OJAI, Calif. – After failing to win a match in the main draw singles and doubles bracket, the University of Colorado women’s tennis team continued consolation play on Friday with singles play as junior Julyette Steur won her match in straight sets.
The Pac-12 Conference Tennis Championships competition was held in conjunction with the 114th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament.
The women’s competition was a 32-player singles draw consisting of three players from each of the top ten schools that sponsor women’s tennis and two players from the 11th-place team, based on the regular season standings. The 16-team women’s doubles draw will have one doubles team from each of the 11 schools and five additional teams selected by the Draw Committee.
The Buffaloes failed to win a singles (0-4) and doubles (0-2) match in their respective main draw on Thursday and Friday, however reached the winners circle Friday evening on the singles court.
Steur notched her 18th win of the year (12th of the spring) with a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Cal senior and the No. 8 seed Alice Duranteau. Duranteau, who has won almost 70 career singles matches at Cal, defeated CU’s Vitaliya Alkhovik, 6-0, 6-2 in the main draw. Steur's opening main draw loss came against top seed and eventual conference champion, Jennifer Brady (UCLA), 6-1, 6-4.
CU junior Ashley Tiefel almost pulled off a pair of wins in her respective singles matches falling in three sets in both in her main draw and consolation match. On day one, Tiefel took the first set against Arizona State’s Joanna Smith, 7-6(3), however dropped the next two sets by 6-3, 6-4 margins.
On Friday, Tiefel, once again played tough in the consolation round, falling in the opening set 6-1, won the second set over Oregon’s Maja Salibasic, 6-2, then lost a marathon pro set by an 11-9 margin.
The conference championships saw the last collegiate matches of senior Carla Manzi Tenorio. Despite falling in her pair of singles matches, Manzi Tenorio ends her four-year career No. 20 all-time in combined singles/doubles wins (110). Her 60 career doubles wins ranks No. 9 all-time, and her 50 career singles victories ranks No. 31 in school history.
“In singles, all three girls competed well and worked hard, and definitely had their opportunities. We just need keep working and converting those matches when we get our opportunities,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said. “Carla played her last match as a buffalo; she competed hard and that’s what she’s done her whole career from the first point to the last point. She did herself proud, as well as, CU proud.”
The Pac-12 Championships keep with tradition as the featured event at this year’s 112th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1,600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site and interrupted only five times.
If this tournament, put on entirely by volunteer efforts on public and privately owned courts, seems an unlikely place to see championship quality players, consider who has appeared here: Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and the Bryan twins. These tennis greats are among more than 85 former players at The Ojai who have gone on to win one or more Grand Slam events as professional tennis players, all of whom are listed on Libbey Park’s “Wall of Fame.”
Pac-12 Tennis Championships
Ojai Valley Tennis Club, Ojai, Calif.
Thursday, April 24
(1) Jennifer Brady (UCLA) def. Julyette Steur (CU) 6-1, 6-4
Tereza Bekerova (Utah) def. Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) 6-0, 6-3
(8) Alice Duranteau (Cal) def. Vitaliya Alkhovik (CU) 6-0, 6-2
Joanna Smith (ASU) def. Ashley Tiefel (CU) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4
Friday, April 25
Doubles Championships Round of 16
Maria Biryukova/Olga Musilovich (WSU) def. Steur/Tiefel (CU) 8-7(3)
Women’s Doubles Invitational Round of 16
(4) Caroline Doyle/Amelia Herring (Stanford) def. Alkhovik/Manzi Tenorio (CU) 8-0
Julyette Steur (CU) def. (8) Alice Duranteau (Cal) 6-2, 6-1
Maja Salibasic (Oregon) def. Ashley Tiefel (CU) 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9)
Lize Leenknecht (Washington State) def. Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) 7-5, 6-0