San Luis Obsipo County Tennis – Southern California Tennis News http://southerncaliforniatennis.org Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:28:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 UCLA Takes TOC Section Championship http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/ucla-takes-toc-section-championship/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/ucla-takes-toc-section-championship/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:53:48 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=24043 Read more »]]> At USTA Southern California, Assistant Director of Adult Tennis Madeline Segura is the face of Tennis On Campus. After a raucous weekend in San Diego for this year’s Sectionals, Madeline found time to decompress after a wild weekend and provide a glimpse at the ToC experience that led to UCLA and CalPoly SLO in a battle for Sectional bragging rights…

I could not have asked for a better weekend for the Tennis On Campus Section Championships. A small contingent of SCTA staff and volunteers arrived midday Friday at San Diego’s Balboa Tennis Club to prep the site. The sun was shining and the courts were busy as we started setting up. Dozens of players drilled and rallied throughout the 25-court facility. Members relaxed and watched Tennis Channel in the Club Lounge. Facility staff chatted with passersby near the reservation desk. It was the typical Friday afternoon at Balboa. Despite the activity, there was a casual and routine calmness in the air. I knew, however, that in less than 24 hours, Balboa would feel like a completely different place. The grounds would be filled with more than 250 club tennis players, friends, and family. The place would be buzzing with excitement and fiery competition.

Saturday morning came and so did the hordes of Tennis On Campus enthusiasts. 14 schools and 24 different teams took to their courts. The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego – deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster. As adoring fans settled into their viewing areas, off we went into pool play. With three teams in each pool, their finish in pool play decided their respective placement into bracket play Saturday afternoon.

The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego. Those teams were deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster.

For most of Saturday, the energy around the grounds was high-spirited and busy. When the teams weren’t battling on court, they found themselves in a haven of activity – posing for crazy team photos, snapping selfies for tournament contests, purchases TOC swag from the NetKnacks booth, and playing intense games of giant Jenga or water pong.

Once pool play ended, teams advanced into brackets: Gold for each pool’s first place finisher. Silver for each pool’s second place finisher. And Ruby for each pool’s third place finisher.

Heading into Gold were UCLA, Cal Poly SLO, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, USC, University of San Diego, and San Diego State.

Into Silver went UCSD-B, UCI-B, UCLA-B, UCLA-C, Pepperdine, USC-B, UCSB-B

UCR, Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly SLO, Cal State Fullerton, USD-B, LMU, Pepperdine-B headed to Ruby.

The sun began to set as the first matches of bracket play went to court. The atmosphere had an edge to it that was absent during the day. In the Gold Bracket, three bids to the National Championships were at stake and all eight teams wanted them.

After the first round of play, the tournament’s four seeds remained. UCLA would play UCSD and Cal Poly would play UCI. All four teams competed at the 2017 National Championship, which at this point, seemed like a distant memory. It was there that UCI and UCLA finished 2nd and 3rd in the nation respectively. So, as our final four Gold Bracket teams headed into the semi-finals, all four knew that just one more win would ensure their spot back at the National Championship.

It was UCLA and Cal Poly SLO that came out victorious. They were slated to face each other in the Southern California final for the third straight year. In the past two contests, Cal Poly came out on top. However, it was UCLA that was better prepared for battle this year. The Bruins took the Gold Bracket trophy, dropping only one set and finishing 25-16.

UCI and UCSD dueled for the third and final Nationals bid. In the end, the Tritons claimed the W beating UCSD 30-8.
In the Silver Draw, UCLA-B took down UCSD-B in the final. That win earned them paid entry to the 2018 Spring Invitational, which will take place in March in Surprise, Az.

Cal Poly-B won the Ruby Bracket, which earned them a case of balls and a gift card for the team.

Though competition ended Sunday afternoon, it did not mark the end of the Tennis On Campus season. There were still several events for students to look forward to as they left the courts at Balboa Tennis Club. USD will host their first section tournament at the end of February. A handful of schools will compete at the Spring Invitational in Surprise, AZ in March. And of course, for UCLA, Cal Poly, UCSD, and SDSU (who earned their own bid to Nationals from their 2nd place finish at the 2017 Spring Invite) are heading into a busy training season before Nationals.

The 2018 Tennis On Campus National Championship will run April 12-14 at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, FL. Follow our teams on Twitter (@ustasocal) as they represent Southern California on the grandest scale this spring!

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SCTA’s Community Tennis Development Workshop Creates New Traditions in Orange County http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/community-tennis/sctas-community-tennis-development-workshop-creates-new-traditions-in-orange-county/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/community-tennis/sctas-community-tennis-development-workshop-creates-new-traditions-in-orange-county/#respond Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:24:10 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=21892 Read more »]]> The Community Tennis Development Workshop was a smashing success held recently at Bill Barber Community Park in Orange County. The one-day event was sponsored by the Southern California Tennis Association and it offered coaching education, resources and tennis support to approximately 40 participants.

Melanie Bischoff, the Director of Community Tennis, said the Community Tennis Development Workshop has been offered for about a decade in Southern California. The conference was previously located at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but was moved due to construction at that site. When the SCTA was searching for a new venue, City of Irvine Tennis Director Steve Riggs immediately offered accommodations at City’s offices and Bill Barber Community Park. Also, the seminar was restructured from a two-day to a one-day seminar.

“It was a pleasure for the City of Irvine to host the CTDW,” said Riggs, also incoming member of the SCTA Board of Directors in 2018. “We feel it’s important to give back to the tennis community and one great way to do this is by hosting tennis education seminars. We look forward to helping out again in the future.”

The CTDW morning kicked off with a comprehensive On Court Net Generation Training led by USTA National Coach Karl Davies. The three-hour session offered an in-depth look at the USTA’s Net Generation Red Ball program for beginners focusing on tennis progressions, easy games, and activities with a fun flair.

After lunch, the SCTA staff led a “Welcome to Net Generation” program headlined by USTA SoCal Director of Marketing Cari Buck, and Tennis Service Representatives Karen Ronney and Aisling Bowyer. They informed of Net Generation resources, programs, teaching support and a vast array of coaching guidance for 10-and-Under Tennis. The workshop was designed to assist teaching pros, coaches, teachers, park and recreation leaders, and those associated with Community Tennis Associations.

Additional sessions included a historical look at the development of tennis in the African American communities led by representatives of the American Tennis Association. Other offerings were breakout focus sessions led by local experts.

In addition to the tennis education workshop, lunch and dinner, the CTDW had its first awards presentation. The First Serve of Santa Ana was named the “Community Program of the Year”, and the group received a plaque and recognition for its efforts. They said the fundamental concept of First Serve was to teach tennis to kids, and encourage older players to mentor younger ones. This program develops responsibility, community spirit and leadership skills in youth. First Serve said it credits their successful model to tennis legend Vic Braden, who provided assistance in their earlier years of operation. Other award winners were Beth Kuney for Volunteer of the Year, Mark McCampbell received an award for Coaching Excellence of the Year, and Braemar Country Club was named Community Partner of the Year.

“The workshop is an opportunity for Community Tennis Association (CTA) members, park and recreation professionals, teaching pros, facility personnel and community tennis advocates to get together to learn and to continue to find ways to grow the game,” said Evan Smith, USTA SoCal Manager of NJTL, Diversity & Inclusion. “This is also a great way to network, meet new people and build friendships. It’s one of the highlights of the year in Community Tennis at the USTA.”

 

 

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USTA Offers Multicultural Grants and Financial Assistance for Juniors in 2018 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/usta-offers-multicultural-grants-and-financial-assistance-for-juniors-in-2018/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/usta-offers-multicultural-grants-and-financial-assistance-for-juniors-in-2018/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:42:44 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=21864 Read more »]]> The USTA is offering many financial assistance opportunities to assist players of minority and multicultural backgrounds next year. They will be in the form of Individual Player Grants, Excellence Player Grant and Essay Grants. All applications are available online.  If eligible, please apply.

Multicultural Individual Player Grant for National Competition & Training: These grants provide funding to competitive junior players aspiring to achieve national and/or international rankings. Funding will be based on participation in specific USTA sanctioned tournaments in 2016. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round and have a history of strong national tournament results. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully prior to submitting your application. The application due date is February 2, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For more information, please click here , and go to this link for Grant Application Instructions.

Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Okechi Womeodu, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, both on and off the court. Rewards players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round, have a history of strong national tournaments results and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of grants available are : 1 grant (African-American male). The application due date is January 20, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For the application,  please click  here.

Althea Gibson Leadership Award: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Althea Gibson, the first African-American Grand Slam champion, who paved the way for millions who followed. Rewards players who work to excel in leading others both on and off the court. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (African-American female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Click here to download the application.

Pancho González Scholar Athlete Grant: In honor of Pancho Gonzalez, the Mexican-American icon who won two U.S. Championships men’s singles titles and whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life. We look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click here to download the application.

Asian-American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant:  In honor of the achievements of Asian-American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click  here to download the application

Native American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant: In honor of the achievements of Native American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018.  Please click here to download the application.

