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December Cleveland Junior Tournament Is A Blast
February 18, 2012
On Dec 3, 2011, the Cleveland Racquet Club hosted its 2nd annual sanctioned Junior paddle tournament. On this ultra sunny but brisk day, 28 hooded players descended on the courts hoping to show how much they had improved.
Early in the day the number one seed team from Pittsburgh of Jacob Puyana and Garrett Powell breezed through their early round matches, all the way to the finals. The second seed team from Chagrin Valley Athletic Club (CVAC) of Gavin Aten and Parker Banning had a slightly harder hurdle to climb, with stiff competition coming from CRC's Drew and Tyler Krantz in the semi finals. The CVAC boys came out on top, setting up the dramatic Boys 18 & Under final. The CVAC boys then dropped the first set, 6-4, to Puyana and Powell, who were in firm control of the match. Just as it looked like Aten and Banning would have to settle for a silver medal, they regrouped, and started blasting ground strokes, along with strong return of serves and pinpoint overheads to the corners. To the delight of the home crowd, the CVAC boys powered through the second set, 6-0, setting up the decisive third set, 10-point tiebreaker. Keeping their composure, Aten and Banning captured the gold in a back and forth tiebreaker, finally winning 11-9. In addition to playing a great final, all four players demonstrated impressive sportsmanship, giving each other a high five and chest bump for a great match.
In another exciting match, CRC's Krantz brothers, Drew and Tyler, captured third place with a return of serve that proved to be the dominant factor. After splitting the first two sets with Ryan Bush and Tanner Banning from CVAC, Drew and Tyler powered their way through the tiebreaker, posting a final score of 6-2, 3-6, 10-6 (tiebreaker).
The Girls 18 and Under division featured CRC's very own Olivia and Izzi Nejedlik. After years of playing the paddle junior circuit with various partners, and with Olivia, who is a senior and heading off to college in 2012, the timing was just right for the two sisters to combine forces. Like the Williams sisters, they also dominated the field by not dropping a set. Though the final match was nervously close, the Nejedlik sisters took home the gold over the second seed of Keirstan Kure and Shea Marks from CVAC.
Adding to the fun of the day, the finals of the consolation featured crowd favorites, Kendall Althans and Kelsie Doran. Laughing and smiling as much as hitting, the Althans/Doran team pounded overheads at the boys’ team of Spencer Byers and Mateo Burrull. Getting a workout on the wires, the boys weathered the storm, edging out the girls with a final score of 7-6, 7-5.
Congratulations to all the teams for a fabulous tournament!
Thank you Viking Athletics for your continuing support of the APTA Junior Tour!