Bakalov, who became the first Cougar to win the regional tournament in San Diego and advance to the national tournament, defeated Oklahoma City's Pedro Custodio, 7-6, 6-4, to advance to the semifinals.
He then lost to Jorge Ascencio of Virginia Intermont, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, and then to Andre Zingman of Alliant International 7-6 (3), 6-0 to finish fourth. Bakalov defeated Zingman in the Regional final.
These championships are the only national tournaments for singles and doubles at the NCAA Division II and NAIA level, and the only tournaments that combine all levels of Junior/Community Colleges (NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, and California Community Colleges). Participants are determined through the Omni Hotels Regional Championships, held in September and October, which serve as qualifying tournaments. The Omni Hotels/ITA National Small College Championships began in 1986 and annually crowns men's and women's singles and doubles national champions in each of the ITA's four small college divisions (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College) during the month of October.