity to play with Aleke. She beat me in one of my last juniors’ tournaments in doubles, and it was great to work together this time to win a big trophy.”

Later this month, Vanderbilt will play host to the June Stewart Invitational Tournament October 24-26 at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center before wrapping up the fall season in November.

Qualifying Bracket | Championship Bracket

Women’s ITA All-American Championships

Main Draw, Oct. 9-12


Seniors Kelly Schmandt/Aleke Tsoubanos
First Round: W – 8-1 over No. 12 Fantilli/Seaman of LSU
Quarterfinals: W – 8-5 over No. 2 Magley/Reyes of Florida
Semifinals: W – 8-6 over No. 5 Cioroch/Robinson of Georgia
Finals: W – 8-6 over No. 6 Grier/Rush of Northwestern


Freshman Amanda Fish
First Round: L — 6-3, 6-3 to No. 9 Alexis Gordon of Florida

Qualifying Draw, Oct. 7-8


Freshman Amanda Fish
First Round: W – 6-2, 6-4 over No. 35 Courtney Nagle of Oregon
Second Round: W – 6-4, 6-2 over Maria Brito of Clemson
Qualifying Round: W – 6-1, 6-1 over No. 82 Lauren Perl of San Diego

Junior Audra Falk
First Round: W – 6-1, 6-0 over No. 55 Anca Dimitrescu of Florida State
Second Round: W – 0-6, 6-4. 6-4 over No. 40 Anda Perianu of Oklahoma
Qualifying Round: L – 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to No. 34 Megan Bradley of Miami (Fla.)

Sophomore Ashley Schellhas
First Round: L – 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to No. 63 Alicia Salas of Notre Dame
Consolation Round of 32: W – 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 over Lauren Walker of Texas A&M
Consolation Round of 16: L – 6-4, 6-1 to Natalie Frazier of Georgia

Senior Kelly Schmandt
First Round: W – 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 over No. 79 Shana McElroy of Wisconsin
Second Round: L – 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to No. 31 Anjela Mojzis of North Carolina

Senior Aleke Tsoubanos
First Round: L – 7-5, 7-5 to No. 93 Carine Vermeulen of Southern Cal


Seniors Kelly Schmandt /Aleke Tsoubanos
First Round: W – 8-4 over No. 22 Carter/Sumantri of Washington
Second Round: W – 8-3 over No. 49 Havlicek/Lynch of California
Qualifying Round: W – 8-1 over Kuhn/Smekodub of Tulane

Juniors Audra Falk/Annie Menees
First Round: W – 8-6 over Cizova/Novakova of UT-Arlington
Second Round: L – 9-7 to No. 12 Alvarez/Lacelarie of Clemson

Pre-qualifying Draw


Junior Audra Falk
First Round: W, 6-4, 6-4 over Helga Vieira of Texas A&M
Second Round: W, 6-0, 6-0 over Saskia Nauenberg of Washington
Qualifying Round: W, 6-0, 6-0 over Dianne Matias of USC

Junior Annie Menees
First Round: W, 6-0, 6-1 over Chris Martinez of Washington State
Second Round: L, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to third-seeded Jessica Johnson of Marshall


Juniors Audra Falk/Annie Menees
First Round: W, 8-6 over Asimgil/Braverman of Pepperdine
Second Round: W, 8-2, over Sallai/Toth of Washington State
Qualifying Round: W, 8-0 over Hayward/Polowski of Boise State

Sophomore Ashley Schellhas/Freshman Amanda Fish
First Round: L, 8-6 to Cizova/Novakova of UT-Arlington