It seems as though the fourth time is really the charm, at least for the California Coast Crushers.
After finishing as the runner-up for the past three years, the California Coast Crushers finally captured their first WTT Junior Nationals championship by overpowering Team Texas 48-11 to win the 2018 WTT Junior Nationals at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.
The WTT Junior Nationals, which is hosted by WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and is now in its 23rd year, is a national junior invitational event featuring 16 coed teams with players from 20 states. The teams, representing juniors ages 14-18, play the World TeamTennis format during their three days of non-elimination draw competition culminating with the Finals on the last day of the event.
The Crushers were undefeated in round robin action, taking all three of their matches with an astounding 144-19 game differential over opponents. The Crushers advanced through the semifinal playoff round with a 48-17 victory over Youth Tennis San Diego Aviators to advance to the championship match. This was the first WTT Junior Nationals title for the Crushers, who finished as runner-ups in
Texas took a similar path to the Finals, with a perfect 3-0 mark in round robin play and then a 46-32 win over Southwest in the playoff round. However the Crushers were too much in the championship match, giving up only 11 games in eight sets.
The California Coast Crushers were coached by Bill Dunkle. Team members include Delanie Dunkle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Peyton Dunkle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Maia Sung, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Dustin Kua, Valencia, Calif.; Kai Brady, Redondo Beach, Calif., and Karapet Vardanyan, Granada Hills, Calif.
Team Texas was led by coach Victor Haltmhoff. Team members include Adil Kahn, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Nabeel Kahn, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Sage Min, Albuquerque, N.M.; Ashley Penshorn, Montgomery, Texas; and Bella Nguyen, College Station, Texas.
The New England Yellow Jackets won the Maureen Connolly Brinker Team Spirit Award which is voted on by coaches, players and tournament officials for a team’s outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie.
The Yellow Jackets received a $1,000 check along with the award. Team members of New England Yellow Jackets are Claire Reynolds, Nashua, N.H.; Emily Hill, Wilmington, Mass.; Linda Kong, Lexington, Mass.; Jason Boucher, Bedford, N.H.; Jens Georgs, Groton, Mass. Kai Georgs, Groton, Mass.; and coach Jurgen Georgs.
Tournament participants also attended a San Diego Aviators World TeamTennis match where they met WTA Tour star CoCo Vandeweghe and her Aviators teammates.
WTT Junior Nationals’ Final Playoff Round
Championship: California Coast Crushers def. Texas 48-11
3rd place: Barnes Ballers def. Southwest 44-29
5th place: Midwest/Racquet Club of Columbus def. Claim Jumpers 44-31
7th place: Eastern def. Pacific Wave 38-30
9th place: Middle States Superstars def. Nor Cal/ Laguna Creek Breakers 39-30
11th place: Northern Lights def. Orange County Breakers 38-29
13th place: New England Yellow Jackets def. Hawaii 40-38
15th place: Intermountain def. Tennessee 43-17
2018 WTT Junior Nationals participants
July 23-26 – Barnes Tennis Center – San Diego, Calif.
1) California Coast Crushers
Delanie Dunkle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Peyton Dunkle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Maia Sung, Rolling Hills, Calif.
Dustin Kua, Valencia, Calif.
Kai Brady, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Karapet Vardanyan, Granada Hills, Calif.
COACH: Bill Dunkle
2) Team Texas
Adil Kahn, Rolling Hills, Calif.
Nabeel Kahn, Rolling Hills, Calif.
Sage Min, Albuquerque, N.M.
Ashley Penshorn, Montgomery, Texas
Bella Nguyen, College Station, Texas
COACH: Victor Haltmhoff
3) Youth Tennis San Diego Aviators
Carly Schwartzberg, San Diego, Calif.
Kathy Wang, Carlsbad, Calif.
Zlata Bobyr, San Diego, Calif.
Carlos Robles, Chula Vista, Calif.
Eric Kats, Chula Vista, Calif.
Marco Alvarez, Chula Vista, Calif.
COACH: Niko Kamopp
Hailey Feuer, Phoenix, Ariz.
Karolina Moss, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Brendan Perry, Tucson, Ariz.
George Jiang, Tucson, Ariz.
Chloe Gavino, Tucson, Ariz.
