Cleeve Harper shouts. He competed at the NCAA Individual Championships last month.

Photo : University of Texas

The NCAA season has ended following the conclusion of the individual championships at the end of May. 

Ten Canadians were competing across the four competitions: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles. Only one of those ten was competing in both singles and doubles.  

Annabelle Xu, who attends the University of Virginia, had the deepest run of any Canadian in the singles, reaching the third round. 

Xu upset Sofia Cabezas in the first round in straight sets and followed it up with another straight-set win over Victoria Allen. Her run came to an end in the last sixteen at the hands of top seed Mary Stoiana of national women’s team champions Texas A&M, also the doubles partner Canadian Mia Kupres. 

Kupres herself lost in the second round to sixth seed Connie Ma of Stanford in straight sets. 

Bianca Jolie Fernandez of UCLA was the third Canadian competing in the women’s singles and lost in the first round. 

On the men’s side, both Taha Baadi of Kentucky and Justin Boulais of Ohio State won their opening matches in straight sets but were eliminated in round two. Baadi lost to No. 5 seed Micah Brasell of Texas, while Boulais fell at the hands of Nishesh Basavareddy of Stanford. 

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Alvin Tudorica, the third Canadian man competing in singles, lost in round one. 

Canadians had a bit more success in the doubles, with Cleeve Harper, Jared Horwood, and Kupres all making it to the late rounds. 

Harper, who won the national doubles title in 2022 and reached the final in 2023 for Texas, had the best run at the NCAA championships of any Canadian, reaching the semifinals of the men’s doubles with Eliot Spizzirri. 

Their run began by surviving a match tiebreak 10-8 but they did not drop another set until the final four, where they were beaten by Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc and Joshua Dous Karpenschif of Florida State. 

Horwood, teaming up with Bozo Barun of the University of Arkansas, got to the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles with a match tiebreak-win over the pair from the University of San Diego and a straight set win over a team from Illinois before falling in the last eight in straight sets to the eventual national champions Robert Cash and JJ Tracy of Ohio State.

Kupres was the highest-seeded Canadian woman at the NCAA championships, coming in at No. 4 with Stoiana for Texas A&M. 

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They had to battle in each of their first two matches, coming through in match tiebreaks. In the quarter-finals, they were upset by Sofia Cabezas and Elza Tomase of Tennessee 6-3, 6-2.

Cabezas and Tomase were a thorn in the side of the Canadians in the event. Kupres was their second victim, as the Tennessee pair had taken out Melodie Collard and her partner Elaine Chervinsky of Virginia in the first round. 

Ariana Arseneault was competing in the doubles for Auburn with DJ Bennett. They lost in the second round to the top-seeded pair from Pepperdine, Savannah Broadus and Janice Tjen. 

Finally, Joshua Lapadat was the highest-seeded Canadian in any draw at the NCAA championships, as he and partner JJ Mercer were seeded third for Kentucky. However, they were upset in the first round in two tiebreaks by Petar Jovanovic and Benito Sanchez Martinez, Mississippi State. 

Final Rankings 

After her sensational performance in the national team championships, Carson Branstine snuck up to finish the 2023-24 season as the top Canadian woman in the singles rankings, slipping past Mia Kupres to finish at No. 41, two spots ahead of her Texas A&M teammate. 

Kupres did finish as the top Canadian in the doubles. Her No. 3 ranking was the highest by a Canadian across all four disciplines. 

Carson Branstine pumps her fist during Texas A&M's NCAA championship run.
Photo : Texas A&M Women’s Tennis

Taha Baadi pulled away in the final months after battling with Justin Boulais to be the top Canadian man, finishing at No. 23 in the singles rankings. Boulais ended his season at No. 32. 

Joshua Lapadat was the top Canadian man in doubles, finishing at No. 5. 

Ariana Arseneault (11), Cleeve Harper (13), and Melodie Collard (14) were the other Canadians who finished the year ranked inside the Top 20 of their respective disciplines, all in doubles. 

Six Canadians were named as Division I All-Americans at the end of the NCAA season:

  • Annabelle Xu, Virginia (singles and doubles)
  • Mélodie Collard, Virginia (doubles)
  • Cleeve Harper, Texas (doubles)
  • Jared Horwood, Arkansas (doubles)
  • Mia Kupres, Texas A&M (doubles)
  • Joshua Lapadat, Kentucky (doubles)

Click here to view all the Canadian rankings in the NCAA.