Multicultural Excellence Program Grant: USTA Diversity & Inclusion would like to offer support to programs which are helping our best young players reach the highest level of national junior tennis. We will help offset expenses to any full-time program which offers travel to assist a team or two or more players to compete in the main draw of singles at any USTA sanctioned events. The application due date is through 2018. Please click here to download the Grant Report Form.

 

 

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The PTR Offers Coaching Education Opportunities in Southern California http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/the-ptr-offers-coaching-education-opportunities-in-southern-california/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/the-ptr-offers-coaching-education-opportunities-in-southern-california/#respond Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:11:17 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=21745 Read more »]]> Registration is open for Professional Tennis Registry workshops in Southern California for coaches who wish to progress in coaching education.

On December 16 & 17, a 10 & Under Certification will be held at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo. The clinician is Julien Heine and fee is $202. The workshop covers the following:

  • Creating a coaching environment in which young children can learn to play quickly while having fun
  • Communication and organization skills for coaching 10 & Under players
  • Structure and content of tennis lessons for 10 & Under players: athletic skill, technical and tactical, game and competitive development on the RED, ORANGE and GREEN court
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 10 & Under players
  • Serve, rally and score as quickly as possible
  • Appropriate team and individual competition for different age groups
  • Information for working positively with parents

An 11 to 17 Certification is offered at El Camino Country Club on January 27 in Oceanside.  The  clinician is Marc Stingley and the fee is $227. The Elements of the Workshop are:

  • Communication and organization skills for coaches working with 11 to 17 year olds both in groups and as individuals
  • Lesson structure and content for different ages and gender: athletic skills to reinforce technical and tactical skills, game and competitive development
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 11-17 year olds
  • How to develop leadership qualities in young people
  • Conducting successful camps
  • Appropriate competition in singles, doubles and team formats
  • Information for working positively with parents

For information on all of these workshops, go to  https://www.ptrtennis.org/MemberSite/Workshops/Schedule-USA.aspx.

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Cal Poly Students Hit the Courts on the Central Coast http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/newsletter/cal-poly-students-hit-the-courts-on-the-central-coast/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/newsletter/cal-poly-students-hit-the-courts-on-the-central-coast/#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 01:40:00 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=21067 Read more »]]> By Nancy Abrams

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) kicked off the new school year in September with the 60th annual Week of Welcome (WOW) new student orientation program.

Over 5,500 incoming students participated in WOW, which is the top-ranked university orientation program in the country.

In an effort to showcase the benefits of recreational tennis to young adults, the SCTA secured a USTA national grant to pilot a program with new students (WOWies) and their student WOW leaders. In May, SCTA staffers, including Madeline Segura, Nancy Abrams and Gina Havelka tested the program with 50 WOW student leaders and program directors, resulting in enthusiastic reviews and a “go” for WOW week.

Brandon Martin, WOW Program Coordinator for New Student and Transition Programs was thrilled with the outcome, stating “It was an amazing event using tennis to bring us together…I loved all of it!”

Orientation Board student leaders Dylan Kinsella and Liz Mader agreed, “Playing tennis was a real bonding experience. We learned and grew together. WOW leaders and their groups will bond while playing actively together!”

Youth racquets, depressurized balls, and mini nets were used to level the playing field at the Cal Poly Tennis complex. During WOW Week, freshmen are kept busy with various activities during 12+ hour days. Thanks to the USTA grant, tennis is now one of those activities. This year, 100 students participated in one on one red ball team tennis challenges, group games, and center court orange ball matches. From future collegiate track stars to budding architects and engineers, all had a great time while playing tennis and cheering on their fellow students.

Following WOW week, the equipment bags, which include game guides, 23” racquets, 18’ nets, and red/orange balls will be available at the Cal Poly Rec Center for current students to check out and use on their leisure time anywhere in San Luis Obispo. Once the WOW leaders go back to their annual spring training in April, the equipment will be used as a tool to promote team work and leadership via games and fun.

Cal Poly SLO is home to the Mustang’s men’s and women’s NCAA Division I tennis teams, along with a championship USTA Tennis on Campus club team.

For more information about the following programs in San Luis Obispo:

Adult League Tennis/Young Adult Programs/ Tennis on Campus opportunities, contact
Madeline Segura, SCTA Assistant Director of Adult Tennis, segura@scta.usta.com

Junior Team Tennis/Club/Park & Recreational Programs/School Programs contact
Gina Havelka, SCTA Tennis Service Representative, Havelka@scta.usta.com

Cal Poly SLO Week of Welcome/Tennis Volunteer Opportunities contact
Nancy Abrams, SCTA Manager TGA Premier Tennis, abrams@scta.usta.com

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Vickery Wins Central Coast Pro Open http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/vickery-wins-central-coast-pro-open/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/vickery-wins-central-coast-pro-open/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:55:37 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=20772 Read more »]]> Sachia Vickery needed just over one hour to beat fellow 22-year-old Jamie Loeb, 6-1, 6-2, and become the first-ever singles champion as the inaugural Central Coast Pro Tennis Open came to a close on Sunday.

Controlling the points and displaying precision shot-making from both the forehand and the two-handed backhand side, No. 4 seeded Vickery watched as a Loeb forehand sailed wide on the final point in the $60,000 USTA Women’s Pro Circuit event played at the Templeton Tennis Ranch. Vickery looked toward coaches Matt Evans and Chris Howard in jubilation before meeting the No. 8-seeded Loeb at the net. It was the third career USTA Pro Circuit title for Vickery and first at this level having previously won two $25,000-level events.

Both players said Saturday’s three-set semifinal wins took their toll.

“This feels really good, especially after playing such a long match yesterday,” said Vickery, whose WTA world ranking is projected to be No. 115 on Monday when the new rankings are released. “Jamie’s such a great player and we’re such good friends so it’s always tough to play a friend.”

At the end of August, Vickery beat Loeb 6-3, 6-4 in the final round of US Open qualifying in the only previous time the two have met on the pro level.

“Physically I was really feeling it yesterday and today and was just trying to shorten the points and go for my shots and not stay in games for too long,” Vickery said.

Vickery raced out to a 5-0 first-set lead before Loeb finally got on the board by holding serve for 5-1 before Vickery closed out the first set, 6-1.

Vickery will cash a check for $9,119 and also received a unique tournament logo-designed jewelry piece designed by K. Jons Diamonds and Gem in nearby Atascadero.

Loeb, coached all week by Felix Alvarado, won $4,863 and 48 WTA ranking points. Loeb was trying to capture her eighth USTA Pro Circuit title, and was 7-0 in finals matches coming into the day. “It’s been an up and down year for me,” Loeb said. “Sachia played great and I just wasn’t able to get anything going today. Congrats to her.”

Former college teammates at USC, the No. 4-seeded team of Kaitlyn Christian and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico downed the top-seeded Swiss team of Viktorija Golubic and Amra Sadikovic, 7-5, 6-3, to win the doubles title. Christian, who is the body double for Emma Stone in the new tennis moving “Battle of the Sexes”, has now with eight career USTA and ITF Pro Circuit doubles title.

Olmos has won eight Pro Circuit doubles title this year alone, including her second with Christian. “I just sat back and let K.K. do all the work,” Olmos told the crowd after the match. “It feels great to win the title here in our home state.”

Christian loved everything about her stay in the small town in northern San Luis Obispo County

“We had never heard of Templeton before this week, and we’re from Southern California,” Christian said after the match. “Our chemistry was just amazing today and I just love playing with my old college doubles partner.”

Christian and Olmos split $3,344 while Golubic-Sadikovic split $1,672.

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Top-Seeded Golubic Posts Two Wins at Central Coast Pro Open http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/top-seeded-golubic-posts-two-wins-at-central-coast-pro-open/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/top-seeded-golubic-posts-two-wins-at-central-coast-pro-open/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 20:06:35 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=20750 Read more »]]> Top-seeded in both singles and doubles, Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic continued her dominance in Templeton on Thursday as she was the only player in both events to advance on with two dominating victories at the Central Coast Tennis Pro Open.

The 24-year-old Golubic from Zurich – currently ranked No. 120 in the WTA World Tour rankings – defeated former University of Notre Dame graduate and USTA tournament wild card Quinn Gleason, 6-1, 6-1, and then teamed with countrywoman Amra Sadikovic to beat Madeleine Kobelt and Chanel Simmonds, 6-4, 6-1, to advance to Friday’s semifinals in doubles in the $60,000 USTA Women’s Pro Circuit event taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.

In the night match, local Gonzaga junior Sophie Whittle from Nipomo fell to former Wimbledon Junior Girls’ winner Laura Robson, 7-6 (1), 6-0. Whittle was supported by a large contingent of local tennis fans and was warmed up by her brother Eli before the match.

Former USC All-American Maria Sanchez continued her solid play as last weekend’s finalist at the Albuquerque $80,000 Pro Circuit event downed Great Britain’s Naomi Broady, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

Sanchez came into the match 1-1 lifetime against Broady having beaten her on the hardcourts in 2015, and suffering a close two-tiebreaker loss on grass earlier this summer at a $100,000 England event.

Sanchez on Friday faces top-seeded Golubic in the quarterfinals. Sanchez just last week beat Golubic in Albuquerque in a tense three-set first-round match that ended 11-9 in the final-set tiebreaker in favor of Sanchez.

Tournament wild-card and No. 5 seeded Taylor Townsend has dropped just four games in four singles sets during her stay in Templeton. On Thursday she advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Louisa Chirico in exactly one hour, 6-2, 6-1.

Another American moved on to the final eight as No 4-seeded Sachia Vickery came back to beat Japan’s Mari Osaka, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Vickery said watching her friends Sloane Stephens and Madison Keyes play in the US Open final has given her added inspiration.

“I’ve known Sloane since I was little and have trained with her in Florida,” Vickery said. “It was really a great day for American tennis.” Vickery is next head to Europe to play in two WTA events, and then will play three Pro Circuit events in Macon, Ga., Tyler, Texas and Waco, Texas, to close out the year.

There is no cost to watch the exciting pro tennis for fans on Friday night. But later in the evening on Friday night the cost is $10, and that’s the same admission cost for Saturday and Sunday for the semifinals and finals. Children 12 and under are free.

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Two Central Coast Girls Debut At Templeton Pro Circuit Event http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/two-central-coast-girls-debut-at-templeton-pro-circuit-event/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/two-central-coast-girls-debut-at-templeton-pro-circuit-event/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 20:02:47 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=20747 Read more »]]> Playing in their first USTA Pro Circuit tournament was an exhilarating experience for two local residents on Tuesday, the first day of main-draw action at the first annual Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a $60,000 women’s event taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.

Granted a wild card into the tournament, Arroyo Grande High School 16-year-old junior Delanie Dunkle and current Gonzaga University junior from Nipomo Sophie Whittle battled a tough unseeded team of Hanna Chang and Lorraine Guillermo, falling 6-3, 6-3.

“We didn’t get much practice before and it was our first time ever playing together,” said Whittle, who was also granted the local singles wild card and will play her first-round match Wednesday against Francoise Abanda, the No. 3 seed from Canada who is currently ranked No. 114 in the WTA World Tour rankings. “It was fun to play an experienced team like that.”

Chang is 19 and has won two ITF Pro Circuit Futures singles tournaments during her career while Guillermo was a top player for four years at Pepperdine University.

Whittle will remain in Southern California this weekend and travel south to Pacific Palisades where she is entered in the ITA Women’s All-American, one of college tennis’ four Grand Slams.

Dunkle, whose father Bill is a local tennis teaching pro, said she was a little bit nervous before the match, but more excited. “It was close and I felt like we were in every point,” Dunkle said. “I knew we had to be aggressive at the net to have any chance, and I thought we did that pretty well.”

Dunkle said playing her first USTA Pro Circuit event was a thrill. “It’s going to be fun to tell everyone at school what I did today,” she said, adding: “This makes me want to go out and work that much harder so that hopefully one day I’ll be out here regularly.”

Three first-round main draw singles matches were contested on Tuesday with No. 7-seeded Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia, Marina Erakovic of New Zealand and Laura Robson of Great Britain all capturing straight-set victories.

The 23-year-old Schmiedlova is currently ranked No. 164 in the world. She has won 11 ITF singles and two WTA singles titles during her career. She reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 26 in the world in 2015. Later in the day she teamed with Anna Tatishvili in a first-round doubles win.

The former Wimbledon Junior Girls’ winner Robson opened with a strong 6-1, 6-0 win over Italy’s Camilla Rosatello.

Like Schmiedlova, Tatishvili also won a singles match, her third in three days as she was one of four qualifiers to earn her way into the main day. She joined Russians Alisa Kleybanova and Elena Bovina, and former USC star All-American Sabrina Santamaria as qualifiers into the main draw.

Thirteen singles matches will take place on Wednesday with top-seeded Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland opening up against Newport Beach resident and recent USTA National Girls’ 18s champion Ashley Kratzer. Fellow Americans Taylor Townsend, Sonya Kenin, Jamie Loeb, Maria Sanchez, Louisa Chirico, Robin Anderson, Sachia Vickery and Danielle Lao are all on the schedule.

Admission to watch the exciting pro tennis is free during the week’s early rounds. On Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for the semifinals and finals, tickets are just $10, or fans can purchase a three-day pass for $25. Children 12 and under are free.

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Kenin, Chirico Headline Field at First Central Coast Pro Open http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/kenin-chirico-headline-field-at-first-central-coast-pro-open/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-in-your-area/san-luis-obsipo-county-tennis/kenin-chirico-headline-field-at-first-central-coast-pro-open/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:14:34 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=20705 Read more »]]> Young Americans Sonya Kenin and Louisa Chirico will headline a strong field of up-and-coming professional women’s tennis players when the first annual Central Coast Pro Tennis Open takes place at Templeton Tennis Ranch Sept. 24-Oct. 1.

The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a USTA women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event, gives young promising WTA Tour players a chance to earn valuable ranking points. Players ranked from No. 97 to No. 225 will compete in a 32-player singles main draw, and a 16-team doubles event will also be contested.

Kenin, 18, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., recently turned heads at the US Open after beating Americans Lauren Davis and Sachia Vickery to advance to the third round. Playing a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Kenin fell to Maria Sharapova. She is ranked No. 112 in the world and expected to be seeded No. 2 at Templeton.

Currently ranked just outside the world top 150, Chirico has won three ITF singles and two doubles titles during her career. The 21-year-old from Morristown, N.J., is coached by the USTA’s Jay Gooding. Last October, Chirico reached career-high No. 58 world rankings.

The top-seeded player is expected to be Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck (No. 98). She will likely be followed in the seedings by Kenin, Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic (No. 106), Francoise Abanda (No. 122), and Great Britain’s Naomi Broady (No. 135).

Vickery, and former NCAA singles champions Jamie Loeb (Univ. of North Carolina, 2015) are also entered in the main draw, as are former college standouts Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech) and Danielle Lao (USC).

Another player to watch is 22-year-old Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia. Currently ranked No. 164 in the world, Schmiedlova has won 11 ITF singles and two WTA singles titles during her career. She reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 26 in the world in 2015, but has been beset by injuries.

In qualifying, Southern California juniors Ashley Kratzer and Claire Liu will compete. Newport Beach’s Kratzer won the USTA Hardcourt 18s Nationals in San Diego and played in the main draw of the US Open. Liu, from Thousand Oaks, won the Junior Girls’ Wimbledon title.

“This elite group of athletes, fresh off the courts at Arthur Ashe stadium at the US Open, are coming to Templeton Tennis Ranch to show us what world class talent looks like, up close and personal,” Templeton Tennis Ranch Director of Tennis Scott Cleere said. “The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open will alter the course of tennis in our area. We are so excited to be hosting this event and bringing this experience to tennis players, fans and our local communities. If you appreciate the finer things in life, you must attend. It will not disappoint.”

A Wild Card Tournament will be contested this weekend with the singles winner receiving a wild card into the qualifying tournament, and the doubles winner a wild card into the main draw.

Qualifying begins Sunday, the 24th, and concludes on Tuesday, when main draw play also begins. Sunday will feature a free Kids Play Day starting at 5 p.m. A Pro-Am will take place Tuesday with Breast Cancer Awareness Day and a BBQ on Friday, the 29th, with the Doubles semi-finals matches beginning at 6 p.m.  The doubles final will be Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m., followed by the singles final. In total 74 matches will be played over eight days.

Admission to watch the exciting pro tennis is free during the week’s early rounds. On Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for the semifinals and finals, tickets are just $10, or fans can purchase a three-day pass for $25. Children 12 and under are free.

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Templeton Tennis Ranch To Host Pro Event http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/templeton-tennis-ranch-to-host-60000-womens-pro-circuit-event-sept-24-oct-1/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/templeton-tennis-ranch-to-host-60000-womens-pro-circuit-event-sept-24-oct-1/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:24:06 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=14233 Read more »]]> The largest professional tennis event to ever be held on the Central Coast will take place the last week in September as the Templeton Tennis Ranch (ttrtennis.com) will play host to the Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a USTA Women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1.

This will be the first USTA professional event ever to take place in San Luis Obispo County and will attract more than 80 up-and-coming women’s professionals players ranked on the WTA World Tour from No. 100 to No. 300 in the world, along with their support teams and families.

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Local tennis enthusiasts and the general public from near and far are invited to enjoy eight days of professional tennis. The tournament will include children’s days; social events; public clinics; a pro-am event, plus a wildcard invitational giving local players the opportunity to enter this USTA women’s pro- circuit event.

“The whole point of hosting this tournament is to elevate the sport of tennis in our region,” said Ralph Goehring, proprietor of Templeton Tennis Ranch, who launched the facility with his family in March of 2015. “We are honored to host this prestigious event.”

The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open is one of many USTA Pro Circuit tournaments that take place each year throughout the nation. These tournaments provide a pathway for aspiring tennis players and established professionals to compete in the world’s largest tennis tournaments, including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“The USTA is excited to bring professional tennis to California’s Central Coast and to Templeton Tennis Ranch,” said Danielle Gooding, senior manager for the USTA Pro Circuit. “One of our goals is to pair pro tennis with communities that welcome professional athletes in their journey to the top. We have no doubt that the athletes will receive this in Templeton and the surrounding communities.”

Goehring noted that an event like this will certainly bring hundreds of visitors to the region. He added that it takes a community to put on an event of this magnitude. He invites businesses, organizations and individuals to help with lodging, hospitality, refreshments, transportation and more for the competitors. Additionally, at least 72 local ball kids and adults will be needed to retrieve balls for the players during matches. So far, Twin Cities Community Hospital, Tennis Warehouse and J. Dusi Wines have signed on as key sponsors.

“This is not just about Templeton Tennis Ranch,” Goehring said. “It’s about putting our entire region on the tennis map. Our hope is that this inspires our local tennis enthusiasts to come together while introducing our greater community to the attributes of this wonderful, health-driven, lifelong sport.”

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Facility Spotlight: Templeton Tennis Ranch Offers More Than Tennis http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/facility-spotlight-templeton-tennis-ranch-offers-more-than-tennis/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/facility-spotlight-templeton-tennis-ranch-offers-more-than-tennis/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 17:22:35 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=13923 Read more »]]> Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco – and located at the northernmost reaches of the Southern California USTA Section and just off Highway 101 – is a new and unique tennis ranch that is hoping to become a future destination for the serious and casual tennis player alike.

If you’re planning a trip to Central Coast wine country this summer, or just looking to get away, you’ll surely want to check out the Templeton Tennis Ranch. It’s located just five miles south of the quaint little town of Paso Robles, known for its abundance of wineries.

Set amid a tranquil wooded property, the Templeton Tennis Ranch’s website describes the facility as having a “stunning clubhouse, versatile fitness center, infrared sauna and state-of-the-art tennis and pickleball courts.” The club also has a bocce court, a stage for live music, is adding a café and will have wine tasting on its premises on weekends this summer.  Guests and visitors are welcome.

Scott Cleere was named the Director of Tennis of the facility nine months ago, after teaching tennis for the San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach Park, Rec Departments, Santa Maria Country Club and Avila Bay Club.

“We really hope to turn this area on to tennis in a big way,” said Cleere, who received his USPTA P1 teaching certificate in 2010.

Templeton Tennis Ranch opened in March 2015. The business is owned by Templeton residents Ralph and Judy Goehring and their son, Simon Goehring.

Cleere said TTR recently announced big news that the facility has been approved to host a USTA Women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event the week of Sept. 25.

“We’re definitely excited to jump right in and host our first Pro Circuit event,” said Templeton Tennis Ranch owner Ralph Goehring. “Our goal is to elevate the sport of tennis in the region and deliver a first-rate and quality product. We invite everyone to join us at the end of September, to tour our new facility and to catch some of the rising stars in women’s professional tennis.”

Cleere was first exposed to the game of tennis in 1975 in Greeley, Colo. “My dad started me out and I began my teaching career in Denver,” said Cleere, who was the USPTA District 1 Pro of the Year in 2015 and also won the SCTA Service Award that year.

Cleere took a break from tennis in the 1980s and became an international star in the game of footbag, better known as the name-brand Hacky Sack. Cleere described footbag as a game where you kick a Hacky Sack with your feet over a net like volleyball. He won a world championship in footbag in 1986 and 1987.

He was also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for organizing the largest circle of people playing footbag with 862 people participating.

Cleere fashioned a career out of teaching alternative sports like footbag and juggling and has traveled the world, visiting places like Europe, Thailand and Malaysia. During that time he started a business called Created Athletics performing mostly at school assemblies.

In 1996 he moved to San Luis Obispo and got back into tennis in 2006.

Cleere’s describes his tennis teaching philosophy like this: “I incorporate play based training which means that I prefer to have my students playing actual games to help them learn correct techniques, strategies and methods that can help them win and improve every time they step on the court. I find when my students experience the joy of winning a hard fought point in a game situation that the desire to hit the ball correctly follows along and with it more motivation to improve.”

Another one of Cleere’s passions is court construction and he serves his area as an account manager for the Southern California based company Sport Court. “I’m pretty lucky because I have both of the jobs I’ve wanted for most of my life,” Cleere said.

For more information about Templeton Tennis Ranch’s summer camps, check out www.ttrtennis.com/kids-summer-camp-2017

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Updated USTA Women’s Pro Circuit Calendar – 2017 Full Year http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/socal-pro-tennis/updated-usta-womens-pro-circuit-calendar-2017-full-year/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/socal-pro-tennis/updated-usta-womens-pro-circuit-calendar-2017-full-year/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 22:52:33 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=13478 Read more »]]> The updated women’s Pro Circuit Calendar reflecting the full year calendar includes the following changes and additions.
  • Auburn University in Auburn, AL is the new home for the women’s $25,000 event during the week of June 26, 2017.
  • The $25,000 event during the week of July 3 will now be canceled.
  • The Women’s event in Las Vegas has moved to the week of September 11, 2017.
  • We are excited to welcome the Templeton Tennis Ranch in Templeton, CA as the new host for the women’s $60,000 event during the week of Sept. 25, 2017.
  • The three women’s Oct.-Nov events in Macon, GA, Tyler, TX and Waco, TX that make up the Australian Wild Card Challenge will now increase in prize money level from $60,000 to $80,000.
  • The women’s Collegiate Series calendar is also included.

 All updated calendars are posted on the USTA Pro Circuit website: www.procircuit.usta.com.

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Perennial Sportsmanship Winners Finish 2nd at TOC Nationals http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/perennial-sportsmanship-winners-finish-2nd-at-toc-nationals/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/perennial-sportsmanship-winners-finish-2nd-at-toc-nationals/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:56:09 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=13157 Read more »]]> The UC Irvine Club Tennis team is one of the section’s longest standing Tennis On Campus programs. The Anteaters have proven to be a force to be reckoned with in competition, but what they are really known for is their excellent sportsmanship on and off the court.

They’ve amassed numerous sportsmanship awards at the Section Championship, more at the Spring Invitational, and even more at the National Championship through the years. In 2017, their story certainly shows a team with the same sincerity we are all used to, but it also takes them to the finals of the Tennis On Campus National Championship.

“I did not know what to expect heading into Nationals. I knew that any of these 64 teams had a chance to win,” UCI Team Captain, Tommy Luu, said of the experience. It was a common theme among team members. Many knew they had a strong team, but had no expectation to be in the final battle for the title.

The top teams from all over the U.S. made their way to the USTA’s new National Campus in Orlando this April– all fighting to be in this very position.

“We didn’t expect to go so far,” senior Melissa Huang said. “We didn’t realize our potential. I think it really hit us when we got into the top four that we had a chance at winning the tournament.”

And how would they have ever known? The team was young and inexperienced at this level. They finished third at the 2017 Southern California Section Championship, and even missed out on Nationals in 2016 after a disappointing run at Sectionals last year.

“I was the only one on UCI’s 2015 Nationals team that returned for 2017, so it was pretty difficult to gauge how we would perform against the other schools,” Co-Captain Gabe Cupino said.

Apparently, it was only the coach who knew what to expect from this group.

“I was confident we had a team that could win at Nationals,” long-time coach, Iris Fonseca, said after their stellar run. “My goal coming into the tournament was winning the title. At minimum, I wanted to finish as one of the top four schools.”

The road to the finals was not easy. Seeded second in their pool, the Anteaters had to play University of Virginia, University of Tennessee, and Rice University. UVA was the team to beat, seeded at number one in Pool I. First up for the Anteaters was University of Tennessee. The team looked shaky, dropping a couple sets, but finishing strong with a 23-15 win. Next, an easy-breezy match versus Rice University, ending 30-9. Last up, was UVA. The Cavaliers are known for their deep runs into the Gold Bracket at Nationals, but UCI was able to push the team into the Silver Bracket with a 30-15 win in the final round of pool play.

“My mentality getting into the Gold Draw was there’s no such thing as an easy match,” Luu said. “Everyone in Gold Draw had the capability to win at Nationals and I knew we just had to believe in each other and keep fighting for every set, every point, every shot.”

In the first round of the Gold Bracket, UCI beat UPenn handedly. In the quarters, they faced Georgia and looked strong out of the gates. The Anteaters were up big heading into mixed and looked to have everything under control at 4-0, but dropped six quick games and lost the mixed doubles set. The match then went into Overtime, but the Eaters were able to stop the bleeding and won the first game of OT, ending the match after a minor hiccup.

