Pac-12 Men’s Championship
USC def. California, 4-0: No. 2 seed and No. 8 nationally ranked USC was crowned the 2019 Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Tournament Champions at Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif., on Saturday after defeating No. 4 seed and No. 33 ranked California, 4-0. The Trojans earned their fourth Pac-12 Tournament title, tied for the most with UCLA, since the format moved to a team tournament title in 2012. It marks the 36th all-time Conference team title for USC since 1928. USC rolled through the tournament, defeating No. 7 Washington in the quarterfinals, 4-0, and No. 3 Stanford in the semifinals, 4-2.
USC kicked off the championship match by claiming the doubles point with victories from Daniel Cukierman and Tanner Smith on court three, 6-1, followed by Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven on court two, 6-4.
Cukierman was first to the punch in singles play, defeating Cal’s Jack Molloy 6-0, 6-2 to put the Trojans up 2-0. Verboven got the next singles win on court three, 6-0, 6-3, to set up a match clincher on court five. Freshman Jake Sands clinched the championship for the Trojans with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 result.
Head coach Peter Smith was thrilled his freshman had that opportunity. “You’re excited for the two freshmen at five and six to have a chance to clinch a conference championship. I think it’s great for their confidence and experience. The excitement level for them is through the roof.”
As the Pac-12 champion, USC earns the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, May 16-25 in Orlando, Fla. This is USC’s 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and the Trojans hold the record for most team titles with 21.
“You win in May based on your training in February and March,” Smith, a five-time NCAA champion coach, said of his team’s prospects in NCAAs. “The work has been done and it’s time for us to relax and go compete.”
The field for the 2019 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship will announced on the NCAA.com Selection Show on Monday at 3 p.m. PT.
Pac-12 Women’s Championship
Stanford def. UCLA, 4-2: Top-seeded and No. 5 nationally ranked Stanford (22-1) captured its third consecutive Pac-12 Women’s Tennis Championship tournament title and its fourth straight NCAA Tournament automatic bid with a 4-2 comeback victory over No. 2 seed and No. 9 ranked UCLA (18-7) at Libbey Park on Saturday.
The title match bared striking resemblance to last year’s tourney finale in which the Bruins took the doubles point and evened the match 2-2, but the Cardinal surged late with key victories once again highlighted by the clincher from junior Emily Arbuthnott at No. 4 singles.
“It’s obviously amazing to clinch a final like this,” said Arbuthnott, who not only clinched the 2018 Pac-12 team title for the Cardinal but has also secured the winning point in five consecutive meetings against the Bruins.
“We have this joke on our team that I end up clinching all the time. I think it might be the way I play – I don’t play too fast or too slowly, but it means a lot,” added Arbuthnnott. “Obviously I would have preferred to have won the match point that I had in the second set and get done faster, but I think getting through those three-set matches, especially in situations where you know if you win you’ve won the match, that it’s great character building. I’ve been in that situation so many times now that I feel quite comfortable.”
“She’s really solid and her matches go a little longer which is one of the reasons that she clinches a lot,” said Stanford head coach Lele Forood. “We have people like [Caroline] Lampl who bangs the ball through the court and gets off the court sooner – it takes a little bit of both.”
The Bruins have secured the doubles point in their last seven meetings against the Cardinal, but Stanford has rebounded to win the last five of those contests.
“We’ve got great singles players,” said Forood of her team’s resiliency. “That doesn’t faze us exactly. We’d like to win it and they [UCLA] were very good in the doubles, so we just know that we’ve gotta win a bunch of singles matches.”
Now with a Pac-12 tourney three-peat in the record book, Stanford will turn its attention to defending its 2018 NCAA National Championship, which it claimed as the No. 15 seed and four top-10 upsets.
“Probably better doubles from us,” joked Farood on what it will take to repeat as NCAA champions. “Just a lot of belief like we came through in singles today.”
“We’re really excited, especially with the new setup this year with teams hosting third rounds as well,” said Arbuthnott of the Cardinal’s upcoming NCAA Tournament play. “We’re really looking forward to getting back and trying to defend that title. It was really close last year, but we have the same team and we know we’re capable of it.”
Men’s and Women’s Open Division Finals Set
MEN’S ROUNDUP: Unseeded former USC star Raymond Sarmiento advanced to today’s final as he beat No. 4 seed Isaiah Strode, 6-3, 6-4. No. 3 seed and former UCLA player Karue Sell beat 2015 Ojai Open singles champion Philip Bester, 6-4, 6-2. Sell and Sarmiento face-off at 11 a.m. In the doubles, unseeded Quinn Borchard (Thousand Oaks) and Arnau Dachs (Santa Rosa) will face No. 3 seeds Henry Craig (Murrieta) and David Fox (England) at 2 p.m.
