Jaguar Women's Tennis Archives 2000 National Champion
July 21, 2011
Amen brings self-made talent to GPC
Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis coach Mohamed Nait Omar has a penchant for finding international talent, with the emphasis more on talent than international.
One of the newest Jaguars is Idia Amen, a young woman of Nigerian heritage who is largely a self-made player. She doesn’t come from some big-name private tennis academy. She learned the game from her father, Orlando, and discovered her skills by following her brothers.
“She is a top 20 player from Dallas, Texas,” Omar said, adding that she’s “a great recruit (who) comes from a tennis family.”
Her older brothers, Ik and Efe, went on to play at the University of Texas and Grambling, respectively. Her father also played at Grambling. Another older brother, Billy, also played tennis.
Following them around, Idia learned skills uniquely her own. She took up the game at the age of 10, and even though she barely outweighed the racket at that time, she has learned to handle it in ways you don’t often see in women’s tennis players.
For instance, where most women’s tennis players employ a two-handed backhand, Idia is more comfortable using the one-handed variety. It’s a trait she picked up from her father. But it brought her success, and it’s part of the reason why she put tennis on the map at David W. Carter High School in Dallas, where the sport had been mostly an afterthought.
She graduated there and still dreams of playing at a major Division I university, which makes the marriage of Amen and Georgia Perimeter College a perfect fit. Omar has coached several nationally ranked and international players, helping many of them with obtaining college scholarships and the skills to play at a professional level.
“We are excited to have her join our team,” Omar said.
April 16, 2011
Despite Mayou, Shorter College defeats Jaguars 7-2
Sadia Mayou stayed unbeaten this season in singles, but her Georgia Perimeter College teammates provided little support in a 7-2 defeat Saturday to Shorter College in Rome.
Mayou, playing at No. 2, upended Danielle Monteith 6-3, 6-4. GPC’s other point came in doubles as the top duo of Salma Dahbi and Maria Casseres took care of Candice Laurent and Emmanuelle DeBaucoudrey 8-4.
The Jaguars finish the season at 5-5. They won’t attend Friday’s Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in Tifton because the league changed the format this year. Only the top two teams in the regular season schedule, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Gordon College, will play for the championship.
Mayou nearly came through in doubles with Asia Boyd. However, GPC’s No. 2 pair was tripped up by Danielle Monteith and Nienke Van Steveren 9-7.
Otherwise, Shorter (11-1), unbeaten at home and coming off its first loss of the year, was too much for the Jaguars on a windy north Georgia morning.
Dahbi opened strongly in singles but gave way to Laurent 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Casseres was unable to press DeBaucoudrey, falling 6-1, 6-0. Boyd bowed to Van Steveren 6-1, 6-2. Jennifer Bissinger stumbled against Quincey Mason 6-1, 6-1.
The short-handed Jaguars defaulted on the remaining two matches.
April 8, 2011
Jaguars defeat Coastal Georgia 7-2
Salmi Dahbi and Maria Casseres won their singles matches in contrasting fashion, then teamed for a dominant doubles triumph as the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team downed College of Coastal Georgia 7-2 Friday on the Dunwoody campus.
Dahbi easily disposed of Luisa Lopes 6-2, 6-1. Casseres, by comparison, was pressed, surviving 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 against Sunshine Beba.
Playing together, the Lady Jaguars’ pair stifled Beba and Ashley Grafton 8-0 and wound up accounting for three of the five match victories for GPC (5-4). The other two points were earned by default as the Lady Mariners brought just five players from Brunswick.
Sadia Mayou crushed Grafton 6-0, 6-0, and Asia Boyd took care of Victoria Holloway 6-4, 6-4.
However, the twosome could not repeat in doubles, bowing to Lopes and Holloway 9-7.
Andreina Gomez was victimized by Meredith Miller 6-0, 6-1, giving Coastal Georgia its second point.
April 4, 2011
Sixteen-time defending region champs defeat Jaguars
Two narrow defeats in doubles dashed the upset hopes of Georgia Perimeter College in a 6-3 defeat to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the state’s most accomplished women’s tennis program, Monday on the Dunwoody campus.
Salma Dahbi and Maria Casseres fell just shy of Bia Miranda and Jordan Carter, 9-7 at No. 1 doubles. Sadia Mayou and Asia Boyd missed by the same score. Andreina Gomez and Jennifer Bissinger were no match for Carli Hester and Heather Humphrey, losing 8-1.
Coach Mohamed "Reda" Nait Omar suggested that the doubles’ disappointments carried over to singles, though GPC (4-4) still managed to split the six matches.