Into the semifinals they went with bellies full of Korean barbeque from the night previous and a tough match ahead of them. Minnesota was primed and ready for the 9 a.m. match on Saturday. The Gophers’ men’s doubles team laid out a 6-1 win over the Anteaters and it didn’t look like the girls weren’t fairing much better. UCI was down 1-4 in women’s doubles when the team subbed in exchange student Yoshi Takashimizu, which put the brakes on Minnesota’s momentum and turned the set around completely. UCI won women’s doubles 6-4.

Heading into mixed doubles, Minnesota had a one-game lead. It was up to the mixed doubles team of Cupino and Huang to come up with the upset.

“During the mixed set, I played with a lot of energy because we needed to win at least 6-4 to win the match without playing a supertiebreak,” Cupino recalled of the match. “I was trying to keep us pumped up because I knew the moment the other team gained momentum, we could lose the set and ultimately lose the match.”

Cupino and Huang focused on their consistency through their entire set and were able to pull through with a 6-3 win, beating Minnesota 23-21 and securing their spot in the finals.

They waited for the winner of the other semifinal match, either UCLA or Michigan. The Bruins were desperately trying to claw their way back into the match with a 6-1 win in men’s singles. Ultimately though, the Bruins fell and the final match was decided. The Anteaters would face a feisty team from University of Michigan in the finals.

The teams had a few hours to kill before the big show. UCI went through pre-match interviews with the USTA’s video crew and got a briefing on the night’s run of show. The team refueled at Olive Garden and went back to the hotel to decompress with a rousing game of “Exploding Kittens,” a card game that helped keep the anxiety at bay while they waited for the evening’s match.

Before they knew it, they were back at the National Campus, hearing their names announced to a buzzing crowd of students, friends and family, and USTA staff. The Anteaters were a clear fan favorite. Once again, the team’s unparalleled sportsmanship paid off. It was clear UC Irvine had garnered the support of teams throughout the tournament – even the teams they had beaten.

“There are no words to describe the feeling from the energy and support the fans gave us,” Luu said. “I knew we had made some friends from the other schools but I did not expect almost everyone to be on our side cheering us on.”

It’s not every day that a college student can say they played in an event of this magnitude. Students from the 64 teams gathered around one court to watch these two teams battle. They cheered. They groaned. They rallied behind their friends, teammates, and new TOC comrades. The match was also streamed live online with color commentary from Cici Bellis, so the event reached thousands of people across the country as it happened.

As the match got underway, Michigan took charge immediately, winning women’s doubles 6-2. Up next was Takashimizu for women’s singles and it turned out she had a bit of a cult following herself. The crowd chanted her name as she warmed up.

“YO-SHI, YO-SHI, YO-SHI.”

“It was so much fun and I will never forget that moment,” she said. “I can’t thank the people enough for cheering for me and supporting us in every way.”

Takashimizu found herself up 5-2 in the singles set, but her Wolverine opponent locked into the match and made an incredible comeback, taking the set 6-5.

Next up, men’s doubles: Cupino and Luu. The two team captains got off to a slow start and found themselves in a 0-2 deficit. They fired back, however, and served up six straight games and a 6-2 win, keeping the Anteaters in the match.

“I had never played in that kind of atmosphere, in front of so many people,” Luu said. “At first, I was so nervous. I was shanking every ball and missing volleys in the warm up. But through the course of the set, the crowd’s energy inspired me to keep fighting.”

Freshman Andy Francis stepped onto the court for men’s singles. With the crowd behind him, he pulled out a 6-4 victory. The Anteaters were up one game going into mixed doubles. They just needed to win the set to win the title.

UCLA Cheers for UCI in Championship Final

The crowd erupted in excitement to see Takashimizu take the court with Cupino. The “Yo-Shi” chants filled the stadium once again as the duo warmed up. However, the Anteaters needed more than the crowd’s support for this set. Michigan flew into the final set with a vengeance, and stole the win from the Anteaters with a 6-1 victory in mixed doubles.

Even in defeat, UC Irvine was thankful for the experience and proud of what they accomplished.

“It was a surreal experience,” Cupino said. “I felt like I had to give it my all for everyone who was watching. To hear so much clapping and screaming after winning a point was something I have never experienced in my life. It is an experience I will always hold close to my heart.”

“This tournament has truly been the highlight of my coaching career at UCI,” Fonseca admitted. “I could not have asked for a better team to coach and represent UCI and Southern California at Nationals.”

Five other Southern California teams competed at the National Championship this year. UCLA finished third over Minnesota, putting two SoCal teams in the top three in the country. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the Section Championship winner, also competed in the Gold Draw.

UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and USC all played in the Silver Draw after tough pool play matches.

All Southern California teams were present for that final match.

“Watching a SoCal team in the final was an amazing experience,” UCSB Senior Daniel Barrington said. “To see players out there that we have grown close with over the past few years get an opportunity to battle on what is perhaps the biggest stage any of us will ever get to play on was truly humbling and so much fun.”

“We all felt a companionship with UCI and wanted them to win so badly,” Gaucho Club President Lincoln Howarth said. “When they lost, a lot of us described the feeling as if we had lost as well. Since we were all coming from the same section, it felt like a fight that we were all in together. Watching UCI do so well and make it to the finals was like watching a close friend succeed.”

TOC SoCal Schools After the Final

You can’t help but support a team like UC Irvine. They make friends everywhere they go. The SoCal teams know this, but now the nation knows it.

In true UCI fashion, when asked to reflect on the experience, the Anteaters all expressed their gratitude.

“I just want to thank everyone involved with this event, especially the USTA,” Luu said. “Thanks for giving students a chance to play competitively and experience it all through such an amazing event and team scenario.”

For more information on the Tennis On Campus National Championship, visit the Tennis On Campus website. For more information on your local TOC programs, contact Madeline Segura (Segura@scta.usta.com) with USTA Southern California.

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Avila Bay Classic-Vince Dente Memorial Tennis Tournament http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/adults-seniors/avila-bay-classic-vince-dente-memorial-tennis-tournament/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/adults-seniors/avila-bay-classic-vince-dente-memorial-tennis-tournament/#respond Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:02:57 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=13068

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Tennis and the Color Green Are a Great Fit for St. Patrick’s Day http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/tennis-and-the-color-green-are-a-great-fit-for-st-patricks-day/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/tennis-and-the-color-green-are-a-great-fit-for-st-patricks-day/#comments Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:10:09 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=11911 Read more »]]> What would St. Patrick’s Day be without wearing green, thinking about shamrocks, four leaf clovers and all that goes with the holiday? Better yet, how does playing sports such as tennis, baseball, track, soccer and more fit into the “Wearing O’ the Green” theme?  As it turns out, sports and the color green are a perfect fit on March 17 in honor of the holiday. Please enjoy reading fun St. Patty’s Day facts and watching this Wearing O The Green Tennis & Sports Video: “Tennis Is My Sport.”

FUN FACTS ABOUT ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Why is it extraordinarily fun to wear green and play tennis? Consider it a possibility that a lively leprechaun might be sending you smiles from nearby court foliage. After all, one never knows where wee folk are hiding. Here are some fun facts regarding the holiday.

  • The color green is now seen in beer, leprechauns, hats and almost everything related to St. Patrick’s Day. It is also the color of Spring and the lush county sides of Ireland. It is believed to be a color that brings good luck to all who wear it.
  • The holiday owes it deepest origins to the coming of spring that will be Monday, March 20, 2017 at exactly 6:29am.
  • Ever get confused about the difference between four-leaf clovers and three-leaf shamrocks? The four-leaf clover can be ever present in our lawns and gardens. They represent the Celts, who were the solar-worshiping invaders of Ireland.
  • The Shamrock means “Little Clover” in Gaelic and is a symbol of the Christianity’s Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), a story attributed to the Irish missionary St. Patrick.
  • Taylor Fritz. (SCTA Staff)

    The Pot of Gold is treasured by the “Wee Folk” and it’s a magical pot that represents the “Cauldron of Abundance” uniting the four elements: fire, earth, water and air. It also forms a metaphorical womb to represent the vessel of life.

  • The element of Irish “gold” comes through generations of lore and mystical story telling. It represents wealth, wisdom and knowledge.
  • Fanciful leprechauns are magical beings that are mostly male in the traditional form. They can be
    feisty, funny and often playful, and if the mood strikes, helpful. These red-bearded fairy folk are thought to be eternal as they perch on toadstools and selectively befriend human kind. 
  • Finally, legends say “St. Patrick’s Day” was named in honor of an Englishman born in Britain circa (389-461). He was kidnapped and sold into Irish servitude to be a shepherd. After escaping and returning to England, h e studied to become a priest and changed his name to “Patricus.” He later returned to Ireland to become a Christian missionary with the goal of dispelling pagan myths. St Patrick died on March, 17, 461. Today he is known as the Patron Saint of Ireland.

This festive holiday is now celebrated around the world. Whether you adopt some or all of its traditions, consider picking up a racket and playing tennis with friends. Don’t forget to wear something green!

Frances Tiafoe on the run (SCTA Staff)

 

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Mustangs Win Second Straight TOC Title http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/mustangs-win-second-straight-toc-title/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/mustangs-win-second-straight-toc-title/#respond Tue, 28 Feb 2017 18:10:54 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=11547 Read more »]]> The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo club tennis team earned its second Southern California Tennis On Campus Championship this month. The team beat out UCLA in a rematch of the 2016 final.

