TENNIS: Fink back in familiar location at Libbey Park
OJAI, Apr 29, 2012 (Menafn - Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Amanda Fink has made a habit out of spending the last Sunday of the Ojai Valley tennis tournament at Libbey Park.
This year, she'll be sharing that experience with Giuliana Olmos.
Fink, who captured Pac-10 singles and doubles titles for USC in 2009 at Libbey Park in addition to winning a women's open doubles title in 2010, will compete today for open singles and doubles championships at the tournament's 112th edition.
Fink, a Calabasas and USC graduate who is ranked No. 275 in the world, knocked off North Carolina signee Ashley Dai 6-3, 6-0 in the singles semifinals Saturday at Ojai Valley Inn, then teamed with Olmos for the first time to produce a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Weil Academy standouts Sachia Vickery and Milica Zivanovic to reach the doubles final.
"When you play on tour, you get paired with different players all the time, so you just have to be over-peppy and find that energy together," Fink said. "For the first time, I thought it went really well. There were a lot of things we learned that can help us (today). Those were two good players, so facing that competition was important."
Fink and Olmos, a 19-year-old freshman who is sitting out this season at USC, will face former Cal standout and 2006 Pac-10 singles champion Zsuzsanna Fodor and Rio Kitagawa -- who trains at Weil Academy -- in the doubles final.
Fink, who has won doubles titles with Gabriela Niculescu twice at USC and the open championship
with former UCLA star Elizabeth Lumpkin, will take on Vickery, 16, who is ranked No. 403, in search of her first Ojai open singles title.
"This is like home for me, so I'm always really happy any time I get a chance to play here," Fink said. "I'm super excited to get to spend an entire day at Libbey."
Aside from Olmos, Fink will have plenty of USC support with Campbell Hall graduate Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian competing in the Pac-12 doubles final.
Christian and Santamaria cruised to an 8-1 semifinal victory over Cal's Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting and will face Stanford's Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs for the title. Gibbs also advanced to the singles final and will take on Schutting.
USC's Gabi DeSimone and Valeria Pulido will square off for the Pac-12 invitational singles title.
Santamaria will be joined at Libbey Park by former Campbell Hall teammate Alexis Pereira, who beat Claremont's Drew Spinosa 6-4, 6-4 to reach the girls' 16-under final.
Pereira had fought off a match point to outlast Sydney Van Alphen 4-6, 6-3, 12-10 in the third round, then held off Minami Lam to prevail 6-1, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals.
Despite battling illness and fatigue, Pereira rallied with six of the final eight games against Spinosa to reach the title match in her first Ojai appearance.
"I couldn't really breathe, so I was just doing whatever I could to get through the match," Pereira said. "I had another tough match (Saturday) morning, so I was just trying my best to grind it out and leave it all on the court and see what happens because I knew I had nothing to lose."
Pereira will face Jacqueline Pelletier, who outlasted Jessica Falla -- a 6-3, 6-3 quarterfinal winner over Golden Valley's Rebecca Ho -- in the semifinals 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Former Westlake standout Sivan Krems, a 14- and 16-under Ojai champion, suffered a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 quarterfinal loss in the 18-under draw to Mayci Jones.
Thousand Oaks' Alison Ho, a 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-2 winner over Sophia Bott, will play Meredith Xepoleas in today's 18-under final.
Harvard-Westlake's Harrison Kalt and Jeffrey Bu lost 6-0, 6-1 to champions Drew Dawson and Stefan Menichella from University High of Irvine in the CIF doubles semifinals. Burroughs' Garrett Auproux suffered a 6-4, 6-3 setback to Brentwood's T.J. Pura in the CIF singles quarterfinals.
Harvard-Westlake's Michael Genender lost 7-6 (4), 6-3 to Eli Whittle in the boys' 16-under semifinals.
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