IMG_6195.JPG

Georgia Gwinnett College sophomore Jose Dugo hits during a match.

LAWRENCEVILLE — In years past, the lineup for Georgia Gwinnett College's Grizzly Open has been a victim of the tennis program's own success.

This year, with the ITA Oracle Cup individual championships in Rome a week later, GGC brings its full, very potent, roster of players to their own tournament.

The Grizzly Open starts at 9 a.m. Friday and runs through Sunday. Matches featuring players from all levels of collegiate tennis — NCAA Division I to JUCO — will last into the evening.

“It's a great opportunity to play our full roster and a great opportunity to see where we stack up,” head coach Chase Hodges said.

Where they've stacked up has almost always been on top.

GGC has won 11 NAIA national team titles in the last six years — the men with six straight and the women with only one runner-up finish marring the perfection. In the fall individual season, the Grizzlies have been equally dominant and are setting up for another run later this month.

Sophomore Jose Dugo and junior Maria Genovese won the ITA South Regionals in New Orleans at the end of September.

Dugo beat teammate Federico Bonacia in the final to clinch an automatic bid to the Oracle Cup national championships Oct. 17-20 in Rome. Bonacia is in the running for an at-large selection in the singles. He already will be playing in doubles, after teaming with junior Valentino Caratini to capture the regional doubles title.

Genovese also is under consideration for an at-large bid in doubles with junior Madeline Bosnjak, who won the NAIA individual championship last fall but fell in the regional semifinals this season. The at-large selections will be announced Tuesday.

“The New Orleans trip was a big success,” Hodges said. “We're thrilled with the production. We had a lot of players step up.”

He was surprised by which players rose to the top since Bosnjak and Federico Herrera Duran were the defending champs and both ranked No. 1 in NAIA. Herrera Duran also was upset in the semifinals.

“As long as it's a Grizzly, that's what we're looking for, but you never know what's going to happen when teammates play each other,” Hodges said. “At the end of the day, we're happy and satisfied (with the results).”