The United States Tennis Association’s Southern California Junior Sectional Championships are being held this week in Orange County and although no Palisadians will emerge victorious, several made impressive runs in their respective age divisions.
Jake Sands, seeded No. 7 in the Boys 14 singles draw, won his first three matches without dropping a set before falling in the quarterfinals to No. 2-seeded Brandon Nakashima of San Diego.
In the Boys 12s division, Lincoln Bellamy beat Jared Gura of Santa Barbara in a third-set tiebreaker, but an injury forced him to default his round of 32 match against sixth-seeded Jerry Huang.
Two of Lincoln’s brothers were playing in the Boys 16s main draw. Playing “up” a division, Roscoe Bellamy won his first match against Josh Piatos of Irvine in straight sets before falling to 11th-seeded Arash Hafezi of Irvine in the round of 32. Lucas Bellamy lost to Joseph Rotheram of Manhattan Beach in the round of 64. Roscoe Bellamy is still alive in the consolation bracket.
An intriguing first-round matchup in the Boys 16s division pitted Palisades High‘s Ben Goldberg against fellow Palisadian Derek Vincent of Loyola High. Goldberg prevailed in straight sets and went on to upset 15th-seeded Vatsai Bajpai of Long Beach before falling to fourth-seeded Ivan Thamma of San Diego in the round of 16. RJ Sands lost to Humberto Lopez of National City in the round of 64.
Goldberg also competed in the Boys 18 doubles division and reached the round of 32 with partner Connor Rapp of Rancho Mirage. Jackson Kogan of Windward School and partner Jonathan Star of Calabasas were ousted in two tiebreakers in the same round by the ninth-seeded tandem, Jae Hwan Min and Gui Gomes of Irvine.
Brandon Michaels of Brentwood School, Kogan and Daniel Rozovsky of Pali High all lost in the round of 64 in the Boys 18s, but Michaels reached the quarterfinals of the consolation draw.
In the Girls 14s, Chloe Bendetti won her first match in straight sets, then lost to 11th-seeded Vivian Cheng of Santa Monica in the round of 32. Caroline Vincent, seeded 14th, dropped two games in a victory over San Marino’s Elizabeth Chang, then lost to Rachelle Yang of Arcadia in the round of 32. Caroline Goldberg also lost in the round of 32 to sixth-seeded Mahli Silpachai from Newbury Park.
In the Girls 16s, Pali High’s Morgan Swan had to withdraw from her first qualifying match with an injury.
After losing in the round of 64 in the main draw of the Girls 18s, Ilana Oleynik of Malibu High advanced to the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket. In doubles, she and partner Yuki Asami of Irvine were seeded eighth and made the round of 16. Sophie Bendetti, who recently completed her freshman year at Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, paired with fellow Palisades Tennis Center trainee Sofia Booth and the two won their first-round match in a super tiebreaker in the Girls 18s.
Click here for complete tournament results.
— Steve Galluzzo
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