Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Barretto has banner day in NorCal Boys Sectionals

Paul Barretto, left, and Keenan Mayo won the 18s
and 16s, respectively, in the NorCal Junior Sectional
Championships. Photo by Paul Bauman
   SACRAMENTO -- Paul Barretto's 18-and-under singles title meant so much to him that he took the tournament banner home.
   With permission, of course.
   The fifth-seeded Barretto, from Tiburon, wore down third-seeded Austen Huang of Elk Grove 6-4, 6-1 on Monday in the NorCal Boys' 18 & 16 Junior Sectional Championships at Sacramento State.
   From 4-4 in the first set, Barretto won eight of the last nine games.
   "I just really wanted (the title)," said the 16-year-old Barretto, who appropriately wore a shirt depicting a tiger. "I fought hard with a little injury. I had the mindset to win today."
   Barretto said he had cramped in his legs and hips in his three-set semifinal victory over unseeded Mayson Xue, who had toppled No. 1 seed Lane Leschly in the second round, No. 9 Dominic Barretto (Paul's brother) in the third round and No. 5 Gabriel Owens in the quarterfinals.   
   Paul Barretto added that he did not cramp in the final. He earned his first sectional singles title, although he has won the doubles in the 18s, 16s and 14s with Dominic, who's 11 months older.
   Paul Barretto also avenged a 6-3, 7-6 (3) loss to Huang in the semifinals of the Junior Fall Sectionals last September at the Broadstone Racquet Club in nearby Folsom.
   Barretto -- a 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter), 150-pound (68-kilogram) counterpuncher -- said his greatest strength is his mentality.
   "I do get down on myself, but put me on a back court at Sac State in 110-degree (43.3 Celsius) heat, and I still want to be out there. It's never an easy match," said Barretto, who's ranked 38th nationally in the 16s to Huang's 14th.
   While Huang pounded away in the final, Barretto scrambled for balls from several feet behind the baseline and often managed to throw up lobs to stay in points.   
   "My game plan was to work him around and get a short ball," Barretto said. "I let him dictate the point until I was forced to hit a passing shot. That's a good element of my game. I'm able to do both things."
   Barretto also played the big points better than Huang, who had not lost more than two games in any of his tournament matches.
   Barretto led 3-0 and 4-1 in the first set, but Huang fought back for 4-4. After Barretto held serve for 5-4, Huang double-faulted to give his opponent set point but saved it with a service winner.
   Huang then missed his first serve. On his second, he swatted a short forehand that should have been a putaway, but the ball clipped the net and sailed long to give Barretto his second set point.
   After Huang missed his first serve again, Barretto slugged a backhand crosscourt passing shot for the set and roared in exultation.
   Barretto bolted to a 4-0 lead in the second set and promptly closed out the match.
   "I felt Austen was rushing," said Joseph Gilbert, Huang's coach and the founder and owner of the JMG Tennis Academy at the Arden Hills Resort & Spa in Sacramento. "He was trying to end the point too quickly instead of trying to set up the point.
   "He (had) played with the lead the whole tournament. This was the first time he was down, and he was trying to get it back really fast. He hadn't had any battles."
Katie Volynets -- a 5-foot, 80-pound
phenom -- will play for the girls 16 title.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   In the boys 16 final, third-seeded Keenan Mayo of Roseville used his one-foot (30.5-centimeter) height advantage to defeat top-seeded Andrew Ton, a left-hander from Milpitas, 6-4, 6-4.
   "I was trying to hit heavier, get the ball high on him, and I was getting some points off that," said the 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Mayo, who trains under Vahe Assadourian at the USTA center in Carson. "On my serve, I was trying to get the ball out of his strike zone. He does well for his size."
   Both players won 14-and-under titles in last year's USTA National Clay Court Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mayo in singles and Ton in doubles with Brandon Nakashima of San Diego.  
