Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bay Area's Volynets, Greenwald win big titles

Katie Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31,
won the girls 16 title in the Eddie Herr Inter-
national Championships. 2015 photo by
Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area added another big singles title to her resume today.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, outclassed fourth-seeded Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., 6-3, 6-2 on clay in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, ranked No. 2 nationally in the 16s behind Nicole Mossmer of San Diego and No. 1 in the 14s, lost only one set in the tournament. She beat 11th-seeded Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   The Eddie Herr is one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world. Past competitors include Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.
   Herr, the father of international junior tennis, died in 2000 at 93.
   Volynets also won the USTA National Championships last year in the 14s, saving five match points in the semifinals, and two years ago in the 12s. She reached the semifinals this year in the 16s in San Diego.
   Volynets' parents, Andrey and Anna, emigrated from Ukraine 20 years ago. Anna was a top swimmer there.
   In next week's prestigious Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla., the unseeded Volynets is scheduled to play qualifier Makayla Mills of Wilmington, N.C., in the first round.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- In an all-Bay Area matchup, sixth-seeded Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo won the title over fourth-seeded Oren Motevassel of San Jose by walkover.
   Motevassel, 49, pulled out with a right knee injury.
   Greenwald, 50, equaled Motevassel with two singles titles in the tournament. He also won in 2009. Motevassel triumphed in 2011 and 2012.
   Since winning the title in 2009, Greenwald had met Motevaseel in the tournament on four occasions, including three times in the semifinals, and lost each encounter.
   Chase Helpingstine of San Francisco teamed with Ronald Keiger to capture the grandfather-grandson title. Seeded third, they demolished unseeded Bob Hoffman of West Hempstead, N.Y., and Christopher Schwab of Massapequa, N.Y. (Jerry Seinfield's hometown) 6-0, 6-0.

NorCal's Volynets coasts into Eddie Herr final

No. 7 seed Katie Volynets will play No. 4
Victoria Hu for the girls 16 title in the
Eddie Herr International Championships.
2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 7 seed Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area thrashed No. 3 Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2 on Saturday in the girls 16  semifinals of the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, will play No. 4 Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., today for the title. Hu dominated No. 9 Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., 6-1, 6-2.
   Volynets reached the semifinals of the 16s in the USTA National Championships at San Diego in August.
   In the girls 16 doubles semifinals, No. 3 seeds Volynets and Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., lost to No. 7 Saara Orav of Estonia and Sarka Richterova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-3.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two former champions from the Bay Area will meet today for the men's title.
   No. 6 seed Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo surprised No. 1 Stuart Duncan of Long Beach 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in three hours. And No. 4 Oren Motevassel of San Jose subdued No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
   Greenwald, 50, won the title in 2009. Motevassel, 49, triumphed in 2011 and 2012.
   In the women's final, No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego beat No. 1 Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch 6-1, 5-5, retired (leg).
   No. 7 Patrick Crow of Lake Forest and Jeff Tarango, a former Stanford star living in Manhattan Beach, fell to No. 1 Michael Noel of Bakersfield and Peter Smith of Long Beach 6-1 in the third set in the men's doubles final.
   No. 6 seeds Brad Gilbert and Zach Gilbert of San Rafael lost in the father-son quarterfinals to No. 2 Bruce Man Son Hing and Bruce A. Man Son Hing of Calabasas 6-4, 6-2.
   No. 3 Chase Helpingstine of San Francisco and Ronald Keiger of Wilmington, N.C., reached the grandfather-grandson final.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

NorCal's Volynets pulls off big comeback in Eddie Herr

Katie Volynets, shown last year, beat Angelica
Blake 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the girls 16 quarterfinals
in the Eddie Herr International Championships
in Bradenton, Fla. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area staged a remarkable comeback on Friday to reach the girls 16 semifinals in the Eddie Herr International Championships.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, beat 11th-seeded Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 on clay in Bradenton, Fla.
   Volynets, a 16s semifinalist in the USTA National Championships in San Diego in August, next will face third-seeded Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine. Bilokin clobbered Volynets' doubles partner, 10th-seeded Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., 6-0, 6-2.
   In the other semifinal, fourth-seeded Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass., will meet ninth-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C.
   Volynets also advanced to the doubles semifinals. Stein and Volynets, seeded third, topped fifth-seeded Willa Breunich of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., and Renata Lombera of Mexico 7-5, 7-5.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two Bay Area men will play in today's semifinals, though not against each other.
   No. 4 seed Oren Motevassel of San Jose will meet No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., and No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo will take on No. 1 Stuart Duncan of Laguna Beach.
   Greenwald won the title in 2009, Motevassel took the crown in 2011 and 2012.
   In today's women's final, No. 1 seed Dina McBride of Stevenson Ranch will face No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Volynets becomes lone NorCal survivor in Eddie Herr