Cal Poly SLO – A and B Teams

The Mustangs breezed through pool play on day one of the championship, taking down B-teams from UC Santa Barbara and University of San Diego. In the Gold Draw, the team faced San Diego State in the quarterfinals and USC in the semis – both teams working to rebuild after losing key senior players in 2016.

UCLA A, B, and C Teams

The Bruins entered into the tournament as the number one seed with a veteran roster along with a couple of new faces. In pool play, UCLA faced dangerous teams from Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine – both capable of doing damage, but ultimately unsuccessful in their efforts. To get to the finals of the Gold Draw, the Bruins had to take down UC Santa Barbara and UCI’s A-team.

Once in the finals, both teams knew they had their work cut out for them. In the 2016 championship final, Cal Poly was able to get the win in a highly contested 26-23 win over the Bruins. This year, UCLA was hungry for the opportunity to reclaim their title as the top team in Southern California, a title the Bruins have known well since the program’s inception.

The final match started out with two extremely competitive doubles sets. The Mustangs took both of them, winning women’s doubles in a tiebreak and winning men’s doubles off of only one break of serve. Heading into singles, the Mustangs were up 12-9. They dropped women’s singles 2-6, but picked up a 6-4 win on the men’s side. The Mustangs had a one-game lead heading into the final set – mixed doubles- and it would be two veteran doubles teams battling for the title. Cal Poly SLO captain Alex Braksator and senior Christi Tain took on UCLA senior Ishaan Choubal and junior Joy Huang. For the first few games, the energy was tense on the court and among the fans in the stands. Everyone knew what was at stake. Braksator and Tain took control mid-match, however, and clinched the championship for Cal Poly with a 6-3 win.

The Mustangs are one of six Southern California teams who will travel to Orlando, Florida this spring for the National Championships. UC Irvine, USC, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara will join Cal Poly and UCLA in a trip east to the New Home of American Tennis – the USTA’s new national campus. There, they will compete alongside 64 other teams from across the nation for the ultimate prize – the National Championship.

Back home at the Southern California Championship, the Silver Draw consisted of all of the teams that placed second in pool play. B-teams from Cal Poly, UCLA, USC, UCI, and UCSB were joined by UC Riverside and CSUN, along with UCLA’s C-team to finish out the draw of eight. It was an all-Bruin final and the Silver Draw ended with a tie. Neither team wanted to claim the victory over their teammates. As winners of the Silver Draw, UCLA won paid entry into the Tennis On Campus Spring Invitational in Surprise, AZ.

Three UCSD Womens Doubles Teams

The Bronze Draw contained all of the third-place teams from pool play. Pepperdine fielded two teams in the Bronze, along with UC San Diego. They were joined by Loyola Marymount, CSUF, and B-teams from USD and SDSU. Like in the Silver Draw, one school dominated the Bronze. Both UCSD teams battled to the final, but chose to settle the match against each other in an uber-competitive game of water pong. UCSD-C ultimately claimed the title and the school earned a $50 gift card and a case of balls for their success.

Up next on the Southern California schedule is the Cali Cup, scheduled for March 4-5 at UCLA. The tournament alternates from Northern California to Southern California year to year and is reserved for the top four teams from each section championship.

The Spring Invite is scheduled just one week prior to Nationals on April 7-9, and is organized for the players who do not travel to the National Championship. Southern California schools are known to excel here, winning five of the past seven titles. In the 2016 event, UC San Diego and USC were finalists in the Gold Draw and secured bids to this year’s National Championship.

To keep up to date with all of our Southern California Tennis On Campus programs, follow us on Facebook or on the section website!

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So Cal Junior Tennis Adopts New Seeding Methods for 2017 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/so-cal-junior-tennis-adopts-new-seeding-methods-for-2017/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/so-cal-junior-tennis-adopts-new-seeding-methods-for-2017/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 19:43:54 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=10846 Read more »]]> The times they are a changin’ in junior tennis seeding for Southern California. With advent of growing resources, the SCTA will be using many factors to determine seeding in Junior Open Tournaments Levels 1 to 4 starting January 2017. This means tournament directors will consider USTA sectional and national rankings, as well as the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system. Also, tournaments are offered through the USTA  as well as UTR channels.

To find upcoming USTA junior tournaments in So Cal go to Http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/Schedule/Search.aspx.   The next UTR tournament in San Diego is Feb 18 to 20 at Del Norte High. Sign up at http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/127/players/.

Trevor Kronemann, the Director of Junior Competition for the SCTA, stated several reasons for this shift.  In 2016,  he sent this information to USTA players in So Cal:

  • The seeding committee reserves the right to consider other factors for players returning from injury, out of section players, players playing out of age division and other unforeseen situations that the seeding committee deems applicable.
  • Seeding the system used to separate the top players in a draw so that they do not meet in the early rounds of a tournament. The top seed is the player that the tournament committee (Tournament Director, Tournament Referee, Director of Junior Tennis, Junior Competition Chair) deems the strongest player in the event. It is not a standing or ranking.

Many may wonder, what is the UTR system? Where does it get information? According to the UTR website, this is the story:

“Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) has now processed more than 4 million tennis match results—less than a year after attaining the 3 million match mark last April. UTR is rapidly becoming a “mainstream” tool throughout the tennis world. The millions of results flow in from more than 200 nations. They reflect the play of over 300,000 athletes and 2,000 college teams. The pace at which results are entering the system indicate UTR’s rapid growth: the database took a little over a year to grow from 2 million to 3 million matches, but the fourth million arrived in less than nine months.

UTR attracts tennis data from all over the world as a consequence of the simplicity, accuracy, pragmatic value, and universality of its rating scale. It gathers results from the ATP, WTA, ITF, ITA (U.S. college tennis), USTA (open, 5.0, and junior levels), Tennis Canada, Great Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Tennis Australia, and Tennis Europe, plus select public and private U.S. high school results.

UTR translates all this data into a common worldwide metric that rates athletes’ level of play on a 16-point scale (from beginners to world-class professionals). UTR precisely and reliably determines individual players’ ratings based on actual match results, without regard for age, gender. or where the matches are played. The score of the match and the rating of the opponent are the only factors that enter the algorithmic calculations.

In the past year, UTR has also added new features, like enabling players to claim their profiles and receive weekly results notifications. College teams, too, can claim their profiles and compare matchups with opponents. In the near future, Universal Tennis will introduce doubles ratings as well.”

For more information on UTR go to https://universaltennis.com/.  For more information on SCTA seeding method changes, please contact Trevor Kronemann via email at  tkronemann@scta.usta.com.

 

 

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USPTA Offers New Membership for High School Coaches http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/uspta-offers-new-membership-for-high-school-coaches/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/uspta-offers-new-membership-for-high-school-coaches/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2017 19:20:09 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=10758 Read more »]]> The USPTA now offers a new category of membership for high school coaches. School athletic directors are encouraged to sign up their schools, and all tennis coaches at a school will have access to the benefits. This is an annual membership (Aug.-July.) for $99 per year.  As a member they get full access to tennisresources.com – a website with hundreds of hours of drills, tips, instructional videos and more.

There is an interactive online practice planner containing hundreds of drills to help you build custom lesson plans for your team to help you stay organized during the busy school year on Tennis Resources.  The fee is $99 per school, not per coach. Benefits include:

 

Benefits include:

  • Full access to tennisresources.com – a website with hundreds of hours of drills, tips, instructional videos and more.
  • Interactive online practice planner containing hundreds of drills to help you build custom lesson plans for your team to help you stay organized during the busy school year. (View a samplehere)
  • School subscription to Tennis magazine
  • School subscription to Tennis Industry magazine
  • USPTA member pricing for USPTA national and division events

For more information, go to http://uspta.com/default.aspx/MenuItemID/2171/MenuGroup/HOME.htm. 

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Host Sip ‘N Serve in 2017 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/host-sip-n-serve-in-2017/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/host-sip-n-serve-in-2017/#respond Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:07:29 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=9429 Read more »]]> The SCTA is extending an invitation all Southern California’s enterprising teaching pros. We are making a big push to bulk up our young adult programming in 2017 and we want new coaches to get involved. Sip ‘N Serve is a high-energy tennis clinic for young adults (ages 21-39), followed directly by networking and drinks for the players. It’s proven to be very successful in engaging a relatively disengaged group of tennis players, something we deeply care about here at the USTA. It has brought new members into tennis clubs, deepened local league teams, and built stronger customer bases for teaching pros. If successfully executed, the program really is a win-win-win. A win for you, a win for the player, and a win for the USTA.Sip N Serve Logo

Here’s the thing: Sip ‘N Serve is all yours. You choose the days to run it. You set your pricing. You keep all of your profits. We’ll even give you a grant to get you started. All we want is that you make tennis players happy in your local communities and that you collect player contact information and help us shuffle them into other USTA programs.

