Mobile, Ala. - It was an action-packed week of tennis for sophomore Vlad Khudziy and senior Augusto Velez who earned automatic bids to the 2011 ITA Small College National Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama on October 13-16.
For the second time in as many years, Khudziy represented the Midwest at the ITA Championships as one of the top eight players in small colleges from around the United States. Things didn’t go as planned for fourth-seeded Khudziy as he dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to Lindsey Wilson’s Fernando Bogajo on Thursday in first round action. On Friday he lost to Loic Didavi of Xavier LA in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 and on Saturday he retired his third and final match after a 6-3 first set loss to Julian Kurz from Olivet Nazarene.
Thursday afternoon Khudziy teamed up with Velez in first round action of doubles play where they came up short against the Fresno Pacific duo of Cledson Carvalho and Nathan Martinet 6-4, 6-4. But the HU combo stormed back to win their next two matches to finish fifth overall. Against Sebastian Esquetini and Diego Gonsalvez of Olivet Nazarene, they were blanked in the first set (0-6) but came charging back to win the next two, 6-2, 11-9, for the come-from-behind victory. They went on to outlast Evan Sanna and Antonio Marcelo from Cumberland, 7-5, 7-6 (9), in their final match of the tourney to claim fifth place.
Khudziy and Velez qualified for the tournament by winning the ITA Midwest Regional three weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan.