SAN GABRIEL VALLEY AND SAN DIEGO TEAMS SHINE ATADULT TENNIS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
2023 TRI-LEVEL ADULT SECTIONALS
2023 TRI-LEVEL ADULT SECTIONALS
DECEMBER 15, 2023 | BRENDEN FISHER
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY AND SAN DIEGO TEAMS SHINE AT 2023 TRI-LEVEL ADULT SECTIONALSUSTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DECEMBER 15, 2023
A doubles team celebrates after winning at Adult Tri-Level Sectionals in Irvine. (Photo – Jon Mulvey/USTA SoCal)
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Taking place between December 1st and 3rd, more than 700 players battled it out at the 2023 18+ Tri-Level Sectionals in Orange County, California. Residing from regions throughout Southern California, teams from all thirteen areas were represented, with multiple areas having more than one team qualify for the event. Flighted and qualifying matches took place during the first two days of the tournament at Great Park and Racquet Club of Irvine, while the semifinal and championship matches were held exclusively at Great Park on the third day.
3.0-4.0 WOMEN – Dominating the competition, San Diego North County took the gold in the 3.0-4.0 Women’s division. Hailing from Kit Carson Park, the group captained by Jennifer Bucky and Suzy Liu were a force to be reckoned with over the weekend, going undefeated.
Separated into a flight with three other teams, SDNC faced competition from Ventura, Inland Empire and Santa Barbara over their first two days of play. The squad made quick work of their flight, defeating all three teams handedly, providing them with an automatic bid to the playoffs. Entering the playoffs, SDNC was undefeated without losing a set. The squad was the only team in their flight to have won more games than lost, and on top of that had the most wins out of any of the other 15 teams in rounders.
In their first match of the playoffs, SDNC faced off against Bakersfield’s Team Holiday, who were 2-1 coming into the match. The team took down Bakersfield by a score of 2-1, securing wins at the 4.0 and 3.5 positions. At the 4.0 spot, the duo of Monika Wimmer and Val Zabaco claimed victory by a score of 6-4, 6-4, while Jenelle Aris and Kristine Walker secured the win with a score of 7-5, 6-4 at the 3.5 line. This set up a championship match against San Fernando Valley’s Volley Girls. In the finals, SDNC took down the SFV crew, with two of the three matches ending in a tie break. Wimmer and Zabaco were victorious once again at 4.0, winning by a score of 6-4, 4-6, 1-0. At 3.5, the pair of Berkley Doucette and Michelle Hansen got their first playoff win in straight sets by a score of 6-1, 6-2. To cap off the day and the tournament, Walker teamed up with Kelly Campbell at the 3.0 spot and bested their opponents by a score of 2-6, 6-4, 1-0.
3.5-4.5 WOMEN – Over a grueling three days of highly competitive matches, San Gabriel Valley outlasted all competition and were crowned as champions in the Women’s 3.5-4.5 division. Led by Colin Tang, the team out of Arroyo High School clawed their way to significant victories all weekend through teamwork, resilience and determination.
Entering match play, SGV was bracketed off in a flight consisting of teams from Orange County, Ventura and San Diego North County. The team went 2-1 in play, with their only loss coming to the Orange County squad out of Los Caballeros Sports Village. While not winning their respective flight, SGV found their way into the playoff bracket, as they were the best available team remaining after match play concluded. The squad led all of the other contending teams in matches, games and sets won. SGV took the bid and didn’t look back.
As playoffs began, SGV found themselves in a familiar spot right off the bat, taking on Orange County in a rematch of bracket play. After falling in the 4.5s, SGV bounced back, securing victories at the 4.0 and 3.5 lines to defeat OC and advance in the playoffs. Lauren Nicole Fink and Hatty Yip won their match in straight sets at 4.0, while Laurie Manley and Priscilla Chieng battled back at the 3.5 spot after losing their first set. The duo claimed victory in a tiebreak by score of 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 and propelled SGV to the championship match against Beach Cities.
Facing their toughest test yet in the form of an undefeated team, the ladies showed no fear in the finale, defeating the Beach Cities squad out of Manhattan Country Club via wins at all three lines. In the 4.5s, the pairing of Katherine Wu and Mandi Collier picked up their first playoff victory by a score of 7-6, 7-6. Nicole Finke and Aubrey Hodge teamed up at the 4.0 spot and took down their opponent in straight sets due to retirement. At the 3.5 line, Jocelyn Lee and Mariam Germanyan solidified the victory, besting their opponents by a final score of 6-3, 1-6, 1-0. This championship was the first of many for the teams out of San Gabriel Valley at the event.