WOMEN’S ROUNDUP: No. 2-seeded Mahak Jain defeated former NCAA team champion from the University of Florida Allie Will, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to advance to the finals. She will face 2018 Ojai Girls’ 18s champion and USC recruit Eryn Cayetano in the 9:30 a.m. final at Libbey Park. Cayetano beat fellow teenager Alexa Ryngler of Calabasas, 6-2, 6-4. In doubles, top-seeded Jackie Cako (Brier, Wash.) and Allie Will (Fallbrook) face No. 2 seeds Maxi Duncan (Irvine) and India Houghton (Tiburon) at 12:30 p.m.
Prize money breakdown is as follows for the singles and is same for the women (except no money for quarterfinalists in singles and semis in doubles because of draw size):
Winner, $5,300; finalist $2,600; semifinalist $1,000; quarterfinalist $500. Doubles team: Winner, $2,400; finalist $1,200; semifinalists $600
Boys’ CIF Interscholastic Championships
University (Irvine) senior Aditya Gupta, committed to Pennsylvania, won the CIF Boys’ 18 Singles championship and the coveted Farnam Cup, which is the oldest perpetual trophy still awarded at The Ojai and first presented in 1902, by rallying back to defeat Newbury Park senior Wally Thayne, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Gupta is The Ojai’s second straight CIF Boys’ singles champion from Irvine and the first University player to win the prestigious Ojai title since Gage Brymer completed his three-year stint as Ojai champion in 2013. Gupta, who had to withdraw from the CIF Boys’ singles prior to the 2018 Ojai due to shin splints, won his semifinal earlier in the day, 6-4, 6-4, against Chaminade’s Brett Brinkman. Thayne upended No. 2 seed Henry Lovett of Palisades, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, in his semifinal.
Palos Verdes juniors Kai Brady and Sean Holt, the No. 2 seed in the CIF Boys’ 18 Doubles draw, captured the Wightman Cup, first presented at The Ojai in 1910, with a 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 finals victory over top-seeded seniors Matthew Sah and Eshan Talluri of Torrey Pines. For Brady, it was his second consecutive CIF Boys’ doubles final, though he finished runner-up with Redondo Union last year. For Holt, he became the third person in his family to win an Ojai title as a junior, following in the path of his mother, International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, and brother Brandon, who won The Ojai’s CIF Boys’ doubles title with Palos Verdes in 2014. Brady and Holt defeated Harvard-Westlake’s David Arkow and Jonah Dickson, 6-1, 6-3, in the semifinals, while the UC Irvine-bound Sah and Texas-bound Talluri knocked off Mira Costa’s Matthew Poh and Kyle Sillman, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), in the other semifinal.
Men’s Division III West Regional Results
Men’s singles final today at 11 a.m. at Libbey Park
(5) Chase Lipscomb (Redlands) d. (8) Yahn Gawrit (Cal Lutheran), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
(4) Nikolai Parodi (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) d. (1) Varun Shanker (Caltech), 7-6, 6-3
Men’s doubles final today at 2 p.m. at Libbey Park
(1) Julian Gordy/Nikolai Parodi (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) d. (4) Ryan Dugan/Chad LeDuff (UC Santa Cruz), 8-5
Ransom Braaten/Jake Haffner (Cal Lutheran) d. Lucas Chmielewski/Cameron Coe (Occidental), 8-5
Women’s Division III Invitational Results
Women’s singles final today at 9:30 a.m. at Libbey Park
(3) Kana Moriyama (Caltech) d. Mary Kaffen (Trinity), 6-1, 6-2
(1) Caroline Kutach (Trinity) d. (5) Zoe Kaffen (Trinity), 6-4, 6-3
Women’s doubles finals today at 12:30 p.m. at Libbey Park
(1) Mary Kaffen/Zoe Kaffen (Trinity) d. Nicole Alvarez/Lilijana Semak (Cal Lutheran)
(3) Kana Moriyama/Anna Tifrea (Caltech) d. (2) Esther Bowers/Mariana Quetzeri (Southwestern)
Men’s Independent College Results
Men’s singles final today at 9:30 a.m. at Libbey Park
(3) Eason Sun (Hope) d. Jake Haffner (Cal Lutheran), 6-4, 6-4
(4) Aaron Moylan (Cal Lutheran) d. (1) Antoine Voisin (Hope), 6-2, 6-0
Men’s doubles final today at 12:30 p.m. at Libbey Park
(3) Matthew Alleman/Jason Wegener (Westmont) d. (2) Adil Kahn/Marcos Silvestre (Marymount), 6-4, 6-2
(1) Eason Sun/Antoine Voisin (Hope) d. Kevin Orellana/Conrad Spedding (Marymount), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
CCCAA Individual State Championships
Sunday’s California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Individual State singles finals are matchups of teammates from Wednesday’s CCCAA State championship winners – College of the Desert’s men’s doubles teammates Kalman Boyd and Alex Kuperstein and Orange Coast College’s Miri Inoue and Shayee Sherif. Libbey Park will host The Ojai’s only remaining semifinals, in the CCCAA men’s and women’s doubles competition, at 8 a.m., with the finals to follow at 2 p.m.