We are inviting enthusiastic tennis coaches to get the full Sip ‘N Serve experience on November 20th at Billie Jean King Tennis Center (1040 Park Ave) in Long Beach. SCTA staffers will run you through your typical SNS class – filled with games and friendly competitions. Then, we plan to wine and dine you. The hope here is that you will see how great the program is and that you will want to bring it to your facility immediately.

The clinic is free and you are welcome to invite others to join us. Please RSVP by Thursday, November 17th. To RSVP, simply email Madeline Segura (segura@scta.usta.com) with your name and the facility you teach out of.

If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact us. We look forward to seeing you on the courts!

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Rally For The Cure Tennis Tournament At Westlake Athletic Club http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/community-tennis/rally-for-the-cure-tennis-tournament-atwestlake-athletic-club/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/community-tennis/rally-for-the-cure-tennis-tournament-atwestlake-athletic-club/#respond Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:35:00 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=8992 Read more »]]> Westlake Athletic Club hosted a “Rally for the Cure” tournament this past Saturday, September 10, 2016  in order to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
Rally 4 Cure 2016 group photo

Rally 4 Cure 2016 group photo

The 40 participants wore pink and during tournament breaks, were able to bid on Silent Auction items to raise money for the cause.

Jen and Ramona - group winners

Jen and Ramona – group winners

Silent Auction items included tennis apparel, wine, Bluetooth devices and two large tennis-theme baskets.  The players played in a round robin tournament before lunch and after lunch played a game in order to win some prizes.

Calle giving prize to Pam

Calle giving prize to Pam

Over $2500 was raised for the cause!  Calle Hansen, WAC Tennis Director and former ATP Men’s Tour player, organized the event.  Westlake Athletic Club offers tennis, swimming and fitness programs.  Visit wac.caclubs.com for more information.

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SCTA Announces League Championship Restructure http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/scta-announces-league-championship-restructure/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/scta-announces-league-championship-restructure/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2016 18:09:57 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=8481 Read more »]]> After much evaluation and discussion, the SCTA Adult Department and Management will implement the following championship restructure for Southern California USTA and SCTA leagues starting in 2017.

WHAT: The Sectional Championship will have four spots at each NTRP level and gender.  The Sectional Championship will feature the best of the best teams competing to earn a spot at the National Championship.

All local league winners will advance to an Area Playoff.  (Exception:  If there are 4 or less areas competing at a NTRP level, the local league winners will advance directly to Sectionals).  The playoffs will be divided into two events – one for the northernmost league areas and one for the southernmost areas.USTA_SoCal_WOFYIG

Local League Winners in BAKE; SB; VENT; SFV; LA and SGV areas will advance to the North Area Playoffs.

Local League Winners in BC; OC; IE; CV; SD and SDNC areas will advance to the South Area Playoffs.

Teams will be placed in flights at the playoffs, and a round robin format will be used, just as it has in the past.  The winning team in each flight in the North playoff, and the winning team in each flight of the South playoff will advance to the Sectional Championship.

WHEN: Changes will be in effect with the start of the 2017 leagues.

WHY: The USTA and  SCTA league programs have grown steadily every year and so have the demands for courts.  This change will enable us to keep running fun, exciting and organized events by offering nice venues and team-friendly schedules.

Under the current structure, six or seven league areas with the most teams at a certain NTRP level and gender advance straight to the Sectional Championships, while the rest advance to Area Playoffs where they compete for the remaining spots.  The current structure awards automatic bids based on team numbers, not on strength.

The Area Playoffs will now become livelier with all the local league winners participating, offering more competition.  Teams will receive their local league awards and lunch will be provided, giving it a Sectional-like atmosphere.  Creating centralized playoffs in the north and south will cut down on driving time for players and may eliminate some of the expenses that are currently associated with our events – like gas and hotel costs as well as time taken off from work.   Players will be able to plan their schedules around the Area Playoffs since the dates and locations will be set in advance. Participating at Area Playoff will also help the sectional winners qualify players for Nationals.

This restructure aligns USTA Southern California with the majority of other USTA sections – where teams play in one or more playoff events to earn a bid at Sectionals. This restructure will create fairness in the league and all teams will feel equally a part of the fabric of the Southern California USTA and SCTA league programs.

For questions, please contact a member of the SCTA Adult Department at 310-208-3838.

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Tennis On Campus Nationals Wrap-Up 2016 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/tennis-on-campus-nationals-wrap-up-2016/ http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/tennis-news/tennis-on-campus-nationals-wrap-up-2016/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:46:38 +0000 http://southerncaliforniatennis.org/?p=6672 Read more »]]> The 2016 Tennis On Campus National Championships were filled with team firsts, nostalgic lasts, and plenty more unforgettable moments.

Sixty-four teams from all over the United States convened in the quiet town of Cary, North Carolina for the program’s most prestigious event of the year. Five Southern California teams competed this year, and they did not disappoint.

USC Trojans

Trojans arrive in North Carolina.

Finishing best of all the SoCal schools was USC. The Trojans finished third at the Southern California Sectional Championships this February, but were on a mission to make this tournament their best of the year. The team pulled out of the National Championships in 2015 due to player schedule conflicts, so the Trojans were excited to go back to the tournament.

“Our mindset going into Nationals was to play well and not to worry about the results,” senior president Darin Poei said of the tournament. “For most of us, this was our last TOC event, so we wanted to enjoy it and live in the moment.”

In fact, five of the six Trojans on the Nationals roster are set to graduate in May. Four of the six were involved in TOC for their entire college career. These last moments were bittersweet.

“Heading into Nationals, we changed our philosophy,” senior captain Javeed Kassam commented. “At Sectionals, we wanted to win the whole thing. After a tough loss to UCLA in the semis, we realized the winning mentality was the wrong mentality. We wanted to take it all in – the tennis, yes, but most importantly the company. Our team was a family now.”

In the first day of pool play, the Trojans took on Ohio State, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the unpredictable team from University of Arizona. The Trojans had a competitive warm up match against OSU, dropping one set, but winning 28-21 overall.

“We definitely showed some first-match jitters,” Poei said. “We played tight, but managed to pull it out against a solid OSU team. We weren’t expecting such a difficult match in the first round.”

Senior Anna Rudakova

Senior Anna Rudakova

USC then blew through UMass 30-12 in the second match of the day, but knew the Arizona Wildcats would provide some tough competition as the top seed in the L Pool.

“We knew Arizona had a lot to play for,” Kassam said. “A loss would put them in the Bronze Draw, but a win would cause a three-way tie in our pool and could put them into the Gold.”

Heading into the match, the Trojans were anxious to get started, but it was the team camaraderie that pulled them through in the end.

“We were twice as loud as Arizona from the bench even though they had twice as many players,” Kassam added.

The Trojan adrenaline prevailed and gave USC a 30-18 win over the Wildcats and a straight shot into the prized Gold Draw.

There they faced the always-strong Northern California standout Stanford. The Cardinal are TOC veterans and usually a shoo in for the National Championships, typically falling second to UC Berkeley (the four-time National Champs) at their Section Championships.

“We have played Stanford every year at the California Cup, so we knew we had a tough match-up,” Poei said of their first-round Gold Draw opponents. “We thought that if we jumped on them early in the match, that would be enough to get us a victory.”

Trojans defeat Stanford 30-10

Trojans defeat Stanford 30-10

Despite the pressure, however, the Trojans held strong and entered into the match with zero apprehension. They played hard and fast and loud, left nothing at the door and beat the Cardinal without dropping a set 30-10.

“The score doesn’t quite do justice to how good the team was,” Kassam said. “We just executed better than we had done before.”

Into the Quarterfinals the Trojans went. They faced University of North Carolina, who had just taken out fellow SoCal team, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

UNC looked strong against the Mustangs. Things were close through the end of doubles, but the Tar Heels really pulled ahead during the singles sets. The depth of this team was incredible, as UNC pulled out their second string players and substituted in their stars when the matches got tight. The Trojans knew they had their work cut out for them.

The Trojans kept things competitive through doubles, dropping both sets, but only going down by three heading into singles. Just as we saw in the match against the Mustanags, UNC pulled ahead in singles, putting the Tar Heels ahead by nine going into mixed. Senior Colin Tseng and Freshman Lacy Schneemann would need to pull out a win in mixed to push the match into Overtime. The Trojans fell short, however, losing 4-6 in the final set, finishing 20-30 against the eventual 2016 runners up.

Their sights were now set on a #5 finish overall. Into the North Bracket of the Gold Draw they went, facing University of Wisconsin. The Trojans beat out the Badgers in a tight 24-21 win. For the final match-up of the tournament, the Trojans would face the 2015 National Champions – Cal Berkeley, who had just defeated the University of Virginia 30-10 for their chance at fifth place.

Seniors Tseng and Poei cheer for their teammates

Seniors Tseng and Poei cheer for their teammates

“In our TOC careers at USC, we had never beaten Cal before,” Poei commented on the match up. “We had lost to Cal in our last Nationals appearance two years ago. For five of us on the team, this was our last match representing USC. We really wanted to finish our TOC careers with a win over Cal.”

