Friday, April 1, 2016

NorCal girls reach 16 singles final in USTA tourney

   The girls 16 singles final in the USTA International Spring Championships in Carson will be an all-Northern California encounter.
   No. 14 seed Jessi Muljat of Sacramento will meet No. 15 Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday.
   Muljat, 15, outlasted unseeded Eryn Cayetano of Corona, Calif., 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 today. Volynets, 14, routed No. 10 Hailey Baptiste of Takoma Park, Md., 6-0, 6-2.
   Cayetano ousted No. 1 seed Kacie Harvey, 14, of Braintree, Mass., in the second round, and Volynets eliminated No. 2 Marcella Cruz of Marlboro, N.J., in the third round.
   Muljat is ranked 42nd nationally in the 16s, and Volynets is No. 1 in the 14s.
   In the girls 18 quarterfinals, No. 2 seed Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., held off No. 6 Michaela Gordon of Saratoga, Calif., 6-4, 7-5 in a matchup of promising 16-year-olds. 
   Day, a left-hander, was the girls 18 runner-up in the Orange Bowl in Plantation, Fla., last December. She is ranked No. 13 in the world among girls and No. 685 among women. Gordon is No. 44 and No. 605, respectively.
   Both Day and Gordon have reached the quarterfinals of $25,000 professional tournaments. Day did so in Wesley Chapel, Fla., in January and, as a qualifier, in Surprise, Ariz., in February. Gordon gained the quarters in Redding in 2014 at 15 years old.
   In the boys 18s in Carson, Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area reached the singles semifinals and doubles final.
   Riffice, seeded No. 4 in singles, topped No. 5 Duarte Vale of Portugal 7-5, 6-1. Riffice, who has not lost a set in his four matches, will face No. 2 seed and defending champion William Blumberg of Greenwich, Conn. In the other semifinal, No. 10 Oliver Crawford of Spartanburg, S.C., will play No. 11 Liam Caruana of Italy.
   No. 5 doubles seeds Brian Cernoch of North Bethesda, Md., and Riffice beat No. 3 Crawford and Brandon Holt of Rolling Hills, Calif., 7-5, 6-4. Cernoch and Riffice saved nine set points after trailing 5-1 in the first set. Cernoch won the 16s last year with Crawford.
   Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, and Riley Smith of Long Beach, Calif., were the boys doubles runners-up in the U.S. Open last September.
   Cernoch and Riffice will take on No. 1 Blumberg and Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz., for the title.
   Past tournament singles champions include Sam Querrey (2005), Bradley Klahn (2008), Sloane Stephens (2009) and Melanie Oudin (2008).
   Past participants include Milos Raonic, Madison Keys, Steve Johnson, Christina McHale, Madison Brengle, Vania King, Ryan Harrison, Nicole Gibbs, CoCo Vandeweghe, Lauren Davis, Taylor Townsend and Jesse Levine. 

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