Friendswood’s Erica Jessel won the girls 14-and-under singles title at the Bay Area Racquet Club Summer Junior Open tennis tournament in Clear Lake City.
Jessel racked up five wins along the way, including a 6-0, 6-3 upset of Houston’s No. 1-seeded Monica Guarin in the semifinals.
Jessel then defeated Houston’s Elena Mireles in the final.
Earlier, Jessel followed a first-round bye with a 6-1, 6-1 romp past Abigail Shuvalov in the second round and a resounding 4-1, 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals against Katy’s Ally Lin.
Meanwhile, locals placing second overall in their respective singles events were League City’s Katiana Gonzalez and Friendswood’s Rohan Sunkureddi.
Gonzalez was runner-up in the girls 10s orange-ball round-robin division, winning twice in three tries.
Gonzalez first lost to Houston’s Aadya Sachdeva, the eventual winner, 4-0, 4-0, but rebounded with hard-fought wins over Galveston’s Cadee Salyer in round two, 4-2, 4-2, and Friendswood’s Maadhvi Bhojani in round three, 4-2, 0-4, 7-5.
Bhojani had beaten Salyer in round one, 4-3, 4-1.
As for Sunkureddi, he won four times in the boys 16s event before losing to Kingwood’s No. 1-seeded Dalton Locke in the championship match, 6-0, 6-0.
Sunkureddi debuted with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Houston’s William Lono in the first round, then received a bye before defeating Sugar Land’s Brian Vu in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 2-1 retired.
Later, in the semifinals, Sunkureddi outlasted Houston’s Jacob Straube 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 10-2.
Three League City players walked away with silver medals at the Racquet Pro Deer Park August Challenger 1-Day tennis tournament.
Grayson Van Pelt was second in the boys 16s singles “red” division, eventually dropping a 4-2, 4-2 decision to Sugar Land’s No. 2-seeded Justin Lim in the final.
Van Pelt, seeded No. 1, first received a bye, then beat Galveston’s Storm Simonin in the quarterfinals, 4-1, 4-2, and Baytown’s Dawson Gonzalez in the semifinals, 4-3, 4-1.
Also shining in the boys 16s age category was white-division singles runner-up Kevin Larios.
Larios, seeded No. 1, won three times before losing a 4-1, 3-4, 10-6 heartbreaker to Sugar Land’s No. 2-seeded Timothy Law in the championship match.
After drawing a bye, Larios defeated Houston’s Christopher Hickey in the quarterfinals, 4-0, 4-2, and Houston’s Druva Kora in the semifinals, 4-2, 4-3.
Meanwhile, in the girls 18s singles final, Stephanie Bautista lost to Richmond’s Sydni Rowland 4-1, 4-0, but not before first upsetting Houston’s No. 1-seeded Alexa Diego in her tournament opener, 4-3, 4-2.
Later, in the semifinals, Bautista eased past Houston’s Camilla Gavinia 4-2, 4-0.
Ooh, that ’Stangs!
Friendswood High School’s tennis team opened its team tennis season with a 17-2 road win at Pasadena Dobie.
The Mustangs then played host to Pearland Dawson and lost 12-7, finishing its first week at 1-1.
Against Dobie, Friendswood owned a 6-1 lead after the doubles play, then swept all six boys singles and took five on the girls’ side to claim the win.
“We love opening our season with Dobie each year,” Mustangs head coach David Cook said. “Their kids are always a treat to be around, and it’s fun to play against a coach I have the highest possible amount of respect for.
“I feel like our singles was quite good, and I expected our kids would do well since most of our players are comfortable in singles and probably play more singles in the summer.”
Singles winners for the Mustang boys were Ethan Bui, Natan Bondin, Noah Smistad, Alex Wachowicz, Kiertan Patel and Matthew Fuhr.
Maura Mitchell led the girls’ charge, winning a three-set marathon at No. 1 against Leilani Vargas 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.
Adding to the Lady Mustangs’ win total in singles were Nina Gonzalez, Mia Gonzalez, Faith Bias and Emily King.
In doubles, “I liked the way our kids did well with our I formation varieties,” Cook said. “We need to serve more accurately to get the full effect, but it was a promising start of the season for us.”
Quinn Radtke, a move-in from Baton Rouge, La., teamed up with Mitchell to win the No. 1 girls doubles against Tina Ha and Ann Truong 8-2.
Later, against Dawson, Friendswood grabbed a 4-3 lead after the doubles, but “things got away from us in the singles,” Cook said.
Next up for the Mustangs will be a visit to Deer Park for a match 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Tip of the day
Short-hit service returns will get you in trouble every time. So hit deep.