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Juniors Heat up USTA Southwest Closed in Tucson

June 19, 2008 06:33 PM

  USTA Southwest Junior Closed
presented by Head/Penn Racquet Sports

Tucson, Ariz. - June 14-17, 2008

Hilton El Conquistador Resort and Country Club (Boys/Girls 16s & 18s)
Randolph Tennis Center (Girls 10s, 12s, 14s)
Tucson Racquet Club (Boys 10s, 12s and 14s)


Andy Nguyen (Phoenix) - won the singles and doubles crowns in Boys' 18.
The Southwest Section’s top junior tennis talent was on display in mid-June as 350 boys and girls rolled into Tucson, Ariz. for the USTA Southwest Junior Closed Championships presented by Head/Penn Racquet Sports.

With temperatures in the 110’s – blazing for even the early summer desert climes of Arizona – keeping cool was the main order of the days.

More than 765 total matches were played over the course of four days at the three host sites – Hilton El Conquistador Resort and Country Club, Tucson Racquet Club and Randolph Tennis Center.

In Boys’ 18’s, second-seeded Andy Nguyen (Phoenix) bested fifth-seeded Dominic Bermudez (Tucson) to wrap up the Gold division. Nguyen was dominant in his five-match run to the title, dropping just one set along the way. Nguyen also hauled in the doubles title, pairing with Drake Kakar (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) to down Josh Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) and Erick De La Fuente (El Paso, Texas).

In Girls’ 18’s, Scottsdale’s Stephanie Vlad outlasted Paola Cos (El Paso) in a four-hour final, coming from a break down and match points down in the third to win 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (5). Mele Iongi (Mesa) and Kelsey Lawson (Tempe, Ariz.) picked up the doubles title with a victory over Ashlee Wingersky (Phoenix) and Michaela Oldani (Scottsdale).

Mariely Hassey (Surprise, Ariz.) - Girls 16

In the 16’s division, top-seeded Emily Harris (Scottsdale) dropped just one set en route to the girls singles title, upending unseeded Mariely Hassey (Surprise, Ariz.) 7-6 (3), 6-1. Harris teamed with Erica Medlin (Mesa) for the doubles title, defeating Hassey and Hailey Rochin (Tucson) in the final.

On the boys’ side, fifth-seeded Carlos Bermudez took out the No.'s 2, 3 and 4 seeds in his final three matches to claim the 16’s title. Bermudez’s 6-1, 6-4 victory over El Paso’s Mario Urquidi in the final was his most impressive match of the tournament. In doubles, Alexander Lineberry (Sedona, Ariz.) and Jay Rogers (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) prevailed, taking out the Albuquerque pair of Lorenzo Baca and Thomas Cooper in the final.

Nolan Bauer (Phoenix) pumps his fist in relief after winning a marathon three-set final in Boys' 14 singles.
In Boys’ 14, Phoenix’s Nolan Bauer endured an upset stomach and a tough challenge from Jacob Hedderig (Cave Creek, Ariz.) winning a three-hour finals battle 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3).. Brotherly familiarity ruled in the doubles final, as Yates and Hunter Johnson of Taos, N.M. toppled Hayden Brockhuis (Tucson) and Augustus Ge (Phoenix).

In Girls 14, Courtney Amos (Tucson) ran roughshod over her competitors, dropping just eight total games in eight sets in singles, including a 6-4, 6-0 victory in the finals over Zaina Sufi (Tucson). Amos snagged the doubles title as well, pairing with Sufi to defeat Rachana Bhat (Tucson) and Allysa Singh (Phoenix) in the final.

In Boys’ 12, top-seeded Robert Seby (Oro Valley, Ariz.) cruised to the title without dropping a set, including a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jared Aldor (Vail, Ariz.) in the final.. Seby also combined with Gregory Anderson (Tucson, Ariz.) to reach the doubles final, before falling to Aldor and Joshua Hedderig (Cave Creek).

In Girls’ 12, top-seeded Alexandra Letzt (Scottsdale) breezed to the title, losing just six total games in eight sets of singles, which included a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Scarlet Rush (Phoenix) in the final. Letzt also reached the doubles final with Savannah Slaysman (Phoenix), but fell to Katrina Domingo (Oro Valley) and Noelle Karp (Tucson).

Michaela Oldani (Scottsdale, Ariz.), shown here, reached the Girls' 18 doubles final with Ashlee Wingersky (Phoenix).

Singles victors in the 12’s and 14’s Gold divisions also qualified for the Nike Junior Tour USA National Masters at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., in September.

In Boys’ 10, Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale) swept both the singles and doubles titles. Ponwith took out unseeded Derrick Cunningham (Anthony, N.M.) 7-5, 6-1 for the singles crown, then paired with Warren Fulgenzi (Las Vegas, N.M.) to claim the doubles title in a round robin competition.

