Seven to Compete at Ojai Valley Tournament

Seven to Compete at Ojai Valley Tournament
VENTURA, Calif. (Apr. 25, 2018) – Seven members of the Caltech men's and women's tennis teams, three men and four women, will compete at the 118th Annual Ojai Valley Tournament on Thursday, Apr. 26 through Sunday, Apr. 29 against other individuals in the West region.
 
 
Men
All three freshman make up the trio of men competing in the Division III West singles draw, while two of the three make up Caltech's lone combination in the doubles draw. Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow), the 10th-ranked singles player in the region and a two-time SCIAC Athlete of the Week, has drawn the fifth seed and will face off against Pacific University's Sage Katayama. Shanker and the Beavers shared seven common opponents with the Boxers but on Friday will be tested by Pacific's second singles player. Second singles player James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley), fresh off of breaking the program single-season singles wins record with 16, is also seeded on the other side of the draw in the seventh position. Wei will be taking on Linfield College's Benjamin McNair, who Wei actually faced when the Beavers traveled to the Pacific Northwest in February. Then-positioned at fourth singles, Wei handled McNair, 6-1, 6-0, and will be looking for another quick finish in Ventura. The Beavers' third participant, Kevin Yu (Mason, Ohio / Cincinnati Country Day), has rapidly climbed the team rankings but will face his toughest challenge of the season in UC Santa Cruz' Chad LeDuff, the tournament's third-seeded player and the second-highest ranked player in the region. If Yu can pull off the upset, he is positioned in Wei's half of the bracket and the soonest the two players can meet is in the semifinals. Looking down the draw, Shanker may have the opportunity to avenge a previous defeat. If he can win two matches, he could be looking at a quarterfinal match against Spencer Watanabe of George Fox. Wei, meanwhile could be looking at a future matchup with top-seeded Nikolai Parodi of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
 
Shanker and Wei will represent the Beavers in the 16-team Division III West doubles tournament as well when they meet the Pacific doubles team consisting of Katayama, Shanker's singles opponent, and Jonathan Chung. The Caltech duo is the ninth-ranked doubles team in the west region and will have a good chance to advance against the Boxers' second-strongest doubles combination. A victory will likely square the two off with Ryan Dugan and Chad Stone of UC Santa Cruz, the tournament's second-seeded team and the region's fifth-ranked team in what has the potential to be a barn-burner of a match. If Shanker and Wei can defeat teams from the two non-conference schools, they could have enough momentum to mount a run to the finals but their biggest obstacle would figure to come against Dugan and Stone in the second round. The rookie duo took five games off the tournament's top seed, Julian Gordy and Nikolai Parodi of CMS but would not have to face them unless until the final should a deep run be in store for them.
 
Following the tournament, Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the third-seeded Beavers will travel to second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for the SCIAC semi-finals on Friday, May 4.
 
Friday
 
First Round Singles
(5) Shanker (Caltech) d. Katayama (Pacific), 6-0, 6-2
(7) Wei (Caltech) d. McNair (Linfield), 6-4, 6-1
(3) LeDuff (Santa Cruz) d. Yu (Caltech), 6-1, 6-0
 
Second Round Singles
(5) Shanker (Caltech) d. Rojas (Linfield), 6-2, 6-1
Leach (GFU) d. (7) Wei (Caltech), 6-3, 6-3
 
First Round Doubles
Shanker/Wei (Caltech) d. Katayama/Chung (Pacific), 8-5
 
First Round Consolation Singles
Yu (Caltech) d. Chung (Pacific), 6-2, 6-1
 
Saturday
 
Singles Quarterfinals
(4) Watanabe (GFU) d. (5) Shanker (Caltech), 7-6 (3), 6-3
 
Doubles Quarterfinals
Shanker/Wei (Caltech) d. (2) Dugan/Stone (Santa Cruz), 8-5
 
Doubles Semifinals
Shanker/Wei (Caltech) d. Barrows/Barrows (L&C), 8-3
 
Second Round Consolation Singles
Lombardi (Whittier) d. Yu (Caltech), 7-5, 6-4
 
Sunday
Doubles Championship
(1) Gordy/Parodi (CMS) d. Shanker/Wei (Caltech), 6-4, 6-7, 6-3
 
 
 
Women
Only three of the top four seeds in the singles tournament will be receiving first-round byes which means all four Beavers are penciled in for first-round action on Thursday. Junior Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond), who featured as the Beavers' first singles player this year, is the only seeded Caltech player in this year's field. Moriyama, ranked 21st in the west region, will battle Chapman University's Anna Kaplan. Kaplan played sixth singles against the Beavers in March but moved as high as third singles by season's end, though the seeded Moriyama will still be favored. If Moriyama can win her first two matches, she could be looking at a quarterfinal contest with junior teammate Julia Reisler (Plano, Texas / Greenhill). Reisler is positioned in Moriyama's corner but will face a steeper road to the final eight. She will first be paired against Cal Lutheran's Annette Sousa, who fell, 6-2, 6-2 to Moriyama's senior teammate Erin Wang (Auburn, Calif. / Del Oro) this past Friday, who will also be competing in this year's field. Awaiting the junior in the second round could be second-seeded Samantha Farrell of Occidental College, the region's 12th-ranked player. Moriyama defeated Farrell, 6-4, 6-4, earlier this month, so a potential Reisler-Farrell collision collision could be one of the best matches of the second round.
 
