By Jordana Klein
HERO Sports & Tennis Itinerary Freelance Writer
MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine University and Malibu Racquet Club hosted day two of The 2016 Oracle ITA Masters on Friday, with upsets and triumphs among the mix through the latter part of the evening. Mixed doubles started off the day with some lively performances, leading into two rounds of singles for both the men and the women and finishing off with the semifinals of mixed doubles.
The top seeded mixed teams of No. 1 Jasmine Lee of Mississippi State and Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M and No. 2 Meible Chi of Duke and Ryotaro Matsumura of Kentucky endured steady wins in Friday’s quarterfinal round of mixed doubles. The No. 5 team of UNC’s Hayley Carter and Chris Eubanks from Georgia Tech and the No. 10 pair of Blair Shankle and Max Tchoutakian made their way into the final four teams as well. The Baylor duo took out UCLA’s No. 2 Martin Redlicki and Ena Shibahara for Friday’s first upset.
In singles’ showdowns, the women took the courts immediately following mixed doubles, and six of the top eight seeds came out victorious in the Round of 16.
Notable wins came from Baylor’s Shankle taking out No. 8 Viktoriya Lushkova of Oklahoma State by a score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Shankle sliced her way to a first set win but quickly faced service breaks that lead to a deciding third set. In the final set, Lushkova held the momentum the majority of the way through until Shankle broke to tie the set up 3-3 and then forced another break to take the match.
Another remarkable win came from Katarina Adamovic of Oklahoma State when she ended No. 6 Jasmine Lee’s run in Malibu. Adamovic handedly powered through the Round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Six of the top eight men’s seeds ultimately fell in their Round of 16 singles matches on Friday, leaving only the No. 2 Kentucky’s Matsumura and No. 7 Gage Brymer of Columbia.
Top-seeded Yuyo Ito of Texas encountered difficulty when he faced Jack Findel-Hawkins of North Florida. Ito broke to take the first set 7-5, but a momentum shift was quickly underway on court two as the Osprey defended his ground and served his way to a third set victory with incredible grit and desire. Findel- Hawkins decided the match 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
In a breakthrough battle, East Tennessee’s David Biosca upset No. 8 Redlicki in a quality match, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6). Coming down to the wire, Biosca came away with the second set and never let up, as he took an easy 4-1 lead. Redlicki could not so easily be ousted, however, as he came back to force a third set breaker that ended on a clean backhand winner down the line en route to Biosca’s quarterfinal match. The Buccaneer saved six match points before seeing one of his own.
As the sun set, the women’s quarterfinal rounds of singles were underway. Friday night lights illuminated the courts to showcase the endurance of No. 1 Luisa Stefani of Pepperdine as she came back from a set down against Baylor’s Shankle to find her way in Saturday’s semifinals on her home courts. She came back to win the match 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1.
Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey’s home court advantage ultimately dwindled on court three Friday evening when No. 5 Carter’s impeccable defense propelled her into the next round with a 6-4, 7-5 victory. Lahey came from 2-5 down to save four match points en route to a tied second set at 5-5. UNC’s Carter’s momentous break allowed her to serve for the match. She faces No. 1 Stefani on Saturday.
Following the morning madness, the two standing men’s seeds of No. 7 UCLA’s Brymer and Kentucky’s No. 2 Matsumura faced off in the men’s quarterfinals, and the Wildcat came out victorious by a score of 6-1, 6-1. The lone seed in the draw faces Old Dominion’s Adam Moundir tomorrow in the Semifinals. Moundir eliminated Kentucky’s William Bushamuka in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-4.
To round out day two’s tremendous efforts, the ACC pair of Carter and Eubanks enter the mixed doubles final after handling the No. 1 pair Lee and Rinderknech from the SEC. The duo takes on Shankle and Tchoutakian, who took out Chi and Matsumura 6-4 for the final match of day two in Malibu.
-Kentucky’s Bushamuka saw his run continue after beating Georgia Tech’s Eubanks 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Bushamuka then fell to Moundir of Old Dominion.
-Shawn Hadavi of Columbia ended No. 4 Ryan Peniston’s run in the Round of 16 with a score of 6-2, 7-5.
-No. 2 Ena Shibahara of UCLA is through to Saturday’s semifinals after a Round of 16 victory over Wichita State’s Gabriela Porubin and then overcoming a fierce three set battle against Duke’s Chi 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
You can view the complete draws, schedule of events, daily recaps, photo gallery link and other information on the Oracle ITA Masters event page. Live scoring is available for all Junior Masters and Masters matches, while FloTennis is providing live streaming coverage from both Pepperdine University and Malibu Racquet Club, showcasing up to four courts at Pepperdine and two at Malibu Racquet Club. Click here to sign up for the subscription-based service and view the matches.
The Oracle ITA Junior Masters – Powered by UTR, features 16 boys and 16 girls from across the country. Players earned their trips to Malibu, California, by competing in Oracle ITA Junior Masters regional events, or were offered a wildcard invitation. Oracle ITA Junior Masters matches get underway on Friday and conclude on Sunday morning at Malibu Racquet Club with the boys and girls final. No-ad scoring will be utilized during the tournament. You can view the list of competitors on the Oracle ITA Masters event page.