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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

McNally Upsets Top Seed Arconada; Neff, Osuigwe Stage Impressive Comebacks to Take 14s Easter Bowl Titles; Price, Heck Win 12s Championships

©Colette Lewis 2015--
Indian Wells, CA--

Thirteen-year-old wild card Caty McNally took out top seed Usue Arconada in second round play at the ITF Grade B1 Easter Bowl Wednesday, while champions were crowned in the 12s and 14s divisions under the sunny skies of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The 14s finals provided the drama of the day, with both champions digging out of deep holes to claim the titles. Third seed Adam Neff survived from 6-1, 4-1 down to No. 10 seed Jaycer Calleros, at one point borrowing a racquet from someone in the crowd after having broken strings on all five of his racquets, while No. 14 seed Whitney Osuigwe saved two match points and came from 5-2 down to beat top seed Alexa Noel 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(4).

Neff looked down and out against Calleros, who played confident and aggressive tennis from the outset, while Neff was making too many errors to provide a challenge.  But the 13-year-old from Bradenton changed his strategy, which helped him take a dramatic 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

"I said, just change your game plan, just try and grind, not try to outhit him," said Neff, who deemed the comeback the best of his junior career. "And that ended up working, and I found my rhythm more, and then I could go back to my old game plan, so it [getting behind by that much] was really a blessing in disguise. Changing the game plan was really the turning point in that match."

After winning the final five games of the second set, Neff got an early break in the third, but Texan Calleros got it right back. Neff got a second break to go up 5-3 and he completed the comeback by holding to secure the title.

Neff, who had an injury that kept him out for four months, was able to mount his comeback despite breaking a string five times during the match.

"I had popped five strings in the match, and I ended up having to use some person in the crowd's racquet," Neff said. "I ended up being up 2-1 in the third with that racquet, and then I got [his racquet, restrung) and lost two straight games. I couldn't find the rhythm with my normal racquet.  I was using a Blade, but I don't know what strings were in it," Neff added, whose racquet of choice is a Wilson Pro Staff 95.

As for celebrating his victory, Neff hoped to share his good news with Go4theGoal Foundation, a pediatric cancer charity he supports and tries to raise awareness for.

In the girls 14s final, which took nearly three hours to complete, Junior Orange Bowl 12s champion Osuigwe looked to be on her way to defeat when she was broken to give Noel a 5-2 to lead in the third set. Noel gave the break back to make it 5-3, but she had two match points with Osuigwe serving, losing both on unforced errors.

Noel's self-talk is loud and uniformly negative and after failing to convert the second match point, she wailed "I'm going to lose this match."

She lost her second chance to serve for the match without getting to match point, but at 5-5, Osuigwe was broken again, with her overhead letting her down twice.

The points--long and often included moonballing--were more often ended by errors than winners, and in her third attempt to serve out the match, Noel, a 12-year-old from New Jersey, was broken again, meaning a tiebreaker would decide the match.

Despite her troubles with her overhead previously, Osuigwe continued to commit to them when appropriate and she hit two winners in that fashion in the tiebreaker, the second to give herself two match points.

She only needed one, crushing a forehand winner to seal the improbably comeback, and erase some bad memories from last year's Easter Bowl.

"It was long and hard," said Osuigwe, who will be 13 later this month. "I was up 5-2 last year in the 12s, in the quarterfinals, and [Kacie Harvey, the eventual champion] came back on me, so I kind of used that as a learning lesson of how she came back."

As for Noel's outbursts, Osuigwe had a simple view of all the drama.

"It doesn't help her, so it helps me," said the IMG Academy student. "I think I still have the match in my hands and I can go on and win it."

The 12s finals were more straightforward, with top seed Gabby Price cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Emma Jackson.

Price, who was invited to participate in the World Tennis Day exhibition in Madison Square Garden last month with Cori Gauff, was obviously not overwhelmed by the occasion, which included the live streaming of her match.

"I played before Federer played, with Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini," said Price, a New Yorker who now trains with Rick Macci in Florida. "So today was kind of like the same, but of course, not as many people. But they had my name on the scoreboard, so that was really cool."

Price, who said she was more excited than nervous in the final, was able to capitalize on Jackson's problems with her serve throughout the match.

