Middle States in the NCAA Championships

The NCAA Individual Division Championships are beginning, and a number of singles players in the tournament have Middle States connections.

Two players with the strongest ties to Middle States include sophomores Chris Mengel (Duke) and Joelle Kissell (North Carolina State).  The former Middle States juniors will compete in the NCAA Individual Championships May 23-28 in Athens, Ga.

Mengel, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., earned 10 wins against nationally ranked opponents this year and was an All-ACC selection. He took the singles title at the ITA Carolina Regional last fall and advanced to the round of 32 at the ITA All-America Championships.

Growing up, Mengel was a top junior in Middle States and won the Pennsylvania State Championship during his senior year at Shady Side Academy. As a freshman at Duke, he was the ITA Carolina Region rookie of the year and had the fourth-highest win total of any freshman in Duke history.

Kissell, currently ranked No. 30 in the nation, had an impressive run in her second collegiate season. She defeated eight ranked opponents during the spring, including the No. 16- and No. 20-ranked players in the nation.

Like Mengel, Kissell was an All-ACC selection this season and reigns from Pittsburgh. She owns a 2009 Pennsylvania State title and won the National Collegiate Clay Court Championships/West Penn Amateur last summer.

Other Middle States Connections: NCAA Individual Championships

-Princeton’s Matija Pecoctic, who is undefeated in Ivy League matches in the past two years, earned an automatic bid into the NCAAs by being the highest-ranked player in the Ivy League. Pecoctic was the Ivy League Player of the Year each of the last two seasons and did not drop a set in conference play this season.

-Beatrice Capra, who played World TeamTennis in Middle States last summer with the Philadelphia Freedoms, had a dream freshman season with Duke, earning accolades in nearly every way en route to her bid as a No. 2 seed in the NCAAs. Capra is currently the nation’s second-ranked player and is just the second player in Duke history to be named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Freshman of the Year and the ACC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player in the same season.

-UCLA freshman Robin Anderson, who last summer won the US Open National Playoffs Middle States Qualifier and the Koser Jeweler Pro Circuit Challenge, earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAAs. Anderson was the Pac-12 freshman of the year and an All-Pac-12 First Team honoree. She led the team in wins and was the first UCLA player to earn freshman of the year honors since 2004.

For more information and a complete list of NCAA competitors, visit www.NCAA.com.

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