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Friday, June 16, 2017

Fresen, Yarlagadda Win at Inaugural USTA College Combine; Lahey Reaches Sumter $25K Semifinals; Flores into Offenbach Grade 1 Final Four; Thompson Named to Lead Minnesota Women's Program

The first annual USTA All-American College Combine finished today at the USTA Campus in Lake Nona, with 16-year-old RJ Fresen and 15-year-old Anika Yarlagadda claiming the USTA Pro Circuit wild cards set aside for the competition's winners.  For more on the tournament, including a slideshow, see this usta.com article.  Complete draws can be found at the TennisLink site.

A year ago, Ashley Lahey was in Europe, where she reached ITF Junior Circuit Grade 1 and Grade 2 finals and another Grade 1 semifinal. After her freshman year at Pepperdine, where the 17-year-old earned All-America honors,  she received a wild card into this week's $25,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit event in Sumter South Carolina and she has advanced to the semifinals.  Lahey and 2016 Virginia graduate Julia Elbaba battled for three hours and 26 minutes in today's quarterfinal before Lahey secured the 6-4, 6-7(9), 6-4 victory and her first appearance in a Pro Circuit semifinal.   She will play No. 7 seed Connie Hsu of Taiwan in the semifinals.  The other semifinal will feature No. 4 seed Francesca Di Lorenzo and No. 6 seed Robin Anderson. The Ohio State rising junior and the 2015 UCLA graduate, both National Indoor champions, played last year in a $25,000 tournament with De Lorenzo winning 7-5, 6-3.

Lahey still has two more years of eligibility for the USTA 18s Nationals in August, and Usue Arconada, who reached her first semifinal above the $25,000 level today at a $60,000 Pro Circuit event in Spain, will still be eligible for this year's Nationals.

At the $25,000 men's Futures at Wake Forest, Chris Eubanks, the Georgia Tech rising senior, will face recent Oklahoma graduate Andrew Harris in one semifinal.  In the other, former Georgia Tech star Kevin King will face No. 8 seed Wil Spencer, a Georgia graduate.  The doubles final was played today, with rising USC sophomores Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, who were unseeded, beating No. 3 seeds Eubanks and King 7-6(4), 6-3.  It is the second Pro Circuit title for Holt and Smith, who did not play a match tiebreaker all week.

In Buffalo, former Illinois star Dennis Nevolo[3] and TCU rising junior Alex Rybakov will meet in one semifinal of the $15,000 Futures there, while Naoki Nakagawa[4] and Kaichi Uchida[2] of Japan face off in the other.  In the doubles final, recent South Florida graduate Sasha Gozun of Moldova and former UT-San Antonio standout Tomas Stillman defeated Canadians David Volfson(Cornell) and Christian Lakoseljac(Penn State) 6-4, 6-3.  Neither team was seeded.

Victoria Flores has reached the semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Offenbach Germany, with the No. 10 seed beating No. 13 seed Anastasia Kulikova of Russia 6-1, 6-2 in today's quarterfinals.  Flores will face top seed Xin Yu Wang of China on Saturday.  In addition, Flores has reached the doubles final, where she and partner Thaisa Peretti of Brazil, the No. 3 seeds, will play No. 7 seeds Hurricane Tyra Black and her partner Viktoriya Petrenko of Ukraine.

The last Power Five conference job was filled today, with the announcement that Catrina Thompson has been hired to lead the University of Minnesota women's program.  Thompson, a former all-American at Notre Dame, had served as an assistant coach at her alma mater the past four seasons.  Thompson replaces Chuck Merzbacher, who announced his retirement in April.


Guest said...

Colette, in Spain, JC Aragone (UVA) in the semis. He has won consecutive matches 7-6 in the third. In the doubles final, Evan King (Michigan) and Rob Galloway (Wofford) beat Aragone and Nolan.