Sunday, April 1, 2018

NorCal players sweep Easter Bowl 18 singles titles

   It was tough, but Northern Californians swept the boys and girls 18 singles titles today in the Easter Bowl.
   Unseeded Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael, a Sacramento suburb, topped No. 1 seed Tristan Boyer of Altadena in the Los Angeles region 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 at Indian Wells.
   No. 15 seed Katie Volynets, from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, beat No. 1 Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J., 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. It was the 16-year-old Volynets' second consecutive three-set victory.
   Boyer was playing in his fourth consecutive three-set match in sizzling heat, while the 17-year-old Brooksby, who was unseeded because he plays few junior tournaments, had not lost more than five games in a match entering the final.
   Brooksby squandered a 5-2 lead in the first set and almost blew a 5-0 lead in the third set. He held on after serving at 5-3, 0-30.
   After Boyer netted a forehand return of a first serve down the middle on Brooksby's first match point, Brooksby visibly breathed a sigh of relief and banged his head with his racket, a rare sight for a titlist.
   Brooksby and Volynets added to their impressive resumes.
   Brooksby, who has an ATP ranking of 1,353, reached the final round of qualifying in the $100,000 San Francisco Open in February.
   He advanced to the 16s final of the national hard courts in Kalamazoo, Mich., and national clay court in Delray Beach, Fla., in 2016, and won the national hard court 12s in 2013 in Little Rock, Ark. Today's gold ball was his first since 2013.
   Volynets advanced to the U.S. Open girls quarterfinals last September in her first junior Grand Slam. She won the USTA national clay court 18s in Memphis, Tenn., last July and the national hard court 14s in 2015 in Peachtree City, Ga.
   In 2016, Volynets became the first girl to win the 16s in the Eddie Herr International Championships and Orange Bowl in the same year. The tournaments were held in consecutive weeks on hard courts in Bradenton, Fla., and on clay in Plantation, Fla., respectively.

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