Ntal Richards, Scottsdale, Ariz.
COACH: Emily Wang
5) Midwest/Racquet Club of Columbus
Kathleen Jones, Lewis Center, Ohio
Paige Kompa, Columbus, Ohio
Sai Dhanvi Lalasa Nagireddy, Dublin, Ohio
Connor Biernat, Columbus, Ohio
Jordan Phelps, Lewis Center, Ohio
Josh Cole, Upper Arlington, Ohio
COACH: Gabe Higgs
6) The Claim Jumpers
Grace Dodd, Farmers Branch, Texas
Zoe Bennett, Los Angeles, Calif.
Drake Duchement, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Julian Lee, Albuquerque, N.M.
Roshan Morey, Laguna Hills, Calif.
COACH: Zoran Korac
7) Team Eastern
Alyssa An, New York, N.Y.
Kiera Agic, Miller Place, N.Y.
Joseph Monticciolo, South Setauket, N.Y.
Paul Elghouayel, New York, N.Y.
Khyanna Singh, Queens Village, N.Y.
Noah Monsanto, Woodbridge, N.J.
COACH: Robert Barr
8) Pacific Wave
Ashley Thorshov, San Luis Obisbo, Calif.
Cydney Yamamoto, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.
Allen Song, Portland, Ore.
James Bertheau, Vancouver, Wash.
Vincent Hsu, Portland, Ore.
Jodi Chang, Torrance, Calif.
COACH: Nancy Ansboury
9) Middle States Superstars
Connie Richards, Villanova, Pa.
Emily Gotkiewicz, Canonsburg, Pa.
Sydney Lund, Doylestown, Pa.
Frank Yanni, Lansdale, Pa.
Holden Smith, Spring City, Pa.
Jonah Rebert, Millersville, Pa.
COACH: Ann Koger
10) Nor Cal / Laguna Creek Breakers
Danielle Zamora, Modesto, Calif.
Kiya Jackson, Elk Grove, Calif.
Kyla Jackson, Elk Grove, Calif.
Henry Huang, Elk Grove, Calif.
Patrick Wall, Elk Grove, Calif.
Stephen Guenard, Elk Grove, Calif.
COACH: Jesse Pangilinan
11) Northern Lights
Cora Andersen, Lakeville, Minn.
Rachel Kelly, Minnetonka, Minn.
Samantha Van Ert, Hopkins, Minn.
Joseph Punnoose, Bloomington, Minn.
Peter Morris, Mahtomedi, Minn.
Tristan Fjelstad, Eden Prairie, Minn.
COACH: Gordon Reid
12) Orange County Breakers
Morgan Mann, Newport Coast, Calif.
Nicole Condas, Irvine, Calif.
Nathan Butterfield, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Sam Ashbrook, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Spencer Cinco, Ladera Ranch, Calif.
Brooke Tutor, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
COACH: A. G. Longoria
13) New England Yellow Jackets
Claire Reynolds, Nashua, N.H.
Emily Hill, Wilmington, Mass.
Linda Kong, Lexington, Mass.
Jason Boucher, Bedford, N.H.
Jens Georgs, Groton, Mass.
Kai Georgs, Groton, Mass.
COACH: Jurgen Georgs
Isabella Rooney, Mililani, Hawaii
Nikki Fernando, Kihei, Hawaii
Aidan Rooney, Mililani, Hawaii
Chaz Nagasawa, Honolulu, Hawaii
Zack Fernando, Kihei, Hawaii
Lauren Ikeda, Honolulu, Hawaii
COACH: Mimi Kennell
Isabella Brilliant, Meridian, Idaho
Maria Frampton, Whitefish, Mont.
Andre Brilliant, Meridian, Idaho
Jack Hambrook, Henderson, Nev.
Tyler Landen, Centennial, Colo.
Kelsey Hardsocg, Cheyenne, Wyo.
COACH: Josh Cossitt
16) Team Tennessee
Cate Kroeger, Springfield, Tenn.
Ella Swan, Nashville, Tenn.
Ellison Reynoldson, Camden, Tenn.
Jaren Stauder, Madison, Tenn.
Luke Kroeger, Springfield, Tenn.
Will Riddle, Nolensville, Tenn.
COACH: Bill Riddle