4.0-5.0 WOMEN – With a very impressive showing throughout, San Diego was able to roll through their matches and ultimately walk away as champions of the 4.0-5.0 Women’s division. Priscilla Martinez anchored the ship for the women, and the team from Peninsula Tennis Club was overpowering, not losing throughout the tournament.
Competing in a round robin, SD won all three of their matches, taking down teams from San Diego North County, Los Angeles and Orange County. Their first victory against SDNC came via a score of 2-1. At the 5.0 position, Deborah Lee and Lindsay Brown claimed their first victory of the weekend by a score of 6-1, 6-3. The pair of Tiffany Kellogg and Irina Shkov secured the team’s win, defeating their opponents at the 4.5 spot by a score of 6-0, 6-2. The crew then fought their way through LA, winning again by a score of 2-1. The 5.0 and 4.5 lines would be victorious once more, with Lee and Brown setting the tone with a 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 win. Following this up, Martinez teamed up with Claudia Roehr and defeated their opponents by a score of 6-3, 6-3.
After winning its first two contests, SD was set up for a battle of the undefeated teams, as Orange County had also not lost a match entering the finale. In the championship, SD triumphed over the squad out of Lower Peters Canyon, again with a score of 2-1. Brown and Lee continued their stellar play in the 5.0s, winning their match 6-3, 6-0. Martinez and Shkov kept their undefeated streaks alive as well, winning 6-0, 6-1 at the 4.5 line. This win solidified the second victory for a San Diego based team on the weekend.
3.0-4.0 MEN – Competing at the 3.0-4.0 level, the men of the San Gabriel Valley couldn’t be denied, adding another championship to the area’s already impressive resume. The bunch from out of Diamond Bar High School was captained by Tom Le to a 2-1 record on the weekend.
Battling it out in a round robin format, SGV first prevailed over San Fernando Valley with a hard fought 3-0 win. Peter Cheng and Chih Hao Pan took care of business at the 4.0 spot, winning 6-3, 2-6, 1-0. Oscar Oyama and Adrian Tay followed this up with a victory of their own at the 3.5 line, by a score of 6-4, 6-1. Capping off the match, Balaji Alahari and Marcio Rodrigues pulled out a victory at the 3.0 spot, winning the contest 6-2, 2-6, 1-0. In their second match, team chemistry was undeniable against Los Angeles as four new players entered the fray for SGV. Robert Chang and Derek Fu defeated their opponents 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 to claim victory at the 4.0 spot. Tay teamed up with Suleman Alidina and rolled through their opponents at the 3.5 spot with a score of 6-2, 6-0. Rodrigues and Gerald Alphonse knocked off their competition at the 3.0 spot, securing the sweep over LA with a final of 7-6, 6-1.
In the team’s third match, fortune favored the opponents, as SGV fell to OC by a score of 1-2. At the 3.0 spot, Alphonse and Alahari picked up their second wins of the tournament, besting their opponents 6-1, 1-6, 6-0. While they lost, SGV did enough in their prior matches, and claimed an overall victory as they led all teams in sets and matches won. The LA crew out of Queen Anne recreation center were honored as finalists.
3.5-4.5 MEN – Wanting to keep the gold for themselves, San Gabriel Valley completed a clean sweep of the Men’s division, taking home the title in the 3.5-4.5 division. Captained once more by Colin Tang, the SGV men picked up the third overall victory for teams from the area and the second for Tang on the weekend.
Duking it out in a round robin format, the group went 2-1 and was the third seed entering the playoff bracket. The bunch took home victories in their first two matches over San Diego and Inland Empire while they dropped their last match to Los Angeles. Kicking off the playoffs, they took on the second seeded team out of Orange County, who was undefeated heading into the semifinal. SGV made quick work of the OC squad, defeating them 3-0 to advance to the championship. At the 4.5 spot, Cameron Coe and Arman Davtyan were victorious, winning 6-3, 6-3. The duo of Shawn Gunadi and Charles Villarino battled hard at the 4.0 spot as their match went to a tiebreaker. After losing the second set, they rallied back, winning by a final of 6-2 3-6 1-0. To cap off the contest, David Lui and Yoshiki Hisamoto won their match in straight sets at the 3.5 spot by a score of 7-6, 6-2.
In the finale, SGV defeated Club Osa’s San Fernando Valley bunch by a score of 2-1. Victories were found at the 4.5 and 3.5 lines as the pairings of Coe and Eugene Shin as well as Aaron Thai and Yoshiki Hisamoto were victorious in straight sets. The 4.5s won by a final score of 6-0, 6-2 while the 3.5s took down the competition by a score of 6-2, 6-1.