The 2018 IcyHot Tennessee Valley Open Championships start this afternoon at Manker Patten Tennis Club, and the 170 participants include 55 in the men's open division and 35 in women's open. The total purse is $13,000, and 20-year-old Isaiah Strode from El Cajon, California, is the top seed in the men's singles field playing for a $3,000 top prize. He will be playing doubles with Julian Bradley from Jacksonville, Florida, making his third TVOC appearance. Seeded No. 1 in open women's singles, doubles and mixed doubles is Hayley Carter, a recent Chattanoga resident who was seeded No. 1 in NCAA Division I singles and doubles while playing for North Carolina. She will embark on the WTA Tour as a Manker Patten touring pro after the TVOC, which ends Sunday at the riverfront complex. Besides the open divisions, the tournament includes men's 35s, 45s, 55s and 65s singles and doubles and 75s doubles. Ned Caswell and Brandon Deering are co-tournament directors.
» Sewanee's final 2018 Oracle national rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association — announced Tuesday — are No. 12 for the 22-5 women's team and No. 23 for the 22-6 men in NCAA Division III, and the Tigers' No. 1 players, Clementina Davila and Jack Gray, wound up tied for 20th in women's singles and 27th in men's singles. Davila and Catherine Owen were 16th in doubles. Gray, who just finished his junior year, is from Chattanooga and Baylor School. He was fifth in the final Atlantic South Region rankings, where teammate Andres Carro was 19th. Gray and Hayden Loeb were No. 10 in the region in doubles, and Carro with Jordan Brewer were 13th. Davila ended her last collegiate season fifth as well in the region, with classmate Christina Merchant 15th and the duos of Davila/Owen and Merchant/Ellie Czura fourth and eighth in doubles.facebook
» S.M. Lee has added another honor to his illustrious two-year golf career at Dalton State College. The two-time NAIA first-team All-American and two-time NAIA Jack Nicklaus Award winner was announced Tuesday as the first NAIA men's golfer of the year. The new honor was bestowed by the All-America Committee, made up of NAIA coaches. Lee led DSC to second place in the national tournament with an eight-stroke individual win at TPC Deere Run at Silvis, Illinois. That was his fifth medalist performance and ninth top-three finish in 11 tournaments this season, including a double-digit victory in his conference tourney, and he wound up with the NAIA's No. 1 scoring average, 69.85. In March, Lee became the first NAIA player ever chosen for the Arnold Palmer Cup competition matching a United States team against an international group.
» Former Soddy-Daisy star and Kentucky All-America pitcher Kelsey Nunley and her USSSA Pride professional softball team are off to a great start in 2018. Nunley had two wins and allowed only run in four appearances as the Pride went 8-0 in the European Pro Series — with two games each against the Italy, Czech Republic and Netherlands national teams — and she is 1-0 with 15 strikeouts and four hits allowed in 10 innings in a 6-0 team start in National Pro Fastpitch league play. The Pride play their home games at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, and they beat the Aussie Spirit 9-0 there Tuesday.
» Frank Massengale of Hixson and his son Chris of Ringgold, Georgia, tied a Tennessee state record by both rolling 300s as doubles partners in the final games of their series last Sunday at Spare Time Hixson. They were competing in the second of six weekends in the USBC Southeast tournament there and at Leisure Lanes in Cleveland. Chris Massengale's perfect game completed a 754 series; his dad's 300 capped a 706. That was the 140th certified 300 for Frank, who's 52, and the 52nd for 30-year-old Chris. They lead the USBC in father-son 300s.