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Friday, April 15, 2011

Reigning Easter Bowl Champions McPhillips and Andrews Meet for 18s Title Saturday

©Colette Lewis 2011--
Rancho Mirage, CA--

Whether it's 2010 16s champion Kyle McPhillips or 2010 14s champion Gabrielle Andrews, the 2011 Easter Bowl ITF B1 winner will have beaten a reigning Easter Bowl champion after Saturday's final at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort.

The ninth-seeded Andrews avenged her Orange Bowl quarterfinal loss to Grace Min, the top seed at this year's Easter Bowl, taking a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the desert's usual hot and dry conditions.

Andrews overcame not just Min, but also a racquet problem in the final two games of the match.

"At the end, my racquet broke from the throat, it just snapped," said Andrews, 14. "I had two match points (serving at 5-3, 40-15), but I had to take a really bad racquet that my dad strung. The strings were horrible, and I thought, oh my god if I don't win this next game...

Andrews didn't convert on three match points in that ninth game, but, she deadpanned, "I prayed. I recited every verse in the Bible," and her prayers were heard, as she broke Min to end the match.

McPhillips had no revenge, or even a strategy, against her semifinal opponent Allie Kiick. The two had never played, so McPhillips, 17, figured it out as the match wore on. Or not.

"I just had to learn what I was going to do as I saw her play, saw her game," said No. 13 seed McPhillips, who won 6-2, 6-2. "I figured out that her backhand was very solid, but her forehand's good too, so I really wasn't sure where to hit. So I don't know how I won, honestly. If I figured out how I won matches, I would be so much better. I'm sorry, I can't give you much."

Adding to the list of things McPhillips can't figure out is how to beat Andrews. Andrews is 3-0 against McPhillips, having beaten her 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the 18s Winter Nationals and 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 18s Clay Courts.

"She's going to be a good opponent," Andrews said. "She's going to come out of the gates quick, because she wants to beat me. But I'm going to play my game and focus every point, like how I did in Winter Nationals. That was a good match."

The boys 18s semifinals Saturday will feature two rematches of more recent vintage. Top seed and defending champion Bjorn Fratangelo will face Marcos Giron, who won last week's International Spring Championship over Fratangelo in a three-set final. Fratangelo was pushed in Friday's quarterfinal match with No. 8 seed Emmett Egger, and was down an early break in the final set before taking a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory. Giron, who claimed his 16th straight victory during the past three weeks, beat No. 4 seed Dennis Novikov 6-3, 6-4, converting on his fourth match point after breaking Novikov with the second set score tied at 4.

In the other semifinal, No. 3 seed Shane Vinsant will play No. 7 seed Mac Styslinger. Styslinger rolled past Vinsant 6-2, 6-2 last week in the quarterfinals of the International Spring Championships. Styslinger beat No. 2 seed Alexios Halebian 6-4, 6-2 in Friday's quarterfinal, with Vinsant taking an equally convincing 6-2, 6-3 decision from No. 6 seed Conner Farren.

The boys 16s semifinals will feature No. 2 seed Ronnie Schneider against No. 4 seed Gregory Garcia, and No. 8 seed Gage Brymer faces JC Aragone, a 17 seed. Schneider beat No. 6 seed Nikko Madregallejo 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2, while Garcia also had a tough battle, getting by No. 6 seed Trey Daniel 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Brymer, who had already beaten International Spring Champion Noah Rubin, downed No. 3 seed Luca Corinteli 6-4, 6-0, and has lost only 16 games in his first five matches this week. Aragone defeated No. 11 seed Spencer Papa 6-4, 6-2. Of the four, only Schneider, an Indiana resident, doesn't live in Southern California.

In the girls 16s semifinals, Kimberly Yee has reached the final weekend for the third straight year. The 2009 14s semifinalist and 2010 14s finalist is the No. 4 seed in the 16s, and she defeated Olivia Sneed a 17 seed, 6-2, 6-2, in Friday's quarterfinals. Yee's opponent, top seed Jamie Loeb, had a much more difficult quarterfinal, needing a third-set tiebreaker to get past Louisa Chirico, a 17 seed, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2). Chirico, who, like Loeb, is from New York, served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but at 30-40, Loeb forced an error with a forehand, which would become a theme in the tiebreaker.

