Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Altamirano, UVA three-peat; Stanford women fall in final

Collin Altamirano of Sacramento chats before playing
in an exhibition in nearby Antelope last October.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Collin Altamirano made it 3 for 3 today.
   The junior from Sacramento helped the Virginia men win their third consecutive NCAA title, and fourth in five years, today with a 4-2 victory over Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina in Athens, Ga. The match, the last for Brian Boland after 16 years as the Cavaliers' coach, was moved indoors because of rain.
   Altamirano, the USTA Boys 18 champion four years ago, and J.C. Aragone triumphed 6-1 on Court 3 as second-seeded Virginia (34-1) took the doubles point.
   Altamirano, ranked 40th in singles, then dominated Simon Soendergaard 6-3, 6-1 on Court 4 to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 lead. After Robert Kelly won on Court 3 for ninth-seeded North Carolina (29-5), the 109th-ranked Aragone beat Jack Murray 7-6 (2), 6-2 on Court 5 to clinch the victory.
   Virginia became the first team from outside the Pacific-12 Conference to win three straight NCAA titles or more. Stanford (1988-90, 1995-98), USC (1962-64, 1966-69 and 2009-12) and UCLA (1952-54) have accomplished the feat.
   In 2013, Altamirano became the first unseeded player to win the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in the tournament's 71-year history. In the final, he defeated Jared Donaldson, now a professional ranked 71st in the world. Altamirano is 10 months older than Donaldson.
   Boland announced in March that he would leave after this season to become the USTA head of men's player development.
   No. 1 seed Florida won the women's title, defeating No. 7 seed and defending champion Stanford 4-1 outdoors at night. Ingrid Neel, ranked 31st, beat hobbling Taylor Davidson, ranked 54th, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Court 3 to clinch the victory for the Gators (29-3). The Cardinal ended its season at 26-3.
   Stanford has won a record 18 NCAA team titles. Florida is next with seven.
   The NCAA Men's and Women's Singles Championships are scheduled to begin Wednesday at 6 a.m. PDT in Athens. Doubles play is set to start Thursday at the same time. Video streaming and live scoring of the individual tournaments will be available here.
   Following are Northern California singles and doubles players in the NCAA Championships (seedings in parentheses):
   Men's singles -- Tom Fawcett (8), Stanford; Florian Lakat (9-16), Cal; Andre Goransson, Cal; Saratoga's Victor Pham, Columbia.
   Men's doubles -- Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat (5-8), Cal.
   Women's singles -- Karla Popovic (9-16), Cal; Maegan Manasse, Cal; Taylor Davidson, Stanford; Melissa Lord, Stanford; San Francisco's Caroline Doyle, Stanford; Granite Bay's Kassidy Jump, Arizona State; Sunnyvale's Felicity Maltby, Texas Tech.
   Women's doubles -- Maya Jansen and Maegan Manasse, Cal; Emily Arbuthnott and Taylor Davidson, Stanford; Greenbrae's Hadley Berg and Kentfield's Paige Cline, South Carolina.

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