Monday, March 2, 2015

Pro final delayed; Muljat, 14, wins women's open title

   Fifteen-year-old CiCi Bellis' Challenger final was postponed by rain, but 14-year-old Jessi Muljat won a women's open title on Sunday.
   The sixth-seeded Bellis, from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, was scheduled to play  fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 25-year-old Modesto product, for the first time on Sunday in the $25,000 Fresh Start Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.
   The match between Sanchez, ranked No. 220 in the world, and Bellis, ranked No. 244, was rescheduled for 9 a.m. today. However, there's an 80 percent chance of more rain.
   Muljat, seeded fourth, outclassed fellow Sacramentan Eirene Granville, who was unseeded, 6-1, 6-2 in the $2,000 Rio del Oro Open at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in Sacramento.
   Earlier Sunday, Muljat ousted top-seeded Haley Gay of San Ramon 6-2, 7-5. Fourteen women played in the women's open division.
   Muljat, an amateur, advanced to the second round of qualifying in the Fresh Start Women's Open in her first pro tournament.
   Second-seeded Kiryl Harbatsiuk, a 27-year-old resident of Orangevale in the Sacramento area, prevailed in the 57-player men's draw. He overpowered his fellow Belarus native and former Sacramento State teammate, top-seeded Anton Stryhas, 6-3, 6-3.
   Harbatsiuk was named the Big Sky Conference MVP for three consecutive years (2009-11) and briefly played on the professional tour, reaching a career-high No. 710 in the world in 2011.
   Colleges -- Cecilia Estlander outlasted Lindsay Kostas 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 6 to clinch a 4-3 victory for the No. 8 Cal women over No. 7 Stanford at Stanford.
   On Court 1, fourth-ranked Carol Zhao of Stanford edged No. 2 Maegan Manasse 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6). Estlander's victory gave the Bears (7-2) an insurmountable 4-2 lead.
   Stanford (7-2) suffered its first home loss of the season and only its sixth since 1999. Cal coach Amanda Augustus has been involved in three of those losses, including as a player in 1999.
   In other college matches, the No. 64 Saint Mary's women trounced Sacramento State 7-0 in Moraga, the host UC Davis women routed UC Riverside 6-1, and the Pacific men lost to Idaho 4-3 to finish sixth among eight teams in the Pacific Mountain Invitational in Stockton.

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