Men’s & Women’s singles finals today at 11 a.m. at Libbey Park
Men’s semifinal results
Kalman Boyd (College of the Desert) d. Lirone Abecassis (Grossmont), 6-0, 6-3
Alex Kuperstein (College of the Desert) d. Arthur Toledo (Cerritos), 6-4, 6-0
Women’s semifinal results
Miri Inoue (Orange Coast) d. Nicole Knickerbocker (Orange Coast), 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
Shayee Sherif (Orange Coast) d. Yu Seung Suh (Fullerton), 6-3, 6-0
Boys’ 16s Semifinal Singles Results
Final today at 8 a.m. at Libbey Park
(3) Ryan Torres (San Ramona) d. Nikola Kuraica (Santa Monica), 6-3, 7-6(6)
(5) Gianluca Brunkow (Topanga) d. (1) Sebastian Gorzny (Irvine), 6-3, 6-4
Boys’ 14s Semifinals Singles Results
Final today at 8 a.m. at Libbey Park
(5) Emmett Potter (Weil Academy) d. (2) Steve Nguyen (Anaheim) 6-2, 6-3
(9) Carson Lee (Fullerton) d. (5) Hayze Loop (Tucson, Ariz.) 6-3, 6-3
Girls’ 18s Semifinals Singles Results
Final today at 9:30 a.m. at Libbey Park
(2) Zoe Olmos (Fremont) d. (3) Madelyn Ferreros (Nipomo) 6-3, 6-0
(5) Natalie Duffy (Hemet) d. (5) Sarah Olmos (Fremont) 6-2, 6-3
Girls’ 16s Semifinals Singles Results
Final today at 8 a.m. at Libbey Park
(5) Kaia Wolfe (Rancho Mission Viejo) d. (2) Jenna Sabile (Fullerton) 6-3, 6-1
(1) Velizara Fileva (Weil Academy) d. (5) Emma Sun (Newbury Park) 6-3, 6-1
Girls’ 14s Semifinals Singles Results
Final today at 8 a.m. at Libbey Park
(2) Ginger Foster (Los Angeles) d. (3) Isabella Asenov (North Vancouver) 6-4, 6-2
(1) Carla Pacot (Rancho Cucamonga) d. (9) Krisha Mahendran (Oak Park) 6-1, 6-4
Quick Start Tournament Highlights Youth Tennis Activities at The Ojai
The 12th QS Challenge was a huge success, by numbers – with 62 players – and by popularity. Everybody enjoyed it from parents to teachers to helpers and, of course, the kids. There were six schools representing Ojai district, and Oak View The players were guided by a number of volunteers under the overall supervision of Philippe Gache. The players received T-shirts and other tennis goodies. The final was high level with Alex Washburn and Bryce Parent (Mira Monte) vs. Gregory Davis and Kezhiah Mabanta (Sunset). The overall winner was Sunset school. Congratulations!
OVTC Sportsmanship Awards
The deserving winners are nominated by all Ojai area tennis professionals. The final winners are selected on enthusiasm for the sport, ability and support of team members. The Lucking Award was added several years ago by William A. Lucking Jr. and received continuing support from the Lucking family. The winners received a youth tennis scholarship, donated by local tennis professionals, and tennis goodies donated by Wilson Sporting Goods.
The 2019 winners are: Sofia Moreno, Boyd Barrett, Aaron Conrad, Gregory Davis, Matthew “Chip” Dunn, Taylor Gonzalez, Charlie Quest, Annelise Rasura, and Lola Wyatt.