In Girls’ 10, Chloe Weihs (Peoria, Ariz.) edged past Brandelyn Fulgenzi (Las Vegas, N.M. ) 6-1, 7-6 for the singles title. Fulgenzi did pick up some hardware in the doubles final, pairing with Julia Ortiz (Chandler, Ariz.) to beat Maddie Pothoff (Tucson, Ariz.) and Delaney Nothaft (Tempe, Ariz.) in the finals.

Three other divisions were also held at the USTA Southwest Junior Closed in the silver, or second-level brackets. In Boys’ 18 silver, fifth-seeded Zac Markowski (El Paso) beat Jacob Spizman (Chandler, Ariz.) 6-3, 6-3, while brother Ben Markowski (El Paso) claimed victory in the Boys 16 division with a win over top-seeded Ranjit Kapoor (Glendale, Ariz.). In Girls 14 silver Haily Morgan (Anthem, Ariz.) squeaked past Samantha Lund (Tucson) 6-4, 7-5.

The event was a great success, and a special thanks to the volunteers, officials, and USTA staff who helped out with the event as well as to the host sites for the use of their facilities.

2008 USTA Southwest Junior Closed - RESULTS

Boys' 18

Final:(2) Andy Nguyen d. (5) Dominic Bermudez 6-2, 6-2
Third place: (4) Robert Lambeth d. (1) Andrew Reiff 7-5, 2-6, 6-2

Final: Drake Kakar/Nguyen d. Josh Brown/Erick De La Fuente 8-3

Girls' 18

Final: (5) Stephanie Vlad d. (3) Paola Cos 7-5; 5-7; 7-6(5)
Third place: (1) Mele Iongi d. (5) Shawni Porter 6-4, 3-6, 6-1

Final: Mele Iongi/Kelsey Lawson d. Michaela Oldani/Ashlee Wingersky 8-2

Boys' 16
Final: (5) Carlos Bermudez d. (4) Mario Urquidi 6-1, 6-4
Third place: (1) Jay Rogers d. (2) Ahmad Saleem 6-1, 6-1


Final: Alexander Lineberry/Rogers d. Lorenzo Baca/Andy Cooper 8-5

Girls' 16
Final: (1) Emily Harris d. Mariely Hassey 7-6(3); 6-1
Third place: (3) Cassie Hochwalt d. Carrie Shuler, Def (ns)

Final: Harris/Erica Medlin d. Hassey/Hailey Rochin 8-5

Boys' 14
Final: (1) Nolan Bauer d. Jacob Hedderig 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3)
Third place: (3) Thomas Cooper d. (5) Hayden Brockhuis 6-3; 6-1

Final: (2) Yates Johnson/Hunter Johnson d. (3) Brockhuis/Augustus Ge 8-1

Girls’ 14

Final: (1) Courtney Amos d. (2) Zaina Sufi 6-4; 6-0
Third place: (4) Lauren Amos d. (5) Rita Bermudez 4-6, 6-2, 6-1

Final: Amos/Zaina Sufi d. Rachana Bhat/Allysa Singh 8-2

Boys' 12

Final: (1) Robert Seby d. (2) Jared Aldor 6-3, 6-2
Third place: (5) Cole Horton d. (5) John Azar 4-6, 6-0, 10-6

Final: Jared Aldor/Joshua Hedderig d. Gregory Anderson/Seby 8-5

Girls' 12

Final: (1) Alexandra Letzt d. (5) Scarlet Rush 6-2, 6-1
Third place: (3) Sara Parker d. (5) Caroline Amos 5-7; 6-4, 10-6

DoublesFinal: Katrina Domingo/Noelle Karp d. Letzt/Savannah Slaysman 8-5

Boys' 10
Final: (1) Nathan Ponwith d. Derrick Cunningham 7-5, 6-1
Third place: (4) Warren Fulgenzi d. Brendan Rumel 6-3, 6-0

Doubles Round robin winners: Warren Fulgenzi and Nathan Ponwith

Girls' 10

Final: (2) Chloe Weihs d. (4) Brandelyn Fulgenzi 6-1, 7-6
Third place: Brooke Goett d. Maddie Pothoff 6-3, 6-0

Final:(1) Fulgenzi/Julia Ortiz d. (2) Delaney Nothaft/Pothoff 8-2 

Boys' 18 Singles Silver
Final: (5) Zac Markowski d. Jacob Spizman 6-3; 6-3

Boys' 16 Singles Silver
Final: (2) Ben Markowski d. (1) Ranjit Kapoor 2-6, 6-2, 6-2

Girls' 14 Singles Silver
Final: Haily Morgan d. (3) Samantha Lund  6-4, 7-5