Dahbi captured a thriller over Chanel Cunningham 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, taking the tie-breaker 10-4. Mayou bounced Miranda 6-2, 6-3 and Boyd drubbed Hester 6-1, 6-1.
The Lady Jaguars were unable to gain further ground. Casseres bowed to Carter 6-0, 6-0, Gomez to Ellie Hall 6-3, 6-0, and Bissinger to Humphrey 6-0, 6-1.
The Fillies, from Tifton, have claimed the last 16 titles in Region XVII for state junior colleges.
April 1, 2011
Jaguars glide by Central Alabama with straight-set wins
A busy extended weekend began on a high note for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team, which disposed of Central Alabama Community College 8-1 Friday on the Dunwoody Campus.
The Jaguars (4-3) won six of seven contested matches, with the other two decided by default.
Coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar was particularly pleased with GPC’s two doubles victories.
Salmi Dahbi and Maria Casseres downed Lauren Blair and Laine Denuex 8-3. Sadia Mayou and Asia Boyd handled Amber Gurubel and Whitney Corgill 8-1.
Boyd was especially sharp in singles as her serve overwhelmed the Trojoans’ Katie Smalley 6-1, 6-1. Dahbi defeated Blair 6-0, 6-2 and Mayou subdued Denuex 6-0, 6-1.
Andreina Gomez and Jennifer Bissinger completed GPC’s day of straight-sets wins. Gomez beat Gurubel 6-3, 6-2, while Bissinger stymied Corgill 6-1, 6-3.
The Jaguars hope their momentum carries over to Saturday, when they confront University of South Carolina-Lancaster at 10 a.m. on the Dunwoody courts.
Their hectic stretch ends Monday afternoon with a men’s and women’s home match against perennial Region 17 power Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. That showdown begins at 2 p.m.
The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.
March 20, 2011
GPC women defeat Oxford 6-3 after long layoff
Showing little rust after nearly one month from its previous matches, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team downed Oxford of Emory 6-3 Sunday at its Dunwoody Campus.
The Jaguars (3-3), who had not played since Feb. 23, received a big boost from Sadia Mayou and Asia Boyd. They were not only in complete control in singles—Mayou handling Vyjoo Lakshimpathy 6-0, 6-0, and Boyd disposing of Hima Nannapaneni 6-1, 6-0—but they hooked up to defeat the Eagles’ Etasha Srinivas and Nannapaneni in doubles 8-2.
Coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar was delighted with the duo, especially Mayou. “She closed in on the net on key points,” Nait Omar said. “She was aggressive.”
No. 1 singles player Salma Dahbi dusted Ayanna Groves 6-1, 6-1, while No. 3 Maria Casseres blanked Srinivas 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, they collaborated to edge Groves-Lakshimpathy 8-6.
GPC gets an opportunity to climb above .500 against Central Alabama Community College on April 1 at the Dunwoody Campus.
The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.
February 23, 2011
Jaguars fall to Emory University
Sadia Mayou, a freshman tennis player from Togo, has been Georgia Perimeter College’s go-to player at No. 2 singles. Mayou out-volleyed Lorne McManigle of Emory University 7-6, 6-2 for GPC’s lone win in seven matches Wednesday as the Jaguars lost on the Eagles’ home courts in Atlanta 8-1.
It was Mayou’s third win this season against opponents at four-year schools. Emory (3-2) is ranked third in the NCAA’s Division III and is defending national runner-up.
At No. 1 singles, GPC’s Salmi Dahbi was competitive, falling to Jordan Wylie 6-3, 6-2. The rest of the one-on-ones were one-sided: Maria Casseres falling to Zahra Dawson 6-0, 6-1, Asia Boyd to Malavik Padmanabhan 6-1 6-1, and Andreina Gomez to Taylor Brandt 6-0, 6-0.
Dahbi-Casseres made Emory’s team of Dawson-McManigle work for its point in doubles, an 8-5 verdict. Mayou-Boyd went down to Wylie and Gabrielle Clark 8-1. The Jaguars brought only five players and defaulted on the other singles and doubles match, which made the final score 8-1.
GPC declined to 2-3 on the season, with each defeat coming against four-year institutions on its ambitious schedule. The Jaguars return to the two-year college level against College of Coastal Georgia Friday afternoon in Brunswick.
February 22, 2011
Top four dominate as GPC nets win over Spelman
The big four on the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team took care of business in both singles and doubles, enabling the visiting Jaguars to down Spelman College 6-3 Tuesday.
