Spartan Tennis Teams Set To Start Fall Season By Hosting USC Upstate Tournament

Men's tournament will be played at Wofford College while the women will play at the Upstate Tennis Complex.

Junior Anna Novo, the 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, and the rest of the Spartans will start their season this weekend at the Upstate Volleyball Classic.

Sept. 9, 2008

The USC Upstate men's and women's tennis teams open their 2008-09 season this weekend as the program hosts the USC Upstate Tennis Tournament. The women's squad, which will look to defend its 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship in the spring, will host the tournament at its own USC Upstate Tennis Complex, while the men, who won 10 dual meet matches for the eighth straight year in 2008, will play at Wofford College's Reeves Tennis Complex.

2007 USC Upstate Tennis Tournament Recap: Junior Anna Novo and senior Sandy Franz both took two singles and doubles `A' flight title at the USC Upstate Tennis Tournament.

Franz, who won doubles with sophomore partner Renzo Airaldi, 9-8, over teammates senior Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso and sophomore Javier Tori, reached the singles final but due to a full-docket of matches, the match wasn't played.

Airaldi also won two titles, as the sophomore advanced to the title match, which wasn't played, in the men's singles `B' draw, as Campbell's Marc Sifre retired in their semifinal match.

Novo advanced to the singles finals after teammate senior Diana Martinez withdrew, where she met another teammate, senior Susana Hernandez, winning 6-3, 6-2. Hernandez advanced to the finals with a 6-4, 6-3 decision against Campbell's Bianca Saenz.

In doubles, Novo teamed with freshman Emilia Milovanovic, beating Campbell's Liza Bensimon and Cristina Garcia, 8-4, before a default put them in the finals against Wofford's Mary Ellen Henry and Cayley Wetzig, where they won, 8-2.

Game, Set, Match
They say you'll always remember your first time. Well, if that's the case, the USC Upstate women's tennis team will have a barrelful of memories from its first season in Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference, thanks to its 7-0 win over Campbell in Atlantic Sun Conference action on April 10 at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex. The Spartans clinched the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title with the win, finishing the year 17-3 overall and a perfect 11-0 in the Atlantic Sun, claiming the school's first A-Sun title in its first year in the conference and the women's tennis program's first regular-season title in school history.

A Solid Start
The USC Upstate men's tennis team, meanwhile, also entered the final week of the season with a chance for a share of the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title, but 46th-ranked ETSU posted a 7-0 win over the Spartans on April 10 to end the dream. Still, the Spartans finished their first season of Division I play with a 15-6 overall mark and with an 8-2 Atlantic Sun Conference slate, good for a third-place finish in the league. It was the eighth season in a row that the Spartans won at least 10 matches.

Novo Earns A-Sun Player of the Year
Senior Anna Novo was recognized as the conference's Player of the Year and a member of the All-Atlantic Sun First Team in the Spartans first year in the conference. Novo, a two-time Division II All-American, finished the season with a school-record 29 singles wins and 52 combined (singles and doubles) wins. She was 29-5 in singles play and 23-7 in doubles. Along the way, she was completely dominant in the Atlantic Sun Conference, finishing a perfect 11-0 at the No. 1 singles slot, being pushed to the third set just twice and defeating the conference's only ranked player in straight sets in ETSU's No. 79 Yevgeniya Stupak, 6-4, 6-3.

Sophomore Emilia Milovanovic earned All-Freshman honors after a respectable first season for Upstate. Playing in the top three all season for the Spartans, she finished the year with a 13-18 singles mark to go with 23 doubles wins for 36 combined wins, which broke the freshman record for combined wins at Upstate. Playing doubles with Novo, the pair was a terror, going 23-7 during the season with a 13-5 record in dual meets. In tournament play, the duo won two tournament titles at the Upstate Fall Tournament and the Wolfpack Invitational.

Airaldi Earns All-Conference Honors
Junior Renzo Airaldi was a second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection in 2007-08. He had a monster season playing at No. 2 singles for Upstate, going 26-7 in singles play and 18-13 overall in doubles play. The Peruvian was just one singles win shy of a 16-year old school record of 27 wins set by James Homan in 1991-92. Still, his 26 singles wins signified just the second time in school history a player reached 25 wins in a season. His 44 combined wins were also just one shy of the school record of 45 set by Jorge Ventura in 1995-96.

Senior Anna Novo set the school record for combined wins (singles and doubles) in a season in 2008, as she earned her 21st doubles win of the year on March 28 with freshman partner Emilia Milovanovic and added her 25th singles win at the No. 1 slot for Upstate. She passed the mark of 44 set by senior Susana Hernandez (Cali, Columbia/Colegio Americano), who went 44-12 (20-6 in singles, 24-6 in doubles) in 2006-07 with her doubles win. For good measure, Novo also passed the men's record, set by Jorge Ventura in 1995-96, when he went 45-18 (21-10 in singles, 24-8 in doubles) for then-USC Spartanburg. She finished the season with 52 wins this season (29 singles and 23 doubles).

It's Always Better To Share
Senior Leandro Osorio became just the fifth men's player in school history to reach 50 in a career when he and partner Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso posted a win at the No. 1 slot on March 28, 2008 at North Florida. Osorio has posted an impressive 50-20 career doubles record. He joins Gonzales-Orbegoso (54), Diego Sist (50), Jose Luis Reyes (63) and Stefan Dumitrescu (72) in the club.

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