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Men's and Women's Small College Championships
After the success of the Men's and Women's Bedford Cup
Events, the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida (YTF) decided in
2018 to host and fund a YTF Small College Championship
featuring men and women from the state's Division II, NAIA and
Junior College teams. This event would provide a unique
opportunity for these three divisions of college tennis to
compete against one another in the same tournament. The first
two years of the event have been played at the Beerman Family
Tennis Center in Lakeland.
2021 Men's Division II Tournament
On the weekend of October 29-31st, Saint Leo University hosted the first ever Saint Leo Hidden Dual Fall
Invitational sponsored by the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida. This format allows college teams to
participate against each other in a dual match type format however participating against different teams in
doubles and singles each day of the event. Aside from the host, Saint Leo University also welcomed Flagler
College, Florida Southern College, and Rollins College to the Saint Leo Tennis Center. Also, participants
competed in one doubles and one singles contest each day against another participating school.
No individual participants were crowned champions however there were definitely some notable performances.
Playing out of the #1 singles position each day, Bruno Faletto of Saint Leo went 3-0 on the weekend in singles.
Faletto who finished # 12 in the country in NCAA Division II last season dispatched Denis Golubev of Rollins
6-4; 6-2 on Friday and followed it up with a tough three set victory against Flagler's Nikita Tatyanin 6-7
(10); 6-3; 6-0 on Saturday. The finale had him defeating Oscar Sohl of Florida Southern 6-2; 6-2.
Also from the Saint Leo squad, Nicolas Bacella went a perfect 3-0 over the weekend defeating from Mikkel Bauman
from Rollins, 6-1; 6-0, Oscar Del Granado from Flagler 7-5; 6-1, and Matteo Feggi from Florida Southern 6-1;
6-3. Also having a stellar weekend from Flagler College was Philipp Lemken. Lemken paced the Saints winning
his first match 6-0; 6-0 against Elliott Altman from Florida Southern. He then defeated Vincent Thiel from
Saint Leo 7-6 (1); 4-6; 6-2, before capping his perfect weekend on Sunday against Phillip McMurray with a 6-3;
6-0 victory. Willem van den Akker from Saint Leo also enjoyed a perfect 3-0 weekend playing out of the #5
In doubles, it was Denis Golubev and Mikkel Bauman defeating Bruno Faletto and Willem van den Akker on the
final day 6-3 to cap off their impressive weekend finished 2-1. Faletto and van den Akker also enjoyed a
2-1 doubles record out of the top flight. Having a perfect record of 3-0 out of the 3rd doubles position
was Nicolas Bacella and Luis Iriarte of Saint Leo.
The tournament director for the weekend was Saint Leo Head Coach, Chad Berryhill. He concluded the
weekend by saying, "I cannot thank the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida enough for their support
and generosity in helping us host such a great event. I also thank our three participating schools
on a weekend of great tennis. Despite some weather challenges, we had a great
event and each player walked away having competitive matches. I couldn't be happier!"
In addition to hosting the Men's D II YTF tennis event, Saint Leo was awarded a grant from the USTA
this Fall to be a "Community Hub". As a result, we are beginning to host various clinics for youth
tennis players as well as will be hosting a UTR event for players 21 and under in both December and
January. Also, in January we are planning on doing a "Meet The Lions" day combined with a grand
opening of our community tennis hub. It will be a free clinic for players of all ages and abilities
levels. We have a lot of plans in store for youth tennis in the coming years so we are much at a
beginning stage but starting to grow.
The Women's D II Youth Tennis Foundation event will be held at University of Tampa in February of 2022.
2021 Small College Event
The Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida (YTF) Invitational was held October 22 thru 24, 2021 at
the Beerman Family Tennis Center in Lakeland, FL. Due to COVID the event was not held in 2020
but was held in 2018 and 2019. With 112 total student athletes competing, it was one of the
largest turnouts in tournament history. Five NAIA intuitions were represented including Ave
Maria, Florida National, St. Thomas, Southeastern University, and Warner University. The YTF
Invitational was hosted by Southeastern University.
Singles was broken into two draws, the "Black" and "Red" Draw. In the Women's singles for her
second consecutive year, Ave Maria's Lara Isis Teodoro De Oliveira won the black draw, 6-0 6-2
over teammate, Valentine Colin. For the Red draw, St. Thomas’s Nadia Abad won the finals 6-4 6-1
over Ave Marias Ellie Hire.
Nadia Abad (left), winner Red Draw over Ellie Hire.
For the men in the Black draw, Warner's Bruno Pessoa became a two time the tournament winner
defeating Ave Marias Fernando Alejandro Orihuela 6-2 6-4 in the finals. In the Red draw finals,
St. Thomas's Yosue Noa defeated Florida Nationals Alvaro Saucedo 4-6 6-4 (10-6) for the championship.
Red Draw Winner Yosue Noa (left) and runner-up, Alvaro Saucedo
For the doubles play, the #1 seeds both won for women and men. Ave Maria's pairing of Victoria
Barandas and Lara Teodoro lived up to their seed, winning 8-6 in the finals. Southeastern's Roy
Stepanov and Federico Barbon won 8-1 in the finals. Both teams had recently made it to the NAIA
ITA Cup, and prove to be some of the best double teams in the nation.
Doubles Winners, Victoria Barandas (right) and Lara Teodoro
Doubles Runner-Up, Nicholas Hofmeister (right) and Felipe Amoring
Doubles Winners Federico Barbon (right) and Roy Stepanov
The YTF Invitational was a huge success, bringing young, aspiring college players to the tournament
to spectate and cheer. The impact the tournament has in the community is immense, bringing former
players, community members, and tennis fans together.
2019 Small College Event
GRIB AND TRUSTFULL CAPTURE TITLES AT 2nd ANNUAL YTF SMALL COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Players from eight colleges and universities competed in the
tournament, held at the Beerman Family Tennis Center in
Lakeland, over the weekend of October 11-13. Ekaterina Grib,
from the University of Tampa, won the women's event, besting
Lixin Wang of Flagler College, 6-4, 6-4 in the final. On the men's side, Kayne Trustfull
beat teammate Athanasios Bills, both men
from St. Leo's University, in the final 6-4, 6-3.
The tournament had an international flavor to it. Players from
all across the globe participated. Ekaterina is from Minsk,
Belarus; Lixin is from China; Athanasios is from Greece; and
Kayne is from the Netherlands. Well over half of the players
came from countries other than the United States, which is a
sign of the times...tennis is booming on the world stage. As it
was last year, players came from over thirty different countries.
The NAIA schools are in the Sun Conference, whereas the D-II
schools are in the Sunshine State Conference.
As expected, players from the D-II teams, which included
Tampa, Flagler and St. Leo's, dominated the event. Warner,
Webber and Southeastern ably represented the NAIA schools
and Chloe Murphy's team from the State College of Florida
(Manatee-Sarasota), which was the only JUCO team to compete
and win some matches as well.
2019 Small College Players
Winner Grib (left) and Wang
Grib and Savannah Williams (left) winners_ Anika Nissen and Alessandra Traub
2018 Small College Event