Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NorCal's Volynets, 16, stuns NCAA champion Hartono

Katie Volynets, playing in the Stockton (Calif.) Women's
60K two weeks ago, defeated reigning NCAA Division I
singles champion Arianne Hartono 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the
final round of qualifying for a $25,000 hardcourt tourna-
ment in Florence (S.C.). Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Katie Volynets, 16, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area shocked 14th-seeded Arianne Hartono, the reigning NCAA Division I singles title champion, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 today in the final round of qualifying for the $25,000 McLeod for Health Florence (S.C.) Open.
   Hartono, from the Netherlands, won the NCAA crown as a Mississippi senior in May. She and Volynets are 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters).
   Volynets is scheduled to play Anna Danilina, a 23-year-old former Florida All-American from Moscow who plays for Kazakhstan, on Wednesday in the first round of the main draw of the hardcourt tournament.
   Volynets, an amateur, is playing in her fourth professional tournament. She has qualified in three of them, including the Stockton (Calif.) Women's 60K two weeks ago, but has yet to win a main-draw match in one.
   In Volynets' first pro tourney, at 15 in June 2017 on a hardcourt in $25,000 Sumter, S.C., she defeated Brazil's Luisa Stefani, an NCAA semifinalist in 2016 and quarterfinalist this year (losing to Hartono) for Pepperdine.
   Volynets, a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, said in Stockton that she has scholarship offers from all the top tennis schools in the nation, including NCAA defending champion Stanford and Cal, but hasn't decided if she will attend college.
   "I'm just testing the pro circuit right now," she said.
   Volynets won the prestigious Easter Bowl at Indian Wells in April and reached the quarterfinals of the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego in August.
   Last year, Volynets advanced to the U.S. Open girls quarterfinals in her first junior Grand Slam and won the USTA Girls 18 National Clay Court Championships in Memphis, Tenn.
   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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