NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
CSUN women's tennis head coach Gary Victor continued to enjoy a splendid summer by leading Southern California to the USTA 14's Boys & Girls Intersectional Team Championship last week at the Yarborough Tennis Complex in Auburn, Ala. Leading a group of four boys and four girls, Victor and Southern California defeated teams from a variety of locales throughout the United States to claim the national championship.
"Anytime you can win a national title it is fun, but I look at the winning as a bonus," Victor said. "This was a great opportunity to work with young people and give them a glimpse about what college tennis is like. We did a lot of the same things I do with the Matadors, including team cheers and rooting on teammates once your competition is done. I really tried to stress the importance of selflessness and teamwork in a sport that is often all about the individual."
Hosted at Auburn University and on clay courts, four boys and four girls players were selected to represent each region in a battle to determine the nation's best. Each match was comprised of a boy's, girl's and mixed doubles match as well as three boys and three girls singles contests.
The second seed in the draw, Victor and Southern California took a 9-0 victory over the contingent from Hawai'i and an 8-1 decision over the Northern section. In the finals of its group play, Southern California posted an impressive 5-4 victory over the Mid-Atlantic.
In the semifinals of the event, Southern California rallied from a 2-1 deficit in doubles play to win five of six singles matches and claim a 6-3 victory over Northern California. Included in those five singles wins were three three-set victories.
The event championship pitted Southern California against the Midwest, the No. 1 seed in the event. The Midwest had only lost one point all weekend before facing Southern California. However, Victor and his group took two of the three doubles matches and then claimed four singles contests to capture the national title.
"This was a fun team event and the event organizers and city of Auburn did a wonderful job of hosting the championship," Victor said. "I love working with junior players. It is always a learning experience for myself, seeing how these young people are coached and then showing them what makes a successful team work through camaraderie, unselfishness and team spirit."
The victory in Alabama adds to what has been a successful summer for Victor. In June, Victor and CSUN assistant coach James Ciuffo helped lead the San Fernando Valley to the CTC Cup Championship.
A team competition between the six CTCs in Southern California, Victor, the team's head coach, and Ciuffo, one of three assistant coaches, helped guide the Valley to 24-16 victory over Ventura/Santa Barbara in the semifinals and a 26-15 victory over the host San Gabriel Valley in the finals.
Having just completed his 17th season at the helm of Matador Tennis, Victor led CSUN to a 12-10 overall mark in 2014. Ciuffo has served as the Matadors' assistant coach during all but one season of Victor's tenure.
Additionally, senior Lorraine Cheung won the ITA Southwest Region Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership.