Sun City Junior Championships (L4)
Various Sites - El Paso, Texas
March 3-5, 2012
The Southwest junior circuit made its way to the El Paso in early March for the Sun City Junior Championships, a level 4 event.
Play took place over three days in each age division in singles and doubles at a handful of tennis centers across the city, with a mix of surprise winners as well as top-seeded winners.
In Boys' 18 singles, top-seeded Arjun Bal (Glendale, Ariz.) took out fourth-seeded Robert Simon (Phoenix) 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
Bal (pictured right, photo by Randy Spizman) had almost been dispatched in the semifinal round against third-seeded Jacob Hedderig, but prevailed by a tight 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 score. Simon did end up with a title, picking up the doubles crown with Bryan Cunningham (Anthony, NM).
In Boys' 16 singles, unseeded Nathan Brown of El Paso downed four of the top five seeds en route to the title, including a tough 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 victory over Tucson's Yash Parikh in the finals. James Ponwith (Scottsdale) and Michael Tran (Albuquerque) took home the doubles title.
In Boys' 14 singles, fourth-seeded Nathan Niemiec (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) cruised through four rounds, losing just 12 games in eight sets, including a 6-3, 6-2 victory over third-seeded Harrison Reid (Tucson) in the final. Shawn Parks (Oro Valley, Ariz.) and Chase Victor (Scottsdale) claimed the Boys' 14s doubles.
In Boys' 12 singles (Green Ball), hometown El Pasoan Sebastian Herrera downed Maximo Lawlor (Goodyear, Ariz.) by a 6-1, 6-0 score in the final. The two then teamed to win the 12s doubles crown over Niroop Vallabhaneni (Scottsdale) and Bryce White (El Paso).
In Boys' 10 singles (60' court, orange ball), second-seeded Christopher Hupp (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) took out fourth-seeded Santiago Sotelo (El Paso) 4-2, 3-5, 7-4. El Paso duo Sebastian Herrera (no relation to 12s winner) and Rodolfo Martinez picked up the doubles title.
In Girls 18s, fifth-seeded Alexandra Letzt (Scottsdale, Ariz.) defeated Madison Clarke (Phoenix) 7-6, 6-2 . Letzt upset top seed Rachana Bhat (Tucson) in the semifinals. Letzt then teamed with Tucson's Hailey Rochin to win the 18s doubles.
In Girls 16s, top-seeded Allie Sanford swept through four rounds without dropping a set, including a 6-4, 6-3 over unseeded Taylor Bridges (Mesa, Ariz. - pictured right) in the finals. Sanford paired with Savannah Slaysman to win the doubles.
In Girls 14s, Reagan Posorske (Cave Creek, Ariz.) dropped third-seeded Josie Frazier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) by a 6-0, 7-6 score to win the event. Albuquerque's Alexandra Ochotorena and El Paso's Clarisa Colling brought home the doubles title.
In Girls 12s (green ball), Elizabeth Isayev (Scottsdale) put on a dominating performance, losing just four total games in eight sets to win the title over Jamie Schroer (Tucson). The two singles finalists then paired together to win the doubles title over Catherine Broerman (Anthem, Ariz.) and Carmen Corley (Sandia Park, NM).
In Girls 10s (60' court, orange ball), unseeded Abigail Gorden (El Paso) took out top-seeded Jocelyn Massey (Las Cruces) 4-1, 5-3 in the final. Gorden had taken out top seed Cienna Chavez (Albuquerque) 5-3, 4-0 in the quarterfinals as well. Gorden and Chavez paired up to take the 10s doubles title.
Special thanks to the Ellis Tennis Center, El Paso Country Club, the El Paso Tennis Clun, Tennis West Sports and Racquet Club, as well as Coronado High School for fielding the various divisions of play at this year's Sun City Junior Championships, and special thanks to the volunteers of the Greater El Paso Tennis Association for their assistance.
The next big tournament on the USTA Southwest junior circuit is the New Mexico Junior Championships, an L4 taking place at Tanoan Country Club in Albuquerque, March 31-April 2.