New England Juniors Win Gold
At Indoor Nationals
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | November 28, 2018
WESTBOROUGH, MA- The nation’s top players spent their Thanksgiving breaks competing at USTA’s most coveted junior tournament of the fall, the L1 Indoor National Championships. New Englanders earned three Gold, one Silver and four Bronze Balls throughout the eight tournament sites around the nation from November 23-26.
Singles action featured 64-player draws, while 32 of the country’s best duos made up each doubles draw. The top 33 ranked players from the USTA National Standing List in each age division earned automatic entries, while every USTA Section had an allotted number of automatic bids. New England was given one bid per age division and gender and selected the No. 1 ranked player unless he/she was unavailable.
Massachusetts hosted two of the eight tournaments, as the Girls’ 12s were played at the Manchester Athletic Club (MAC) in Manchester, and the Boys’ 16s competed at the Longfellow Club in Wayland.ADVERTISEMENT
Mariana Shulman (Newton, MA), who trains full-time at the MAC, took home two top finishes on her home court. She, along with partner, Patricia Grigoras, of USTA Eastern, earned the Gold Ball in doubles. The duo defeated New Englanders Anna Nguyen and Isabella Camacho in the quarterfinals before knocking out the No. 2 and No. 5 seeds in the semifinals and finals respectively.
In singles, Shulman upset top-seeded Amber Yen (Missouri Valley) in the quarterfinals, but fell to Nguyen, 0-6, 1-6. Nguyen (Reading, MA), the No. 9 seed, then took down Thea Latak (Midwest) in the finals, 6-4, 6-4 to capture the Gold. Shulman went on to win her third-place match, 3-6, 6-2, 1-0(8), to earn Bronze.
In Boys’ 16s, New Englanders represented in Wayland, as longtime partners Alex Finkelstein, of Raynham, MA, and Nathan Mao, of Topsham, ME, earned a Bronze Ball. The No. 1 seeds won each of their first three rounds by an identical 6-3 mark, but were tripped up in the semifinals by eventual champs, Kieran Foster and Maxwell Kachkarov, both of New York. Finkelstein and Mao bounced back to win the third-place match, 6-0.
In Girls’ 16s in Minneapolis, MN, Brookline, MA’s Nastasya Semenovski could not be stopped. She and partner, Nadejda Maslova, of Eastern, took home the Gold Ball in doubles. The duo faced their toughest competition in the opening round, winning 7-5. From there, Semenovski and Maslova won by scores of, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, and 6-0 in the finals, against New England foe, Jennifer Riester.
Riester, of Lynnfield, MA, earned Silver with partner Lindsey Hofflander, of Intermountain. The pair won matches, 6-2, 7-5, 7-6(7) and 7-5 before dropping the finals match. In singles, Riester, the No. 9 seed, won four matches, including an upset of the No. 3 seed, to reach the semifinals. In the semis, Riester came up just short, losing to No. 2 seed and eventual champion, Rachel Arbitman (Eastern), 1-6, 6-7(4).
Lana Mavor, of Yarmouth, ME, earned New England’s only ball in the 18s division. She, along with partner Christina Hand (Morrestown, NJ), took home the Bronze Ball in Girls’ doubles in Memphis, TN. The No. 8 seeds Mavor and Hand picked up convincing 6-3, 6-2 and 6-3 wins to earn a spot in the semifinals. There, they matched up against No. 2 seeds, Reilly Tran (Dunn Loring, VA) and Zoe Howard (Chevy Chase, MD). Tran and Howard won the match, 6-2, and carried the momentum into the finals, winning there as well, 6-1. Mavor and Hand got right back on track following the loss, winning 6-1 in the third-place match.
In addition, New England sent competitors to Overland Park, KS for Boys’ 18s, Chicago, IL for Boys’ 14s, Toledo, OH for Girls’ 14s and Flushing, NY for Boys’ 12s.
Click here for full Indoor Nationals results.