Colleges: Lewis’ Armand Levandi scores USTA/ITA Midwest singles title
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media September 26, 2013 9:56PM
Lewis tennis player Armand Levandi. | Steve Woltmann/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 28, 2013 7:38AM
Lewis junior Armand Levandi dominated the opposition to win the USTA/ITA Midwest Men’s Tennis Singles Championship and earn a spot at the National Small College Championships.
Levandi rides a 22-match winning streak into the tournament, which will be held Oct. 10 through 13 in Fort Myers, Fla.
“I’ve been waiting for the regional tournament because my expectations were to win the tournament,” Levandi said. “I think I was mentally prepared more than everyone. I was really prepared for all the games. There were a couple of games, the first set was tight or I was behind. By the second set, I took over.”
Levandi clinched the title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ferris State’s Laurent Galarneau. It marked the third time Levandi defeated Galarneau in the past two seasons. At the Midwest Championships, he won six straight matches, all in straight sets. He allowed just 20 points the entire tournament.
“I was focused on my own game,” Levandi said. “I don’t have any big weapons, so I wanted to stay consistent and away from errors. I managed to do that.”
“I am so proud and happy for him to be competing in the national tournament because he really worked hard for this and wanted it so badly,” Lewis coach Brad Bridel said.
Levandi, the 2013 ITA Scholar Athlete award winner, was ranked No. 1 in the nation among Division II players during the spring season. The draw for the tournament has yet to be made public. He is the second Flyer all-time to advance to the national championship. Uno Lapimaa finished fifth in the nation in 2011.
Thanks in part to a six-match undefeated streak, the Lewis’ men’s soccer team finds itself among the nation’s elite. The Flyers enter the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer National Poll ranked No. 12.
“I’m obviously happy that we haven’t lost, because we’re getting the job done,” Lewis coach Evan Fiffles said. “We do, however, need to continue to take care of business. We can’t just show up and think we’re going to be successful because we’re ranked No. 12 in the country. There is a lot of soccer left to be played this season.”
Lewis (4-0-2, 3-0-1 GLVC) is off to its longest undefeated streak to start the season since 2004, when the Flyers did not lose a match through their first 11 contests.
Lewis’ Alec Pickett was named the GLVC Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row.
Competing in a field of better than 200 runners at the National Catholic Cross Country Invitational hosted by University of Notre Dame, St. Xavier senior Jordan Wallace was 17th overall on her way to earning Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors.
The Lincoln-Way North product paced the Cougars in the non-Division I category of the 5K (5,000 meters) meet with a time of 19 minutes, 9 seconds. That helped lead the Cougars to a ninth-place team finish out of 26 schools competing.
Trinity Christian College senior Andy Reidsma earned NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week honors. At the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, Reidsma finished eighth overall in a field of 189, leading the Trolls to a seventh-place finish out of 18 schools in the meet.
Lewis redshirt junior outside hitter Kim Vertin was named The Great Lakes Valley Conference Baden Defensive Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week.
Vertin ended the week averaging 3.50 digs, 3.67 kills and 1.00 blocks-per-set and was flawless with a 1.000 reception error percentage in 25 chances. Vertin leads the Flyers this season with 117 kills, averaging 3.44 kills-per-set.
South Suburban (18-5) is ranked No. 18 according to the latest NJCAA Division II poll. Moraine Valley (11-4) slipped out of the top 20 rankings after being 14th a week ago.
The entire defense on the No. 5-ranked St. Xavier football team was named the NAIA Defense of the Week for its performance in a 41-10 home victory over then-No. 22 Robert Morris.
The defense held the visiting Eagles to just 163 yards of total offense and no offensive touchdowns, while also producing six sacks.