The nation’s strongest young female tennis players faced off though this weekend in Ocean Beach for the Billie Jean King Girls 16s and 18s Nationals.
The winners at the U.S. Tennis Association championships were crowned Saturday and Sunday. Katie Volynets, of Walnut Creek, prevailed in the 18s category, while Reese Brantmeier, of Whitewater, Wis., won the 16s.
The second-seeded Volynets, 17, used an aggressive baseline game to post a 6-2, 6-4 victory over third-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C. Sunday at the Barnes Tennis Center.
With her win, Volynets earned a wild-card spot in the U.S. Open.
“It means so much to me and I’m excited to go play it (the U.S. Open). I’ve been working on this for a long time,” she said.
Following the match, Volynets paid tribute to tennis legend King, who attended and was on court for the trophy presentation.
In doubles action, Abigail Forbes of Raleigh, N.C., and Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J. won the girls’ 18s title. Elise Wagle of Niskayuna, NY and Katja Wiersholm of Kirkland, Wash. took the 16s doubles crown.
On Saturday, Brantmeier, 14, shocked Valencia Xu of Livingston, N.J., 6-2, 6-0 in the girls 16s final.
The 14th seeded Brantmeier sailed past Xu, though the top seed had made it through her first six tournament matches without dropping a set.
“It’s definitely given me a new look on how to handle pressure,” said Brantmeier, who had lost to Xu in their three matches in junior competition.
More than 400 of the top junior girls tennis players in the country, aged 16 and 18 and under, participated in the tournament.
Local players also made a strong showing. San Diegans Haley Giavara and Amy Huang, along with Elizabeth Goldsmith of Chula Vista, won early matches in the girls’ 18s singles.
Midori Castillo of Bonita, and San Diego’s Katherine Hui also advanced in the girls’ 16s singles.
– Staff reports
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