Pac-10 women highlight day one at Ojai

The first day of the Ojai Tennis Tournament was full of victories for the Santa Barbara juniors.

Tournament play started Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, beginning with the Pac-10 women’s draw.

On center court, Stanford’s Lindsey Burdette faced off against Arizona’s Claire Rietsch. The three set match was a battle from the beginning. With cheering teammates and spectators, Burdette held serve at 5-4, to clinch the first set 6-4, but in the second set, the tables turned and Rietsch took over. Burdette no longer controlled each point with her solid groundstrokes, but instead Rietsch pounded away, hitting winner after winner. In the third set, Burdette got her started hitting her shots again, and Rietsch began to fall apart, allowing Burdette to cruise into the next round, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

The rest of the women’s matches in the morning were laced with upsets.

Washington’s unseeded Elizabeth Foumier ousted No. 5 seed UCLA’s Andrea Remynse, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Arizona State’s, Hannah James cruised through her first two matches, taking out USC’s No. 4 seed, Alison Ramos, 7-6, 6-4

While Fourmier and James had great upsets for the first day of tournament play, it was Arizona State’s, Micaela Hein who shocked the fans with her win over Stanford’s Mallory Burdette. Younger sister to Stanford senior Lindsay Burdette, Mallory went into the match as the No. 7 seed. But today was Hein’s day to win, and she did in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

While the first day of Pac-10 matches contained several upsets, Stanford’s Hilary Barte proved to be the one to beat, winning both of her matches in straight sets and only dropping four games total.

At 11 a.m. the USTA portion of the Ojai began, and Ariel Beckerman of Santa Barbara took the stage in the girls 18’s singles. In her first and only round for the day, Beckerman faced Hope Penner of Placentia. Penner may have had her moments in the match, but it was Beckerman’s aces and flat out winners that secured her a spot against No.1-seed Lynda Xepoleas in the round of 16.

Also in the morning, Ryan Peus of Santa Barbara and Austin Lockre of Carpinteria breezed through both of their matches.

In the girls 14’s, Peus won her first match 6-0, 6-1, in 31 minutes. In her second match, Peus played Diana Aboubakare of Orange County. While Peus became tentative in the first set, she pulled it out 6-2 and won the second set easily, 6-1.

In the boys 16’s, Austin Lockre also won his first match with ease, 6-1, 6-0. But in his second match, Lockre faced Spencer Pekar in a tough three-set match. Lockre won the first 6-2, but Pekar won the second set in a tiebreaker and then took the third set, 6-4.

In the afternoon, Rachel-Decker-Sadowski of Santa Barbara played Samantha Jacobs in the girls 18’s at the Thacher School. Decker-Sadowski won the first set 6-3 with ease, but Jacobs issued a come back, winning the second set 6-4. In the third set, as the temperature decreased and the visibility on the court declined, Decker-Sadowski stepped up to serve at 1-0. Decker-Sadowski went up 40-15 in the game quickly, but  little did anyone know that the game would go to deuce 19 times and last for 25 minutes.

While Decker-Sadowski went on to win that game and eventually the set, she was clearly not pleased with her performance.

“I thought I was playing well the first set, but then I started to get careful in the second set and she started putting balls away and I couldn’t stop making errors,” said Decker-Sadowski. “It’s just extremely frustrating when I work hard in practice and then things don’t go my way in my match. I am not happy about what happened today and hopefully the same thing won’t happen in my match tomorrow morning,”

In addition to the USTA events and the Pac-10 events, the boys high school tournament began on Thursday as well. In the first round, Cam Seo of Cate School faced Matt Ta of Capistrano Valley. While Seo fell to Ta, 6-1, 6-0, Rams head coach Bob Bonning of Cate remains optimistic and happy that his team has the opportunity to compete in the Ojai.

“Our team can produce good results, but Ojai is a tough tournament… today our doubles team won their first round match which is great,” said Bonning.

Cate’s Rohit Goswamy and Blake Mackall teamed up to win 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 over Troy High School. The duo will compete in the round 32 tomorrow at the Thacher School against Rancho Bernadino.

Day two of the Ojai begins Friday at 8 a.m. for junior players at Villanova High School and at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club for collegiate players.