Katie Volynets, shown last year, reached today's girls 16
quarterfinals in the Eddie Herr International Champion-
ships in Bradenton, Fla. Photo by Paul Bauman
   It's down to the aptly named Katie Volynets.
   Volynets, from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the only remaining Northern Californian in the prestigious Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   The seventh-seeded Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, on Thursday advanced to the girls 16 quarterfinals in singles and doubles.
   Volynets, a girls 16 semifinalist in the USTA National Championships in San Diego in August, overwhelmed unseeded Alexandra Mikhailuk of Canada 6-3, 6-0.
   Volynets will play 11th-seeded Angelica Blake, a resident of Boca Raton, Fla., who ousted second-seeded Alexandra Vagramov of Canada 6-3, 7-5.
   In doubles, third-seeded Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Volynets crushed Narela Burigotto of Argentina and Nada Ostojic of Serbia 6-1, 6-0.
   Wild cards Anna Campana of Hillsborough in the Bay Area and Petra Miszczak of Blaine, Wash., lost to fifth-seeded Willa Breunich of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Renata Lombera of Mexico, 6-3, 4-6 [10-6].
   In boys 18 singles, seventh-seeded Sam Riffice, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, fell to 12th-seeded Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-4, 6-1 in the round of 16. Riffice won the boys 16s two years ago and repeated in the Orange Bowl the following week.
   Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area bowed out to top-seeded Bu Yunchaokete of China 6-1, 6-2 in the boys 14 quarterfinals.
   Also, fourth-seeded Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y., and Aidan Mayo, a former neighbor of Riffice's in Roseville, succumbed to sixth-seeded Juan Torres and Santiago De La Fuente of Argentina 6-4, 6-1 in the boys 14 quarters.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Two former tournament men's champions from NorCal reached Saturday's semifinals.
   No. 4 seed Oren Motevassel of San Jose whipped No. 13 Joshua Prager of Yuba City 6-0, 6-0. Also, No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo beat No. 3 Marcio Carlsson of Newport Beach 3-2, retired.
   Motevassel, who won the title in 2011 and 2012, will face No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash. Walter outlasted No. 2 Tony Bujan, the three-time defending champion from Tustin, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3.
   Greenwald, the 2009 champion, will take on top-seeded Stuart Duncan of Laguna Beach. Duncan held off No. 8 Leon Bax of Mountain View 6-4, 7-5.
   In today's women's final, No. 1 seed Dina McBride, a two-time tournament champion from Stevenson Ranch, will face No. 4 Hiromi Sasano of San Diego.
   McBride demolished No. 3 Fanny Gamble of San Rafael 6-0, 6-0. Sasano, a 41-year-old Japan native, topped No. 2 Ros (Fairbank) Nideffer of San Diego 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 in 3 hours, 25 minutes.
   Nideffer, a 56-year-old South Africa native, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1988 and 1989 and peaked at No. 15 in the world rankings in 1990.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ex-champ Riffice reaches round of 16 in Eddie Herr

   No. 7 seed Sam Riffice, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, dominated Jack Lin of Canada 6-2, 6-1 in the boys 18s today to reach the round of 16 in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Riffice, the boys 16 champion two years ago, trains at the USTA center in Boca Raton, Fla. He will face 12th-seeded Ergi Kirkin, a Turk who beat Stanford-bound Timothy Sah of San Diego 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Kirkin defeated Riffice 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the first round of the Eddie Herr 18s last year.
   Meanwhile, Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area reached the boys 14 quarterfinals with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Saud Alhogbani of Alexandria, Va. Leustian will meet top-seeded Bu Yunchaokete of China.
   Fourth-seeded Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y., and Aidan Mayo, a former neighbor of Riffice's in Roseville, advanced to the boys 14 doubles quarterfinals.
   In an all-San Francisco Bay Area girls 16 match, No. 7 seed Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek outplayed wild card Anna Campana of Hillsborough 6-4, 6-1 to reach the round of 16. Volynets will face unseeded Alexandra Mikhailuk of Canada.
   Wild cards Campana and Petra Miszczak of Blaine, Wash., won in the first round of doubles. Third-seeded Volynets and Lauren Stein of Paradise Valley, Ariz., received a first-round bye.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- No. 3 seed Fanny Gamble of San Rafael routed Cindi Juncal of San Clemente 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   Gamble will play No. 1 seed Dina McBride, a two-time former tournament champion from Stevenson Ranch.
   Four of the men's quarterfinalists are from Northern California: No. 4 seed and two-time former champion Oren Motevassel of San Jose, No. 6 and ex-champion Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, No. 8 Leon Bax of Mountain View and No. 13 Joshua Prager of Yuba City.
   Bax topped No. 10 Daniel Hiddleson of Kentfield 0-6, 6-3, 6-1. Nicolas Chasseray of San Francisco lost to No. 5 Jesse Walter of Mercer Island, Wash., 6-2, 6-1.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sah, headed to Stanford, advances in Eddie Herr

   Stanford-bound Timothy Sah of San Diego defeated Maxense Broville of France 6-3, 6-4 today in the first round of the boys 18s in the prestigious Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   Sah, a quarterfinalist in the USTA Boys 18 Nationals in Kalamazoo, Mich., in August, will face 12th-seeded Ergi Kirkin of Turkey. Kirkin beat wild card Drew Baird of Holly Springs, N.C., 7-5, 6-2 on Monday.
   Meanwhile, one Sacramento-area product won in the second round of the boys 14s, but another was upset. Stefan Leustian of Mather reached the round of 16 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Niroop Vallabhaneni of Paradise Valley, Ariz. No. 15 seed Aidan Mayo, 13, from Roseville lost to wild card Toby Kodat of Bradenton 7-5, 6-2.
   Mayo and Spencer Brachman of Commack, N.Y., seeded fourth in doubles, dispatched Gabrielius Guzauskas of Downers Grove, Ill., and Nikolas Tvedt of Norway 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.
   In the first round of girls 16 singles, No. 7 seed Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area crushed lucky loser Raphaelle Leblanc of Canada 6-1, 6-0 to set up an all-Bay Area match.
   Volynets, who will turn 15 on Dec. 31, will play wild card Anna Campana of Hillsborough. Campana topped lucky loser Isabella Montana of Miami 6-1, 7-6 (2).
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Six Northern California men advanced to fourth round: No. 4 seed Oren Motevassel of San Jose, No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, No. 8 Leon Bax of Mountain View, No. 10 Daniel Hiddleson of Kentfield, No. 13 Joshua Prager of Yuba City and Nicolas Chasseray of San Francisco.
   Greenwald (2009) and Motevassel (2011 and 2012) are former champions.
   On the women's side, Vanessa Bogenholm of Los Gatos lost to Cindi Juncal of San Clemente 6-4, 6-0 in the second round.

NorCal product Riffice survives test in Eddie Herr

   Sam Riffice survived in the first round of the boys 18s in the Eddie Herr International Championships on Monday.
   But his friend and former neighbor in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, Keenan Mayo, lost in three sets in the clay-court tournament in Bradenton, Fla.
   Riffice, seeded seventh, eked out a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4 victory over Kristjan Tamm of Estonia. Mayo fell to U.S. wild card Filip Jianu 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2.
   Riffice, who won the boys 16 title two years ago, and Mayo train at the USTA centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Carson, Calif., respectively.
   Mayo's brother, Aidan, and Stefan Leustian of Mather in the Sacramento area advanced in the 14s. Mayo, seeded 15th, beat Dmitry Bezborodov of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-0. Leustian thrashed Anton Semenov of Russia 6-0, 6-0.
   In the girls 18s, wild card Carolyn Campana of Hillsborough in the San Francisco Bay Area lost to sixth-seeded Varvara Gracheva of Russia 6-2, 7-5.
   Campana and Abigail Forbes of Raleigh, N.C., reached the girls 16 doubles final last year.
   In girls 16 singles this week, seventh-seeded Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area and wild card Anna Campana, Carolyn's sister, are scheduled to play their first-round matches today.
   The Eddie Herr is one of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world. Past competitors include Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.
   Herr, the father of international junior tennis, died in 2000 at 93.
   USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La Jolla, Calif. -- Nicolas Chasseray of San Francisco surprised No. 16 seed Franklin Da Silva of Newport Beach 6-0, 6-4 in the second round.
   No. 4 Oren Motevassel of San Jose, No. 6 Jeff Greenwald of San Anselmo, No. 8 Leon Bax of Mountain View, No. 10 Daniel Hiddleson of Kentfield and No. 13 Joshua Prager of Yuba City coasted into the third round after receiving first-round byes.
   Greenwald won the title in 2009, and Motevassel took the crown in 2011 and 2012.