Loeb cracked three outright forehand winners and forced two errors with similarly aggressive forehands, taking a 5-0 lead. She finally missed a forehand to give Chirico her first point of the tiebreaker as the changed ends, but Loeb was dialed in, and, after Chirico took point No. 2 with an overhead winner, Loeb converted on her first match point, her strong first serve drawing a return error.

"I gave it all I had in that tiebreaker," said Loeb, who lost in the first round as the No. 11 seed at last year's Easter Bowl. "I took it, I guess, to the next level. I used my forehand, was hitting really well, aggressively. I just swung through the ball. It made a difference; I was able to win those points really quick."

In the other semifinal, Caroline Doyle, a No. 17 seed, will meet No. 2 seed Spencer Liang. Doyle defeated No. 3 seed Katrine Steffensen 6-2, 6-2 and Liang took out No. 6 seed Sivan Krems 7-5, 6-1.


The boys 14s final Saturday will have No. 7 seed Ernesto Escobedo facing top seed Henrik Wiersholm. Escobedo had the much easier semifinal Friday, defeating No. 4 seed Martin Joyce 6-4, 6-1, while Wiersholm needed nearly three hours to overcome Artemie Amari 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Escobedo beat Wiersholm 6-3, 7-6 in a 16s National Open match last November, but the 14-year-old is not sure if that is a positive or a negative.

"I know what to expect, but he may go on the court with a different strategy, a different way to beat me", said the hard-hitting Escobedo, who will be playing in his first USTA National Championship final. "It's exciting. I've prepared for a long time to get to this position."


The girls 14s final will feature two Floridians: No. 5 seed Maria Shishkina and No. 8 seed Katerina Stewart, who have already played once this year, with Stewart taking a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(6) decision in the semifinals of the February 14s National Open in Florida. Shishkina beat unseeded Chloe Ouellet-Pizer 6-2, 6-1, while Stewart outlasted No. 6 seed Julia O'Loughlin 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The first Easter Bowl champions of 2011 were crowned Friday afternoon, with Lauren Goodman and Emma Stein winning the girls 14s doubles title. Goodman and Stein beat Emma Higuchi and Amber Park 6-1, 6-3 in a battle of No. 9 seeds.

Friday's complete scores can be found below:

Boys’ 18s Singles Quarterfinals
Mac Styslinger (7) Birmingham , AL def. Alexios Halebian (2) Glendale , CA 6-4, 6-2
Marcos Giron Thousand Oaks, CA def. Dennis Novikov (4) Boca Raton , FL 6-3, 6-4
Shane Vinsant (3) Keller , TX def. Connor Farren (6) Hillsborough , CA 6-2, 6-3
Bjorn Fratangelo (1) Pittsburgh , PA def. Emmett Egger (8) Issaquah , WA 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Girls’ 18s Singles Semifinals
Kyle McPhillips (13) Willoughby , OH def. Alexandra Kiick Plantation , FL 6-2, 6-2
Gabrielle Andrews (9) Pomona , CA def. Grace Min (1) Duluth , GA 6-3, 6-4

Boys’ 16s Singles Quarterfinals

JC Aragone (17) Yorba Linda , CA def. Spencer Papa (11) Edmond , OK 6-4, 6-2
Ronnie Schneider (2) Bloomington , IN def. Nikko Madregallejo (5) Monrovia, CA 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2
Gregory Garcia (4) Poway , CA def. Trey Daniel (6) Leawood , KS 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Gage Brymer (8) Irvine , CA def. Luca Corinteli (3) Alexandria , VA 6-4, 6-0

Girls’ 16s Singles Quarterfinals
Kimberly Yee (4) Las Vegas, NV def. Olivia Sneed (17) Prairie Village , KS 6-2, 6-2
Jamie Loeb (1) Ossining , NY def. Louisa Chirico (17) Harrison, NY 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2)
Caroline Doyle (17) San Francisco , CA def. Katrine Steffensen (3) Scarsdale , NY 6-2, 6-2
Spencer Liang (2) Potomac , MD def. Sivan Krems (6) Thousand Oaks , CA 7-5, 6-1

Boys’ 14s Singles Semifinals

Henrik Wiersholm (1) Kirkland , WA def. Artemie Amari (17) New York , NY 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
Ernesto Escobedo (7) West Covina , CA def. Martin Joyce (4) Hinsdale , IL 6-4, 6-1