"I feel I played pretty well," the 11-year-old Price said. "She was missing a lot, so I took advantage of her serve, because she was double faulting a lot. I was just trying to be consistent and be aggressive at the same time."

No. 6 seed Hunter Heck took the boys 12s title, defeating No. 2 seed Jameson Corsillo 6-3, 6-2.

Heck, a seventh grader from Minnesota, said he began the match with some nerves, but overcame them quickly.

"I definitely was [nervous] going into the match, but usually after a couple of games, I lose the nerves and just start playing well, playing freely," said Heck, whose only outdoor tennis this spring in Minnesota was as a member of his local high school team.

Heck, playing in his second Easter Bowl, said taking the title felt "amazing. It's really fun.  It was really hot last year, but the weather's nice and it's fun to play in."


While the younger players were getting their time in the spotlight, McNally, not much older than those competing in the 12s and 14s, was posting an major upset in the ITF Grade B1 tournament, defeating top seed Usue Arconada, No. 6 in the world junior rankings, 6-4, 7-5.

McNally served for the match at 5-4, but was broken at love. If she had any doubt about her ability to complete the upset after that game she didn't show it, immediately breaking back for a 6-5 lead. Given a second chance, she took it, as Arconada was not able to put any pressure on McNally when she hit a second serve.

"I played really well," said McNally. "I got out to a really good lead in the first set and I think she was really tight. She fought back, playing more aggressive, and she's a really good player."

"My serve was a really big factor," McNally said. "Last week in Carson it wasn't too good. So it really helped me in my match, serve plus one."

McNally traces her confidence to compete with the older, more experienced girls to her trip to Europe this past winter, where she won the prestigious Nike Teen Tennis tournament in England.

"I got to go out of the country and play international tournaments and I won one," said McNally, who is playing in just her second ITF tournament. "That gives me a lot of confidence, shows me I can play with all these other girls."

The only other girls seed to lose in Wednesday's second round was No. 11 seed Jessica Ho, who fell to Kylie McKenzie 6-2, 6-3, although No. 5 seed Michaela Gordon was forced to withdraw with an injury, giving Emma Higuchi a walkover.

The boys draw saw No. 5 seed Emil Reinberg eliminated by Jacob Brum 6-1, 7-5, No. 12 seed Anudeep Kodali go out to JJ Wolf 6-2, 6-3, and No. 15 seed Zeke Clark fall to Patrick Kypson 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. The boys also lost a seed to injury, with No. 11 Robert Levine unable to play, giving Nicholas Borchenko a walkover in the third round.

Top seed Taylor Fritz and No. 2 seed Will Blumberg lost a total of five games between them in reaching the third round.

The 16s age division will move to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with the semifinals scheduled for Thursday and the finals to be held on Friday.

Links to the draws and live streaming can be found at the easterbowl.com website.

Boys' 18 Singles (Round of 32)
Taylor Fritz (1) (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) def. Connor Hance (Torrance, CA) 6-2, 6-1
Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC) def. Zeke Clark (15) (Tulsa, OK) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Cameron Klinger (Elk Grove, CA) def. Jakub Wojcik (Delray Beach, FL) 7-5, 6-0
John Jorgeson (Bradenton, FL) def. Agustin Moreno 6-4, 6-2
Nathan Ponwith (4) (Scottsdale, AZ) def. Chase Colton (Pompano Beach, FL) 6-2, 6-1
Vasil Kirkov (16) (Tampa, FL) def. Tyler Schick (Short Hills, NJ) 6-0, 6-2
Catalin Mateas (8) (Braintree, MA) def. Riley Smith (Long Beach, CA) 6-3, 6-1
Nicholas Borchenko (Studio City, CA) def. Robert Levine (11) (Bedford, NY) Wo (inj)
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (13) (London, Surrey) def. Oliver Sec (New York, NY) 6-0, 6-2
William Blumberg (2) (Greenwich, CT) def. Alexander Keyser (Danville, CA) 6-0, 6-2
Jeffrey Wolf (Cincinnati, OH) def. Anudeep Kodali (12) (Durham, NC) 6-2, 6-3
Hady Habib (7) (Bradenton, FL) def. Trent Bryde (Suwanee, GA) 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-2
Jacob Brumm (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) def. Emil Reinberg (5) (Atlanta, GA) 6-1, 7-5
Mwendwa Mbithi (10) (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. Alex Ross (La Grange, IL) 6-3, 6-1
Sam Riffice (14) (Roseville, CA) def. Kyrylo Tsygura (North Potomac, MD) 6-4, 6-3
Ulises Blanch (3) (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. Sami Kirberg (Ft Lauderdale, FL) 6-1, 6-1