“Going into the tournament, we joked that we could beat anyone… except for Cal,” Kassam said. “It was the one team we wanted to beat so badly. We went into the match knowing it was going to be our last. We had to leave it all on the court.”

The lady Trojans took down the lady Bears 6-4, while the Tseng and Poei lost 4-6. The score was tied heading into singles. Kassam won his set, but Senior Anna Rudakova lost hers. Still, the Trojans were up by one singular game heading into mixed doubles. All they had to do was win the final set and 5th place would be theirs.

“Cal has always been Colin’s kryptonite, so we changed things up a bit and put him into mixed for redemption,” Kassam said.

The Trojans jumped to a quick 4-0 lead, but Cal responded with a double substitution. The two new players across the net rallied and pulled the Bears back into the match. It was 3-4.imageedit_36_5422406952

Tseng and Schneemann responded to the Cal comeback and immediately switched into another gear. They broke serve to go up 5-3 in the final minutes of the match. Tseng would serve out the match, and Schneemann would play the net as aggressively as she had all tournament, blasting a swinging volley through the Bears to clinch 5th place.

“Colin left it all out there,” Kassam said of the match. “It was really inspiring to watch that last mixed match.”

“It was truly the perfect ending to our club tennis careers,” Poei said.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs

Another strong finish for SoCal was shown by Cal Poly, who finished 11th overall. Heading into Nationals, the Mustangs had high hopes as the winners of the Southern California Sectional Championships.

“We knew to beat any team there, we would have to play well as a team, but we liked our chances against any opponent,” graduate student and club president, Matt Giordano, said of their hopes going into tournament.

To get to the Gold Draw, the Mustangs had to defeat Carleton College, Columbia University, and the College of William and Mary. The team pulled out all three wins relatively easily on Day 1 and faced UNC in the first round of Day 2.

“UNC on Friday morning was a tough way to start the Gold Draw,” Giordano said. “They had a lot of depth and experience in the big Nationals matches. The match was friendly, and even though we lost, we were all friends by the end of the match.”

Mustangs take 11th place

Mustangs take 11th place

The Mustangs played hard, but proved to be no match for UNC. The Tar Heels took out SLO 30-16.

Cal Poly’s team has three graduating players – three of their male starters –  so this tournament meant a lot to them.

“Honestly, I think our team might have had more fun off the court than on it this year,” Giordano added. “We had a chance to explore the city and great restaurants. The host hotel was the perfect location to relax and meet the other teams.”

Adding to the experience, the Mustang parents came out in full force for this year’s tournament.

“Our parents helped make the experience what it was,” Giordano said. “They have always been our biggest supports, traveling all over Southern California, to Arizona, and North Carolina without complaint. Having them cheering for us helped us win close matches throughout our club tennis career.”

For 11th place, the Mustangs beat out University of Minnesota. The team was down by two heading into mixed, but Junior Christi Tain and Grad Student Jurgen de Jager fired back on court against the Gophers, taking the match and winning by one game – 25-24 final score.

UCLA Bruins

UCLA was the third and final team to make it into the Gold Draw this year.

imageedit_40_9462148942“Going through pool play, I thought our team played extremely well,” Senior President Chika Matsumoto said of the Bruins. “Teamwork shone through especially in pressure situations, confidence was driving each player and everyone focused their intensity when it mattered most.”

The Bruins blew through Georgia Tech, Illinois Tech, and Northwestern in the first day of matches. They faced a tough Cornell team in the first round of the Gold Draw.

“Our loss to Cornell was so tough.” Matsumoto said. “There was so much on the line and you could feel the intensity was at a whole new caliber.”

The Bruins won both doubles sets in a tiebreaker, so the team was up by two heading into singles. Cornell stepped up their game, however, and took both singles sets in a commanding fashion. Heading into mixed, the Bruins were down by four games but they weren’t going down without a fight.

Sophomore Joy Huang and Junior Ishaan Choubal played a tough mixed set, and pulled out the win in a tie-breaker. The match headed into overtime, but the Bruins dropped the first game in OT giving the Big Red the win and a place into the second round. The Bruins were shell-shocked.

“Our whole team needed some time to re-group. We headed off for lunch, steamed off and tried to re-set our minds.”

The break didn’t help however, as the Bruins fell to the runners up from the 2015 Championship, University of Minnesota. The Gophers finished first at their Section Championships this year, carrying most of their roster from the year previous. The Bruins fought a hard fight, but lost 23-26.imageedit_34_8865050967

“After our three-game loss, our team morale was running low,” Matsumoto remembered. “Going into our third match we decided to bring back the energy by changing it up.”

For their match against Dartmouth, the UCLA coaches let the students decide the line-up. Doubles players were playing singles. Singles players were in playing doubles. The team couple was playing mixed.

“This was refreshing for all of us and we focused on enjoying the game instead of scrutinizing ourselves over the small errors.”

The Bruins defeated Dartmouth and faced Georgia for 13th place. Georgia came primed and ready for the 8 a.m. match, beating out the Bruins 23-21.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

The final two Southern California teams were UCSB and San Diego State, the number four and five finishers at 2015 Section Championships. Both faced incredibly strong pools and both placed into the Copper Draw after day 1.

UCSB faced University of Miami, Penn State, and North Carolina State in pool play, each match was tough, but the young team of Gauchos showed their grit and played tough in all three heartbreaking matches.

“Half of our team was new this year,” senior captain Robin Young said of their Nationals roster. “We lost three pivotal players last year, so we added two freshmen and a junior transfer. Even though our team was new, everyone exceeded my expectations. Every single player fought hard for every point and gave it their all.”

Coming off of two tough losses in pool play, the Gauchos wanted to end the day with a win. To place in the Bronze Draw, the team would have to take out NC State and they almost pulled it off. The match was all tied up heading into mixed, and it was tight all the way to the bitter end.

Gauchos jump for joy after taking 3rd place

Cal Poly was on hand cheering on their SoCal teammates, but the support wouldn’t help the Gauchos get the job done. They fell to NC State in a set tiebreaker, losing the sudden death point at 4-4.

Day two and the Gauchos finally got their first W. They got two wins right off the bat over Lamar University and Iowa State in the Copper Draw. The Gauchos fell to eventual Copper Draw winner, DePaul, in the semifinals. They played University of Massachusetts for third place. The team fought hard and finished 29-16 over the Minutemen.

“Our team is looking solid for next year,” Young said. “I am the only senior, so with a young team, there is a lot of room to grow. It was great to see how my teammates reacted to the whole experience at Nationals. They want to work even harder at practice now, so they can come back next year.”

San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State was the only SoCal team that had never been to the Championship before. The Aztecs are one of the newest clubs to the Southern California section, but have grown to be one of the strongest teams – on and off the court – in fewer than four years.

Senior President Jenny Budd started the club as a freshman. It was slow going at first. It took months to be recognized by the school. Recruitment was low and the team was weak. At first, practices involved only five players.

Fast forward a few years, the Aztecs are a fully functioning club, with dedicated student leaders, and now enough players to field three teams at tournaments.  Budd’s dream was to see her team play at Nationals before she graduated, and in 2016, just a few weeks before dawning her cap and gown, she and her teammates represented Southern California at the National Championships.

Aztecs cheer on their teammates

“We were so excited to make it to Nationals,” Budd said. “We expected to see a lot of great competition and were excited to raise our level to match it. Arriving at the venue, we felt the energy from the other schools and appreciated all of the work from the staff that went into making the event what it was.”

In pool play, the Aztecs started off the day with a win over University of Iowa 24-23. The next two rounds were not as fruitful, however. SDSU faced the Midwest section winners Michigan Wolverines in round 2, falling 30-19. And in the final match of the day, the Aztecs fell to Georgia College 20-27.

“It was a tough loss,” senior Megan Trippet said. “I think we were all exhausted. It was the last match of the day, and we were still feeling that long day of travel from the day before.”

This put the Aztecs in a three-way tie for placement into the Silver, Bronze, and Copper draws. Tournament staff had to then look at the number of games lost, putting SDSU in last place of the tied teams and into the Copper Draw.

“Our team was pretty shocked when we realized how close the difference really was,” Trippet said. “It really put the concept that every game counts into perspective.”

The Aztecs played Harvard in the first round of the Copper Draw. The Crimson beat out the Aztecs by only a few games, and went on to advance to the finals falling to DePaul.

SDSU placed 5th in the Copper, beating out Iowa State 23-21 in the last match.

“Traveling across the country with our team was unanimously the highlight of the season for us,” Budd said. “It was an amazing experience in terms of team bonding and a great way to end the year.”

“We have three or four players graduating this year and they will be deeply missed next year,” Trippet said. “Still, we’re excited for the semesters ahead now that we’ve made a name for ourselves in the program.”

Trippet and fellow fifth year Connor Jacobs will step up as team leaders when Budd graduates this May.

 

For more information on the 2016 National Championships, click here.

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