With only two days remaining at the USTA Southern California Junior Sectionals, the cream of the crop has risen and those who’ve advanced to the semifinals will return on Saturday for a chance at the coveted trophies.
“Championship Weekend” at Los Caballeros Sports Village commences with an array of semifinals before two doubles titles are handed out at the 18s level, leading to Sunday’s full schedule of division finals that are sure to delight any tennis fan in Orange County and beyond.
Let’s get you caught up on all things Junior Sectionals:
Top seed Anessa Lee (San Marino) continues to roll and appears in the Saturday semifinal opposite Taylor Cataldi of Corona. Maya Pitts, the #3 seed from Los Angeles, has also looked very strong in reaching the other semifinal against Cami Brown of Irvine. Both matches are due at 10am.
Girls 18s Doubles
Returning after an injury inflicted during singles play earlier this week, Amanda Chan (Pasadena) was unable to compete alongside partner Britt Purcell of Oceanside, and the top seeds withdrew midway through the first set of today’s match against Arroya Grande’s Delanie Dunkle & Maia Sung (Rolling Hills). Dunkle/Sung will meet La Mesa’s Winta Woldeab & Carly Schwartzberg (San Diego) in the final, scheduled for 4pm at Los Caballeros on Saturday.
Redlands’ Tyler Davis (above) staged the tournament’s biggest upset on Friday, knocking out top seed Max McKennon 6-2, 6-2 to advance into Saturday’s quarterfinals (12pm). He meets #9 Kai Brady, who advanced with a win over #5 seed Tristan Sarap. Second seed Alexander Petrov of Irvine has yet to drop a set en route to the quarters, and he meets Matthew Sah (San Diego) on Saturday.
The top three seeds in Girls 16s remain alive and headed into Saturday action. Bonita’s Midori Castillo looks to maintain her top slot when she faces Makenna Martinez in the first semifinal. Castillo advanced past Mika Ikemori on Friday, winning in straight sets. Katie Codd (#2) and Katherine Hui (#3) will meet in the other semifinal. Both matches open the Saturday schedule at 8am.
Huntington Beach’s Lawee Sherif is headed to the semifinal after ousting top seed Griffin Daehske on Thursday and #5 Andy Hernandez on Friday. He hopes to keep the momentum opposite Irvine’s AJ Moore, who took Friday off thanks to a walkover. Sebastian Gorzny, the #2 seed, remains in the hunt and opposes Santa Barbara’s Masato Perera after both escaped three set challenges in the quarters.
The crowd wondered what was wrong with Carla Pacot on Friday morning when the top seed fell behind 0-3 in the opening set. When the dust settled, Pacot had rebounded to win the first 6-4 and never looked back, winning 6-4, 6-0 to move into the semifinals against #5 Quin Brady of Hermosa Beach. Krisha Mahendron (above), the #9 seed from Oak Park, upended #2 Madison Shepperson to reach the semifinal as well, opposite #4 Ginger Foster of Los Angeles.
Andy Nguyen is a nice young man, but he hasn’t been nice to his opponents this week, at least on the scoreboard. Nguyen (below) won his eighth consecutive set on Friday, heading into Saturday morning’s semifinal (8am) with #9 William Hsieh. On the other end of the bracket, #9 Steve Nguyen hopes to make it a Battle of the Nguyens in Sunday’s final, but he’ll have to overcome Max Wuelfing, the #4 seed, who advanced on Friday.
Tianmei Wang of San Marino has looked like a top seed throughout Sectional play, and she is in good form heading into Saturday’s semifinal (1:30pm) against #5 Kateryna Basovska. Wang has yet to drop a set this week. She’s being chased by #2 Rachel Lee and #3 Alyssa Ahn, who both advanced on Friday and will meet in the second semi.
The #2 seed Jagger Leach had to empty the tank in Friday’s final match of the day, a lengthy battle with Gray Kelley of Tarzana. Leach, of Laguna Beach, will get a little rest before a showdown with #3 Mario Garcia of Chula Vista. But Cayden Wang, the top seed, has been remarkably dominant by dropping only three games throughout the entire tournament, and he’ll look to continue that trend against George Hakopian (#9) at 2pm Saturday.
The 10s haven’t been in action since last weekend, and they are certainly eager to return to the court at Los Caballeros at 11:30am on Saturday. The first semifinal featur es #1 Thea Frodin of Woodland Hills, facing #4 Sydney Barnhart. Redondo Beach’s Sophie Suh has bageled each of her opponents to far, and the second seed will want the trend to continue on Saturday against Malibu’s #5 Ella Olofsun, who’s recorded two 6-0 sweeps of her own.
In the event’s only Presidential semifinal, Andrew Johnson (Rancho Palos Verdes) meets Sohan Koushik (9:30am) in their return to court. Johnson won five consecutive sets at 6-0 to start the tournament and has only dropped four games throughout. Dana Point’s Kai Abarca and Ryan Wang of San Diego meet in the other semi.
Remember to follow @USTASoCal on social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as southerncaliforniatennis.org, for complete coverage of Championship Weekend at Los Caballeros.