In singles, No. 3 Maria Casseres won every game during her two sets against Alana McKinney, while No. 1 Salma Dahbi (over Lauren Holloway), No. 2 Sadia Mayou (over Sydney Davis) and No. 4 Asia Boyd (over Tyler Clark) dropped just one game apiece.
In doubles, Dahbi-Casseres closed out Holloway-Clark 8-2 and Mayou-Boyd tamed Davis-McKinney 8-1.
The visitors scored their points in the other two singles and one doubles match. GPC’s Andreina Gomez fell to Leah Howard 7-5, 6-4 and Jennifer Bissinger was outlasted by Raquel King in an exciting tie-breaker 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 1-0 (10-3). Playing together Gomez and Bissinger lost to their counterparts 8-5 in doubles.
The Lady Jaguars (2-2) had been idle since Feb. 3, partly because of postponements. Well-rested, they are back in action Wednesday afternoon at Emory University, then complete a hectic week Friday against College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick.
February 6, 2011
Weekend tennis matches rained out
Saturday’s men’s and women’s tennis matches at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Sunday’s men’s match with Georgia State University were rained out. Dates for rescheduled matches will be posted at the Schedule-Results pages, which can be found on the left menu bar for each team’s web site.
February 3, 2011
Jaguars open region schedule with shutout
Toughened by a pair of season-opening losses to four-year institutions, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis team shut out Gordon College 9-0 Thursday on the Dunwoody courts for its first victory of the season.
GPC overpowered its cohort in Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, dropping only a combined five games in the seven matches played. The two other matches were won by default.
“We played very well,” coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar said. “The challenging four-year college schedule is helping their confidence.” The coach noted that Andreina Gomez and Asia Boyd, playing in the lower singles flights, stood out in their performances.
Singles winners were Salma Dahbi (6-0, 6-0 over Courtney Millkin), Sadia Mayou (6-0, 6-0 over Toni Griswold), Maria Casseres (6-0, 6-1 over Stephanie Coates), Boyd (6-1, 6-1 over Natalie Krueer) and Gomez (6-1, 6-0) over Amanda Gray.
Dahbi and Casseres teamed to down Milkin and Griswold 8-0 in one doubles match. The other was taken by Mayou and Boyd, 8-1 over Coates and Krueer.
The Jaguars head south to Tifton, Ga., for a Saturday encounter with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the perennial champion of Region 17 (also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association). Last year GPC finished second in the region behind the defending champion Fillies.
Georgia Perimeter visits Spellman College on Feb. 10, and then the next home match is Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. against Spartanburg Methodist College.
The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.
January 29, 2011
Jaguars drop two opening weekend to four-year schools
Georgia Perimeter College opened its ambitious women’s tennis schedule over the weekend with a pair of defeats to four-year schools.
The Jaguars fell shy Friday against Georgia State University from the NCAA’s Division 1 level—the highest in college sports—6-3. The next day, they succumbed to Shorter College 6-2. Both competitions unfolded on GPC’s Dunwoody courts.
Against Georgia State, the only on-court victory was Sadia Mayou’s thrilling three-set tie-breaker at No. 2 singles, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 against Martina Ondrackova. The two other points came by forfeit because GSU did not field a full contingent of players.
At No. 1 singles, Salma Dahbi was beaten 6-1, 6-1 against Tereza Lerova.
“We competed very well, but the girls were a little intimidated by Georgia State,” coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar said. “Division 1 is a different ballgame in terms of intensity.”
Subsequent singles losses were suffered by Maria Casseres 6-1, 6-0 to Marina Kozachenk; Asia Boyd 6-2, 6-1 to Katerina Gresova,and Andreina Gomez 6-0, 6-0 to Othillia Lindquist.
Dahbi-Casseres (8-5) and Mayou-Boyd (8-1) absorbed doubles defeats.
Though Saturday’s score was similar to the opener’s, Nait Omar observed, “We competed well. The scores were pretty tight.”
He said some Jaguars took too long to get fully engaged in matches.
Mayou, at No. 2 singles, triumphed again, 6-3, 6-3 against Emmanuelle DeBeaucoudrey. Dahbi-Casseres delivered in doubles 9-7 (7-2 in the tie-breaker) against Candice Laurent and DeBeaucoudrey.
Mayou, according to her coach, “is an example for the rest of the team how not to back down because you are playing a bigger school. Take the match as a match—not who you’re playing.”
The Jaguars got behind in doubles, Mayou-Boyd losing 8-2 and Andreina Gomez-Jennifer Bissinger, who were idled Friday, 8-3.