Boys' 18 Doubles (Round of 16)
Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) / Catalin Mateas (1) (Braintree, MA) def. Alafia Ayeni (San Diego, CA) / Nicholas Borchenko (Studio City, CA) 6-1, 6-3
Jake DeVine (Los Altos Hills, CA) / Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC) def. Connor Hance (Torrance, CA) / Alexander Lebedev (Island Park, NY) 3-6, 6-2, 14-12
Cameron Klinger (Elk Grove, CA) / Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, AZ) def. John McNally (Cincinnati, OH) / Gianni Ross (La Grange, IL) 6-3, 6-4
Zeke Clark (Tulsa, OK) / Nathan Perrone (7) (Bluffton, SC) def. Pedro Fernandez del Valle (Wesley Chapel, FL) / Agustin Moreno 6-3, 6-4
Trent Bryde (Suwanee, GA) / Emil Reinberg (5) (Atlanta, GA) def. Zac Brodney (Los Angeles, CA) / Pietro Rimondini (Boca Raton, FL) 7-5, 6-7(3), 12-10
Alex Ross (La Grange, IL) / Eric Rutledge (Fort Worth, TX) def. Mwendwa Mbithi (Deerfield Beach, FL) / Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (4)
(London, Surrey) 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-5
Vasil Kirkov (Tampa, FL) / Sam Riffice (6) (Roseville, CA) def. Emanuel Llamas (El Paso, TX) / Jakub Wojcik (Delray Beach, FL) 6-0, 6-2
Ulises Blanch (Deerfield Beach, FL) / Liam Caruana (2) (New Braunfels, TX) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (Irvine, CA) / William Genesen (Tulsa, OK) 7-5, 6-3

Girls' 18 Singles (Round of 32)
Caty McNally (Cincinnati, OH) def. Usue Arconada (1) (Rio Piedras, PR) 6-4, 7-5
Helen Altick (Monroe, LA) def. Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) 7-6(1), 1-6, 4-2 Ret (inj)
Claire Liu (12) (Thousand Oaks, CA) def. Chiara Lommer (skokie, IL) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
Ingrid Neel (7) (Bradenton, FL) def. Raquel Pedraza (Claremont, CA) 6-2, 7-5
Raveena Kingsley (4) (Fulton, MD) def. Christina Rosca (Princeton, NJ) 6-3, 6-1
Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, VA) def. Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, ME) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA) def. Michaela Gordon (5) (Saratoga, CA) Wo (inj)
Kayla Day (9) (Santa Barbara, CA) def. Andie Daniell (Douglasville, GA) 6-2, 6-3
Meible Chi (Weston, FL) def. Jessie Aney (Rochester, MN) 6-1, 6-3
Katie Swan (2) (Wichita, KS) def. Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK) 6-1, 6-0
Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) def. Alaina Miller (Saratoga, CA) 6-2, 7-5
Caroline Dolehide (8) (Hinsdale, IL) def. Alexis Nelson (Saint Paul, MN) 6-2, 6-0
Francesca Dilorenzo (6) (New Albany, OH) def. Jessica Failla (Ramona, CA) 6-2, 6-3
Kylie McKenzie (Anthem, AZ) def. Jessica Ho (11) (Naples, FL) 6-2, 6-3
Sofia Sewing (14) (Doral, FL) def. Taylor Russo (Deerfield Beach, FL) 7-5, 6-1
Sofia Kenin (3) (Pembroke Pines, FL) def. Maddie Pothoff (Tucson, AZ) 6-3, 6-2

Girls' 18 Doubles (Round of 16)
Sofia Kenin (Pembroke Pines, FL) / Katie Swan (1) (Wichita, KS) def. Kenya Jones (Memphis, TN) / Ndindi Mwaruka 6-0, 6-3
Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, ME) / Gabriella Pollner (6) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Summer Dvorak (Laguna Beach, CA) / Gabrielle Schuck
(Colorado Springs, CO) 6-1, 7-6(7)
Jessica Failla (Ramona, CA) / Jada Hart (Colton, CA) def. Jade Lewis (Hilton Head Island, SC) / caty mcnally (Cincinnati, OH) 4-6, 6-4,
10-8
Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK) / Alexandra Sanford (8) (Westerville, OH) def. Meible Chi (Weston, FL) / Taylor Russo (Deerfield Beach, FL)
6-4, 7-6(6)
Annette Goulak (Oak Park, CA) / Alaina Miller (Saratoga, CA) def. Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) / Kylie McKenzie (Anthem, AZ) Wo
(inj)
Caroline Dolehide (Hinsdale, IL) / Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) def. Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, VA) / Melissa Lord
(Bloomfield, CT) 7-5, 6-1
Andie Daniell (Douglasville, GA) / Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA) def. Hanna Chang (Fontana, CA) / Risa Nakagawa (Rancho Palos
Verdes, CA) 6-1, 6-3
Usue Arconada (Rio Piedras, PR) / Francesca Dilorenzo (2) (New Albany, OH) def. Jessie Aney (Rochester, MN) / Ingrid Neel (Bradenton,
FL) 6-2, 6-2

Boys' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Oliver Crawford (1) (Spartanburg, SC) def. Paul Barretto (12) (Tiburon, CA) 6-3, 6-2
Danny Thomas (Pickerington, OH) def. Matthew Lord (5) (Bloomfield, CT) 7-5, 6-0
Daunte Harris (Lomita, CA) def. Ajai Shekhera (16) (Campbell, CA) 1-6, 7-6(8), 6-2
Jason Lui (7) (Bellevue, WA) def. William Woodall (Washington, DC) 6-2, 6-3
Abhijeet Joshi (6) (Millington, NJ) def. Bryce Pereira (San Gabriel, CA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
Sean Sculley (3) (Hilton Head Island, SC) def. Jackson Suh (15) (Bellevue, WA) 6-0, 6-3
Chambers Easterling (Spartanburg, SC) def. Sam Turchetta (14) (Pound Ridge, NY) 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3
Brian Cernoch (11) (North Bethesda, MD) def. Austen Huang (2) (Elk Grove, CA) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3

Boys' 16 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Oliver Crawford (1) (Spartanburg, SC) def. Danny Thomas (Pickerington, OH) 6-0, 6-1
Jason Lui (7) (Bellevue, WA) def. Daunte Harris (Lomita, CA) 6-3, 6-1
Brian Cernoch (11) (North Bethesda, MD) def. Chambers Easterling (Spartanburg, SC) 3-1 Ret (inj)
Sean Sculley (3) (Hilton Head Island, SC) def. Abhijeet Joshi (6) (Millington, NJ), 6-1, 6-1

Girls' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, NJ) def. Taylor Bridges (Mesa, AZ) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(1)
Anna Brylin (Short Hills, NJ) def. Tatum Rice (Hot Springs, AR) 6-3, 6-4
Victoria Flores (4) (Fort Dodge, IA) def. Nicole Mossmer (La Jolla, CA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, VA) def. Hannah Zhao (8) (San Diego, CA) 6-1, 6-0
Salma Ewing (Long Beach, CA) def. Isabella Lorenzini (10) (Clarendon Hills, IL) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
Hannah Lairmore (14) (Mobile, AL) def. Delaney Nothaft (Tempe, AZ) 6-0, 6-0
Victoria Emma (12) (Naples, FL) def. Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, CA) 6-4, 6-1
Samantha Martinelli (2) (Denver, CO) def. Taylor Johnson (Redondo Beach, CA) 6-3, 7-6(5)

Girls' 16 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, NJ) def. Anna Brylin (Short Hills, NJ) 6-2, 6-3
Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, VA) def. Victoria Flores (4) (Fort Dodge, IA) 0-6, 6-4, 6-3
Hannah Lairmore (14) (Mobile, AL) def. Salma Ewing (Long Beach, CA) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
Samantha Martinelli (2) (Denver, CO) def. Victoria Emma (12) (Naples, FL) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

