Sunday, August 11, 2019

Volynets wins USTA girls 18s, earns U.S. Open berth

Katie Volynets became the third Northern Californian
to win a USTA 18 national singles title in six years.
Photo courtesy of JFS Communications
   Katie Volynets is headed to the U.S. Open.
   The 17-year-old resident of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, seeded second, beat third-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., 6-2, 6-4 today to win the USTA Billie Jean King Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego.
   Volynets, a Walnut Creek native whose parents are Ukrainian, received an automatic wild card in the women's main draw of the U.S. Open, Aug. 26-Sept. 8 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   She became the third Northern Californian to win a USTA 18 national singles title in six years, joining Collin Altamirano (2013) and Jenson Brooksby (2018). All train under Joseph Gilbert at the Arden Hills Club & Spa in Sacramento.
   Volynets bolted to a 4-0 lead against Navarro.
   "The key was starting really well and maintaining the level of play like I wanted to," Volynets said in a news release. "I was really energetic and focused on court and pumped myself up constantly.
   "After I won match point, I had a surge of energy and joy. It means so much to me, and I'm excited to go play (the U.S. Open). I've been working on this for a long time."
   Meanwhile, Sacramento-area product Aidan Mayo lost a heartbreaker in the final of the USTA Boys 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
   Top-seeded Alexander Bernard of Bonita Springs, Fla., outlasted the fourth-seeded Mayo, who now lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. Mayo had a match point at 5-3 in the third set.
   Hugo Hashimoto of San Jose won the boys 16 doubles title with Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md. Seeded seventh, they beat 11th-seeded Lucas Brown of Plano, Texas, and Aiden Kim of Chantilly, Va., 6-4, 6-3.

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