In singles, Dahbi took Laurent to three sets, losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Casseres, Gomez and Bissinger lost in straight sets, none winning more than three games.
The Lady Jaguars return to their junior-college level Thursday, taking on Gordon College at 1 p.m. on the Dunwoody campus. It is the Jaguars’ opener in the conference, the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association. The league is also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
January 27, 2011
Talented Jaguars set for run on title
Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar, head tennis coach at Georgia Perimeter College, received a phone call of recommendation last year on behalf of a prospective Jaguars player.
“Hey, you might want to look at her,” the caller said about Salma Dahbi. “She could be pretty good for you.”
Nait Omar could trust the voice on the other line. It belonged to his father, who once was a world-ranked professional player and now operates a tennis club in their native Morocco. The elder Nait Omar taught Dahbi for many years.
In fact, Reda Nait Omar was reminded that he saw Dhabi back home when she first appeared at the club at age 9.
“She had great hands,” Nait Omar recalled. “She was very competitive.”
Dhabi can be more than pretty good for the Georgia Perimeter women’s team. Reda believes she will contend for the No. 1 singles role.
Her chief competition is fellow freshman Sadia Mayou from the African country of Togo. The recruiting connection in her case was not Nait Omar’s dad but his premier men’s player at GPC, Salif Kante of Senegal
Kante had run across Mayou in junior tournaments across the African continent and put in a good word for her to the coach.
“She is very strong. Very, very fit,” Nait Omar said. “She’s like a bulldog. She runs and runs and runs.”
Their arrival should blunt the loss of last year’s top two players. Mary Claire Slade completed her eligibility and Maria Ferri transferred.
Dahbi and Mayou dropped hints of good things to come during the brief fall season. Each reached the finals of the prestigious USTA/ITA Small College Southeast Regional Championship, with Dahbi defeating her new teammate. Mayou paired with Slade to take the doubles.
The seven-player roster includes a third native African. Audrey Nehme of Dakar was enrolled at GPC and passed a tryout.
The remaining freshmen had a much shorter distance to travel. Atlantan Asia Boyd, from Dunwoody High, brings special talents in doubles play, especially with serves and volleys, according to Nait Omar. She was a high school teammate of the Singleton brothers on the GPC men’s side.
Jennifer Bessinger, from Edwardsburg, Mich., resided in Georgia when she joined the team. Nait Omar described her as a standout in practice who needs match experience.
Two returning players with a shared background—sophomores Maria Casseres and Adreina Gomez, both from Venezuela—round out the roster.
Casseres, who came straight from her homeland to GPC, projects as high as the No. 3 singles player. She won a first-round match in the region tournament (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association).
Gomez missed the fall matches with an injury from falling off a horse. Nait Omar declared her fit and said he looks for improvement over last season.
Last spring, which marked the 10th anniversary of GPC’s women’s NJCAA national title, the Jaguars went 5-4 and placed runner-up in the region to perennial powerhouse Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, despite a thin roster that forced them to default on occasional matches.
Nait Omar’s wish list includes greater depth, even if that area has been addressed. But one thing looks pretty certain—with Dahbi and Mayou, “I think we’re very strong at the top,” he said.
To return the program to the national tournament, the Jaguars must display the depth and strength to unseat ABAC. “That would be our No. 1 goal,” Nait Omar said. Beating the Fillies in the highly competitive fall regional offers hope.
The upgraded schedule, currently with 14 match dates, kicks off at 1 p.m. Friday against Georgia State University on the Dunwoody Campus, followed by a 10 a.m. Saturday meeting at home with Shorter College.
The weekend opponents are among four from four-year Georgia schools added by Nait Omar to toughen GPC for the more important matches on its junior college level.
The Jaguars are home for nine dual competitions and stay in town for two more, at Spelman College and Emory University. A highlight on the home card is an April 4 visit by ABAC.
October 19, 2010
Jaguars give good accounting in ITA/USTA finals
Georgia Perimeter College gave notice that it will be a force in the full men’s tennis season next spring with runner-up finishes in singles and doubles last weekend at the ITA/USTA National Small College Championships.
Salif Kante claimed second place in singles as well as doubles, along with Jaguars teammate Akeem Byron, at the event in Mobile, Ala., which closed out the abbreviated fall schedule.
“We are at that [high] level, so we have to buckle down because people are now going to take us more seriously,” coach “Reda” Mohamed Nait Omar said.
Kante, the No. 3 seed, opened in the eight-player division by handling Rafael Coutinho of Laredo (Tex.) Community College 6-3, 6-2, then disposed of Mikhail Pecherkin from Hinds (Miss.) Community College 6-2, 6-2.