Boys' 14 Singles (Final Round)
Adam Neff (3) (Bradenton, FL) def. Jaycer Calleros (10) (San Antonio, TX) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4

Boys' 14 Singles Consolation (Semifinal Round)
William Grant (14) (Santa Barbara, CA) def. Jenson Brooksby (8) (Carmichael, CA) 6-3, 6-1
Govind Nanda (1) (Redlands, CA) def. Daniel Baturyn (San Leandro, CA) 6-3, 6-2

Boys' 14 Singles (Playoff Final)
Garrett Johns (Atlanta, GA) def. Cannon Kingsley (6) (Northport, NY) 7-6(5), 1-6, 10-7

Boys' 14 Singles (Playoff)
Joshua Xu (5) (Chandler, AZ) def. Brandon Nakashima (2) (San Diego, CA) Wd (inj)

Girls' 14 Singles (Final Round)
Whitney Osuigwe (14) (Bradenton, FL) def. Alexa Noel (1) (Summit, NJ) 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(4)

Girls' 14 Singles Consolation (Semifinal Round)
Naomi Cheong (Las Vegas, NV) def. Chloe Beck (Watkinsville, GA) 6-1, 6-2
Abigail Forbes (3) (Raleigh, NC) def. Jillian Taggart (8) (Fair Oaks, CA) 7-5, 6-4

Girls' 14 Singles Consolation (Final Round)
Naomi Cheong (Las Vegas, NV) def. Abigail Forbes (3) (Raleigh, NC) 6-1, 6-4

Girls' 14 Singles (Playoff Final)
Lea Ma (5) (Dix Hills, NY) def. Imani Graham (St Johns, FL) 6-2, 6-2

Girls' 14 Singles (Playoff)
Kacie Harvey (6) (Braintree, MA) def. Katie Volynets (4) (Walnut Creek, CA) 6-4, 6-2

Boys' 12 Singles (Final Round)
Hunter Heck (6) (New Brighton, MN) def. Jameson Corsillo (2) (Boca Raton, FL) 6-3, 6-2
Boys' 12 Singles Consolation (Final Round)
Hugo Hashimoto (4) (San Jose, CA) def. Dominick Cuchran (Bloomingdale, IL) 6-2, 7-6(2)

Boys' 12 Singles Consolation (Semifinal Round)
Hugo Hashimoto (4) (San Jose, CA) def. Tauheed Browning (Philadelphia, PA) 6-1, 7-5
Dominick Cuchran (Bloomingdale, IL) def. JC Roddick (5) (San Antonio, TX) 6-3, 6-3
Boys' 12 Singles (Playoff Final)
Sam Feldman (3) (Brookline, MA) def. Benjamin Kittay (7) (Potomac, MD) 5-7, 7-6(2), 10-7

Boys' 12 Singles (Playoff)
Aidan Mayo (1) (Roseville, CA) def. Martin Damm (Bradenton, FL) Wo (inj)

Girls' 12 Singles (Final Round)
Gabriella Price (1) (Montebello, NY) def. Emma Jackson (LA Grange Park, IL) 6-1, 6-2

Girls' 12 Singles Consolation (Semifinal Round)
Skyler Grishuk (15) (Newport Beach, CA) def. Kenadee Semenik (4) (Las Vegas, NV) 6-1, 6-3
Bridget Stammel (13) (Dallas, TX) def. Jacque Dunyon (12) (South Ogden, UT) 6-7(5), 6-3, 11-9

Girls' 12 Singles Consolation (Final Round)
Skyler Grishuk (15) (Newport Beach, CA) def. Bridget Stammel (13) (Dallas, TX) 6-2, 6-0

Girls' 12 Singles (Playoff Final)
Jennifer Kida (8) (Wilmington, CA) def. Muskan Mahajan (San Ramon, CA) 6-2, 6-0

Girls' 12 Singles (Playoff)
Nina Gulbransen (3) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Savannah Broadus (2) (Carrollton, TX) 6-1, 6-2

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