Wang, along with freshman Sarina Liu (Rolling Hills, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) will also be competing in the other half of the draw. The senior will take on eighth-seeded Anna Schneemann from Southwestern University. Though unranked in singles, Schneemann is a ranked doubles player in the region so Wang could have her hands full in a winnable first round matchup. If Wang can maneuver around her seeded opponent, she would not have to face another seeded player until the round of eight where barring an upset she could have to play fourth-seeded Ashley Isaac from Santa Cruz, the lowest-seeded player to receive a first-round bye. Liu will make her debut at Ojai against UC Santa Cruz' Savana McDowell. If Liu can overcome her first round opponent, she could be looking at the tournament's greatest obstacle in top-seeded Mary Cardone from Southwestern, who is currently the ninth-ranked player in the west region.
 
The doubles tournament will feature 13 teams, two of which belong to Caltech including the tournament's second-seeded team in Moryiama and Liu. The junior-freshman combination is currently ranked 14th in the west region and has drawn a first-round bye where they will face the winner of Santa Cruz' Isabelle Brown and Therese Recidoro and Occidental's duo of Samantha Farrell and Jane Wright. Moriyama and Liu took down Farrell and Wright, 8-2, in April and will have a reasonable path to the semifinals where they could face third-seeded Gianna Cupo and Christie Kurdys of Cal Lutheran. The Beavers' top duo also defeated Cupo and Kurdys, 8-2, in their most recent match and will be favored to move to the finals where they could meet Southwestern's top-seeded Cardone and Schneemann, the region's seventh-ranked team. The potential championship showdown would be the first meeting between the two teams, unless Caltech's second team consisting of Reisler and Wang go on a run of their own. The duo could see the top-seeded in the semifinals if they can get by Amanda Rodriguez and Kindall Yeung of Whittier College, the tournament's fourth-seeded team. Moriyama and Liu defeated the Whittier team, 8-3, this season which could result in a winnable draw for the Beavers' second doubles team when they take the court on Thursday.
 
Thursday
 
First Round Singles
(5) Moriyama (Caltech) d. Kaplan (Chapman), 6-1, 6-0
Liu (Caltech) d. McDowell (Santa Cruz), 6-2, 6-0
Reisler (Caltech) d. Sousa (Cal Lutheran), 6-2, 6-4
(8) Schneemann (Southwestern) d. Wang (Caltech), 6-4, 6-1
 
Second Round Singles
(5) Moriyama (Caltech) d. Manz (Santa Cruz), 6-2, 6-3
(1) Cardone (Southwestern) d. Liu (Caltech), 6-2, 6-3
Reisler (Caltech) d. (2) Farrell (Occidental), 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
 
First Round Doubles
(4) Rodriguez/Yeung (Whittier) d. Reisler/Wang (Caltech), 3-6, 6-1, 10-4
 
Friday
 
Quarterfinal Singles
(5) Moriyama (Caltech) d. Reisler (Caltech), 6-2, 6-1
 
First Round Consolation Singles
Wang (Caltech) d. Recidoro (Santa Cruz), 6-4, 6-3
 
Second Round Consolation Singles
Wang (Caltech) d. Wright (Occidental), 6-0, 6-1
 
Quarterfinal Doubles
(2) Moriyama/Liu d. Recidoro/Brown (Santa Cruz), 6-1, 6-1
 
Saturday
 
Semifinal Singles
(3) Ogranovich (Chapman) d. (5) Moriyama (Caltech), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
 
Doubles Semifinals
(2) Moriyama/Liu (Caltech) d. Cupo/Kurdys (Cal Lutheran), 4-6, 7-6 (7), 10-4
 
Singles Consolation Semifinal
Wang (Caltech) d. Trofimova (Chapman), 6-1, 6-3
 
Singles Consolation Final
Wang (Caltech) vs. Sousa (Cal Lutheran), 6-3, 6-1
 
Sunday
 
Doubles Championship
(1) Cardone/Schneemann (Southwestern) d. (2) Moriyama/Liu (Caltech), 6-2, 6-2
 
 
 
 
 
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