Photo by Michael Wong
CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2016) – Sophomore Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) became the first Beaver, male or female, to reach a finals match in tournament competition, finishing as the runner-up in the back draw of the ITA West Regional Championships and leading Caltech women's tennis to a record team performance this past weekend.
Moriyama and classmate Julia Reisler (Plano, Texas / Greenhill) both lasted all three days in the tournament, with Reisler making her second consecutive run to the semifinals, this time in the second consolation bracket after recording a first-round victory on Friday. As a team, the Beavers nearly double their previous record for combined wins at a tournament, recording 11 victories against 10 losses, in addition to a pair of walkovers due to injury. All five Beavers who competed won at least one match, with three of the five succumbing only to seeded opponents throughout the entire competition.
Reisler and freshmen Angelica Zhou (Temple City, Calif. / Arcadia) and Alexandra Bodrova (Russia / Kurchatovskaya School) all won their first match to advance to the second round of the main draw, where all three fell to #9 seeds. Reisler put up the best fight, going down 6-2, 6-3, and then going on to pull out a superbreaker in the first round of the second consolation bracket. She picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win over three-star Pomona-Pitzer Colleges freshman Jay Kim before ultimately falling in a thriller to the Sagehens' Joy Kim, the #3 seed in the field and last year's No. 35-ranked player in the country (6-3, 7-5). Reisler fought back from the first-set defeat to hold three set points, but Kim dug in and went on to win the finals match in a superbreaker an hour later.
Moriyama was just three points from a potential run through the main bracket despite drawing the toughest first-round matchup of any Beaver, squaring off with #9 seed Arianna Chen (P-P). The sophomore dropped the first set but forced a tiebreak in the second before going down, 7-6 (4). She went on to record a 7-5, 7-5 win in the first round of the back draw before steamrolling her next two opponents by identical 6-2, 6-0 scores on Saturday, then began Sunday with a dominant 6-1, 6-0 victory in the semifinals to reach the finals match. Although she would fall in the finale, her six matches played mark the most a Beaver has ever competed in at a tournament, while Reisler's five tied her own record set last year. The pair also notched a victory in doubles, defeating Chapman University duo Nicole Fouts and Raven Hampton, 8-3, before bowing out against the #4 seed CMS team.
Bodrova and Zhou both impressed in their first collegiate competition, with the former claiming a tight 7-6 (2), 7-5 win in the first round, then falling to a #9 seed and withdrawing due to injury in the second consolation bracket. Zhou did not drop a single set in her first collegiate match but ran into a strong #9 seed in CMS's Jessie Cruz in the second round and ended her tournament with a solid 6-2, 6-1 defeat to #3 Kim in the second consolation bracket. Senior Sophia Chen (Newport Beach, Calif. / Corona Del Mar) also competed in the tournament, dropping her first match but recording a 6-3, 6-1 win in the back draw before falling 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers open the 2017 season at Linfield College on Jan. 28.