VENTURA, Calif. (Apr. 29, 2017) – Senior Ruthwick Pathireddy (Cerritos, Calif. / Whitney) scored an upset over the #3 seed and seventh-ranked player in the West Region while sophomore Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) and rookie Angelica Zhou (Temple City, Calif. / Arcadia) picked up wins for Caltech tennis at the 117th Ojai Valley Tournament.
Moriyama and Zhou opened the three-day tournament with decisive first-round wins on Thursday. Each had tough draws against seeded opponents in the next round, but showed well as Zhou took four games against her Division I foe and Moriyama stole a set from the #7 seed and usual #4 singles player for No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges before falling in three, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Pathireddy, meanwhile, opened the men's tournament on Friday with another close loss to the 15th-ranked player in the West region, 6-2, 7-6 (3) before making a run to the semifinals of the consolation bracket. After defeating his opening-round opponent, 6-2, 7-6 (5), he edged the #3 seed in a superbreaker, 7-5, 3-6, 10-8, the next day at the Ojai Athletic Club before finally bowing out, 6-3, 7-5.
Senior Sophia Chen (Newport Beach, Calif. / Corona Del Mar) also experienced some success, pairing with Zhou to win a thrilling superbreaker (4-6, 6-3, 11-9) in doubles. The duo then gave their Division I opponents and #2 seed all they could handle the following day in a narrow 7-5, 6-4 defeat, while Chen barely missed reaching the second round of singles in a 6-2, 7-6 (5) loss the first day. Junior Erin Wang (Auburn, Calif. / Del Oro) turned in yet another pair of solid showings that came up just short, going down in three sets in singles (0-6, 6-2, 6-3) and doubles alongside Moriyama (6-4, 6-4). Sophomore Zixiao Li (Coppell, Texas / Coppell) and senior Morgan Lebby (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Laguna Beach) played particularly competitive matches as well, with the former dropping his consolation bout, 1-6, 7-6 (6), 10-7. Lebby narrowly missed chances to advance in both singles (7-5, 6-4) and doubles (6-1, 7-6 ) with sophomore Praful Vasireddy (Tulsa, Okla. / OSSM).
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers are set to begin the SCIAC Championships at #2 seed and national No. 10 University of Redlands on Friday, May 5.