As many of the top collegiate players in Southern California descend on San Diego for the Oracle ITA Masters at Barnes Tennis Center, a host of high level juniors are quietly in the mix of what is one of the deepest and most talented draws in recent tournament history.
These top junior prospects and future recruits are among the most highly touted names in Southern California, and that makes them dangerous draws for seeded players as action kicks off on Friday.
Along with Irvine’s Maxi Duncan (read her feature story here), Tsehay Driscoll and Kyle Kang represent two of these dynamic young players. Driscoll, the nation’s #80 ranked junior from Pacific Palisades, is coming off an 18-match winning streak that encompassed four tournament victories since August. She faces an immediate challenge on Friday when Driscoll meets top seeded Sophie Whittle in the first round in a match that will attract plenty of curiosity.
Fullerton’s Kyle Kang is a five-star blue chip sophomore who competes regularly in Boys 18s division play. Opposite other five-star players, Kang has won nine of ten matches in the past 15 months, and his experience against international competition in Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic has given Kang a well-rounded perspective coming into the ITA Masters. He faces LMU’s Diego Nava on Friday.
Maya Pitts, this summer's SoCal UTR champion and reigning Girls 18s champion at USTA SoCal's Junior Sectionals, has played only two tournaments in 2020 but reached the final of both, winning at the UTR and finishing as runner-up at the ITA Fall Circuit final at Ojai. Pitts draws #3 Jessica Failla (Pepperdine) in the opener.
San Jose’s Vivian Ovrootsky, a semifinalist at Girls’ Nationals last summer and Class of ’22 recruit committed to Texas, will undoubtedly feel comfortable on the Barnes courts after winning the Tennis Center’s September Championships last month. Ovrootsky was exceptional throughout, winning the title in a thrilling tiebreak over USD junior Solymar Colling. She meets UCSB’s Camille Kiss on Friday.
Also on court Friday, Irvine’s Anne Marie Lutkemeyer meets Bonita's Midori Castillo in the opening round. For full draws, visit MyUTR.com.