He was denied the title by top-seeded Mbonisis Ndimande of Seminole State (Fla.) College 6-2, 6-4.
Kante and Byron, seeded fourth, took their doubles finals to three sets, falling to No. 2 seed Mario Jakovljevic and Pete Thomason from Tyler (Tex.) Junior College 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Earlier, they downed the duos from Fresno City (Calif.) College 7-6, 6-1 and Hinds 6-1, 6-4.
On the women’s side, GPC’s Sadia Mayou and Mary Claire Slade outlasted second-seeded St. Petersburg (Fla.) Junior College 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 in the first round of doubles, then stumbled to Asa (N.Y.) College in another extended thriller 6-3, 4-6, 12-10.
Salma Dahbi of the Lady Jaguars dropped her initial singles match, 6-1, 7-5 to Sun When of Tyler, the favorite and eventual champion.
October 11, 2010
GPC falls to Brenau in meet’s final matches
Georgia Perimeter College women’s tennis players made their way to three finals matches at a weekend tournament in Alexander City, Ala., only to run into a buzzsaw from Brenau University.
Mary Claire Slade advanced to the first flight finals of the Central Alabama Community College Invitation by dominating three matches in which she dropped just five games. Then Lyn See Choo of Brenau beat her 6-4 6-2.
Slade and Sadia Mayou won a pair of doubles matches easily by 8-2 and 8-1 but found Choo and Katarina Mazackova of Brenau too tough, falling 8-4.
In the second flight singles, GPC’s Asia Boyd had an eventful route to the finals before succumbing to Eline Nagels of Brenau 6-0, 6-0. Boyd was extended to three sets in each of her first two matches, winning the initial one 7-5. She also needed a 7-5 set in her third match, a straight-sets victory.
Nagels had disposed of the Lady Jaguars’ Maria Casseres in the semifinals 6-2, 6-1. Casseres opened with two decisive straight-sets triumphs.
The Lady Jaguars complete their abbreviated fall schedule this weekend at the USTA/ITA Small College National Championship in Mobile. GPC qualified with a sweep of singles and doubles in the southern regional.
September 30, 2010
Jaguars are back: tennis teams sweep USTA/ITA regional
Georgia Perimeter College tennis coach “Reda” Mohamed Nait Omar can hardly wait for the spring season. Who can blame him? GPC already is headed to a tournament with “national” in the title.
The Jaguars men’s and women’s tennis teams swept all four titles last weekend at the USTA/ITA Small College Regional Championship in Alexander City, Ala. As a result, both teams qualify for the USTA/ITA Small College National Championship Tournament in Mobile, Ala., Oct. 14-17.
The USTA/ITA regional, one of four tournaments GPC is attending during the limited fall season that serves as a warmup for the spring, consisted of nine men’s and 11 women’s teams. Significantly, one participant was Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the dominant program in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA Region 17).
“We made the big noise in junior college tennis,” said Nait Omar, noting that expectations for the team have been raised. “This sends a good message to the teams on our schedule that GPC is back at the level they once were. This is big-time. People are going to pay attention.”
Georgia Perimeter’s men’s tennis team won National Junior College Athletic Association national championships for four consecutive years from 1998 to 2001, and the women’s team also won the title in 2000.
The main contributors for the Jaguars this weekend were a mix of veterans and newcomers.
Sophomore Salif Kante, the returning No. 1 men’s player, took the singles crown 6-2, 6-1 over Mikhail Pecherkin of Hinds Community College (Miss.). Kante and Akeem Byron, a first-year player who attended GPC last year, took the doubles 8-6 from Pecherkin and Nikita Lison.
Freshman Salma Dahbi from Morocco captured the women’s singles honors 6-4, 7-5 over teammate Sadia Mayou of Togo, another first-year player. Mayou teamed with sophomore Mary Slade in doubles, downing Jessica Halterman and Savannah Zachry of Marion Military Institute (Ala.) 8-4.
GPC’s Ismail Lemtouni reached the men’s semifinals before losing, while he and Ali Vaziri Hamedani were ousted in the doubles semis. On the women’s side, Slade, the most valuable player in Region 17 last spring, fell to Dahbi in the semifinals.
The Jaguars next return to Alexander City for the Central Alabama Community College Invitational Oct. 8-10. Then it’s on to the national championship tourney in Mobile to conclude the fall agenda.
The spring schedule begins in February, when Nait Omar and the Jaguars apparently will have one goal in mind—attending another tournament with “national” in the title, the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
See the GPC men’s tennis site for more on players mentioned in this article.