Girls’ 14 Singles Semifinals
Katerina Stewart (8) Miami , FL def. Julia O'Loughlin (6) Lighthouse Point, FL 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Maria Shishkina (5) Bradenton , FL def. Chloe Ouellet-Pizer Chapel Hill , NC 6-2, 6-1

Boys’ 18s Doubles Quarterfinals

Casey Kay / Hunter Reese def. Connor Farren / Dennis Novikov (3) 6-2, 6-1
Bjorn Fratangelo / Alexios Halebian (1) def. Nicholas Naumann / Mitchell Polnet (7) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0(1)
Emmett Egger / Mac Styslinger (4) def. Richard Del Nunzio / Trey Strobel (6) 6-2, 6-3
Mitchell Krueger / Shane Vinsant (2) def. Alexander Petrone / Michael Redlicki (8) 6-0, 6-4

Girls’ 18s Doubles Semifinals

Gabrielle Andrews / Taylor Townsend (8) def. Jennifer Brady / Kendal Woodard 7-5, 4-6, 1-0(4)
Kyle McPhillips / Chanelle Van Nguyen (4) def. Lauren Herring / Stephanie Nauta (1) 7-5, 6-3

Boys’ 16s Doubles Semifinals
Gregory Garcia / Jonathan Poon (9) def. Trey Daniel / Thomas Pura (2) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Christopher Vrabel / Anton Zykov def. Justin Chan / Stefan Menichella (5) 6-3, 6-3

Girls’ 16s Doubles Quarterfinals

Spencer Liang / Jamie Loeb (1) def. Shannon Hudson / Dasha Ivanova (6) 6-2, 6-4
Mariana Gould / Gabrielle Smith (9) def. Aryn Greene / Adi Milstein 6-1, 7-5
Caroline Doyle / Katrine Steffensen (3) def. Sarah Gong / Maegan Manasse (9) 6-1, 6-3
Olivia Sneed / Madison Westby (9) def. Caroline Brinson / Megen Cochran 6-3, 7-6(3)

Boys’ 14s Doubles Semifinals

Tommy Paul / Henrik Wiersholm (2) def. Artemie Amari / Robert Levine (9) 7-5, 6-3
Ernesto Escobedo / Eduardo Nava (1) def. Augustus Ge / Robert Seby (4) 6-3, 6-3

Girls’ 14s Doubles Final

Lauren Goodman / Emma Stein (9) def. Emma Higuchi / Amber Park (9) 6-1, 6-3

Girls’ 14s Doubles Playoff
Gabrielle Rodriguez / Katerina Stewart (9) def. Ally Miller-Krasilnikov / Julia O'Loughlin (7) 7-6(8), 6-2

Boys' 14 Singles (Silver Draw, 4th Round losers) (Final Round)
David Mitchell Castle Rock, CO def. Tommy Paul Greenville, NC 7-6(8), 7-6(4)

Boys' 14 Singles (Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers) (Semifinal Round)
Logan Smith Carlsbad , CA def. Chase Colton Davie , FL 6-0, 6-1
Robert Seby Oro Valley, AZ def. Kial Kaiser Saratoga, CA Wo (inj)
Boys' 14 Singles (Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers) (Final Round)
Logan Smith Carlsbad , CA def. Robert Seby Oro Valley , AZ 6-0, 6-1

Girls' 14 Singles (Silver Draw, 4th Round losers) (Final Round)
Ndindi Ndunda Burke , VA def. Jessica Ho Wexford, PA 4-6, 6-3, 1-0(3)

Girls' 14 Singles (Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers) (Semifinal Round)
Rebecca Weissmann Loveland, CO def. Maia Magill Studio City , CA 6-4, 6-1
Alexandra Letzt Scottsdale , AZ def. Mehvish Safdar Mason , OH 6-2, 6-3

Girls' 14 Singles (Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers) (Final Round)
Alexandra Letzt Scottsdale , AZ def. Rebecca Weissmann Loveland, CO 2-6, 6-2, 1-0(6)


College Tennis Fan said...

I don't know how I missed this and maybe you already covered it, but I just realized that Ryan Noble has disappeared from college tennis. Does anyone know what happened to him?

Ironically, Noble and
Bo Seal were one of the best doubles teams in ITF Junior tennis and now both are gone after about one year of college tennis!

Can someone give us some insight to this shocking development that I never would have predicted?