   The top seeds in the girls 18s and 16s also lost in the semifinals at Arden Hills. Fifth-seeded Jenna Friedel of Mill Valley dismantled Camille Favero of Sacramento 6-2, 6-3 in the 18s, and fourth-seeded Jillian Taggart of Fair Oaks overwhelmed Ashley Yeah of Los Gatos 6-0, 6-3 in the 16s.
   In today's finals at noon, the 17-year-old Friedel will meet fourth-seeded Rachel Eason, 15, of Union City, and Taggart will take on third-seeded Katie Volynets, 13, of Walnut Creek.
   Volynets -- a 5-foot (1.52-meter), 80-pound (36.3-kilogram) phenom -- won last year's USTA girls 12 national hardcourt title.  
Boys 18 finals
At Sacramento State
   Paul Barretto (5), Tiburon, def. Austen Huang (3), Elk Grove, 6-4, 6-1.
   Dominic Barretto and Paul Barretto, Tiburon, def. Gabriel Owens, Los Altos, and Mayson Xue, San Ramon, 6-3, 6-1.
Girls 18
At Arden Hills Resort & Spa in Sacramento
Singles semifinals
   Jenna Friedel (5), Mill Valley, def. Camille Favero (1), Sacramento, 6-2, 6-3.
   Rachel Eason (4), Union City, def. Jessi Muljat (5), Sacramento, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Doubles final
   Darya Possokhova and Katya Tabachnik (1), San Francisco, def. Seriana Saltzen, Cameron Park, and Emily Zheng (2), Fremont, 6-1, 6-1.
Boys 16 finals
At Sacramento State
   Keenan Mayo (3), def. Andrew Ton (1), 6-4, 6-4.
   Randy Cory, Salinas, and Andrew Ton (1), Milpitas, def. Armaan Kalra, Tiburon, and Wilhelm Saiga, Belvedere Tiburon, 6-3, 6-3.
Girls 16
At Arden Hills Resort & Spa in Sacramento
Singles semifinals
   Jillian Taggart (4), Fair Oaks, def. Ashley Yeah (1), Los Gatos, 6-0, 6-3.
   Katie Volynets (3), Walnut Creek, def. Niluka Madurawe (2), Sunnyvale, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
Doubles final
   Niluka Madurawe, Sunnyvale, and Jacquie Tan (2), Elk Grove, def. Hind Abdelouahid, San Jose, and Abbie Mulbarger (1), Woodbridge, 6-1, 2-6 [10-7]. 
Boys 14 finals
At Fremont Tennis Center
   Stefan Leustian (3), Mather, def. Ryan Ali (5), Mill Valley, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-2.
   Stefan Leustian, Mather, and Zachery Lim (2), Fairfield, def. Ryder Jackson, Nicasio, and Rian Ta (1), Fremont, 6-3, 7-5.
Girls 14 finals
At Fremont Tennis Center
   Connie Ma (2), Dublin, def. Muskan Mahajan (5), San Ramon, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
   Katherine Duong, Cupertino, and Connie Ma (2), Dublin, def. Muskan Mahajan, San Ramon, and Laura Sanders, El Cerrito, 6-4, 6-1.
Boys 12 finals
At Sunnyvale Tennis Center
   Aryan Chaudhary (2), Santa Clara, def. Max Fardanesh (3), Albany, 6-1, 6-2.
   Aryan Chaudhary, Santa Clara, and Jake Vassel (1), Danville, def. Luke Casper, Santa Cruz, and Geoffrey Golan (2), San Jose, 6-2, 6-0.
Girls 12 finals
At Sunnyvale Tennis Center
   Claire Galerkin (2), San Francisco, def. Vivian Ovrootsky (1), San Jose, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. 
   Georgia Beard, Santa Rosa, and Vivian Ovrootsky (1), San Jose, def. Claire Galerkin, San Francisco, and Maryia Lucia (2), Roseville, 7-5, 7-5.

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