Pac-10 Tennis Champions Crowned
April 27, 2008
OJAI, Calif. -- USC's Kaes Van't Hof and UCLA's Riza Zalameda both captured their first Pac-10 Individual Titles while in doubles the USC pairs of Van't Hof and Farah as well as Amanda Fink and Gabriela Niculescu took home doubles titles to Los Angeles as the 108th Ojai Tournament came to a close Sunday.
Van't Hof, a senior from nearby Newport Beach, Calif. defeated teammate Robert Farah, a sophomore, 6-3, 7-6(2) to claim the men's singles title on a scorching day which saw temperatures reach the mid-90's.
'This was a big win for me after all of this time playing at Ojai,' Van't Hof said. 'I'm a senior and [Farah] is a sophomore, so this title is mine and he still has a couple of years to get his title and I'm sure he will get at least one if not a couple.'
Van't Hof won his first title at Ojai in four tries throughout his lifetime and with his father, Robert became the only father-son pair to claim collegiate championships in the history of the tournament. The elder Van't Hof won the 1978 and 1980 Collegiate Championship while at USC and also finished runner-up in the 1979 Tournament.
Van't Hof and Farah came together later in the day in doubles to roll past Arizona State's T.J. Bellama and Matt Brooklyn in the best two-of-three sets format, 6-4, 6-4.
On the women's side, Riza Zalameda adds her first Pac-10 Individual Title to her cupboard by defeating rival Amanda Fink of USC, 6-3, 6-4. Fink looked like she would extend the match to a third set as she took an early3-1 lead in the second set but Zalameda would rally to win 5 out of the next six games, including the last four to take the win.
'It was a great match and Amanda played really well,' Zalameda said. 'I was forced to serve and volley a lot more than I am used to but my serve was on fire today and that was the difference.'
In doubles, USC's NO. 2 seeded Fink and Niculescu rallied from a tough first set to defeat California's Marina Cossou and Claire Ilcinkas, 7-5, 6-1.
The field for the 2008 NCAA Team Championships will be announced on April 29, with the individual fields revealed on April 30. NCAA Regional action will take place on campus sites, May 9-10 or 10-11. For just the third time in NCAA history, both the NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships will be held together at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and will be hosted by the University of Tulsa. Georgia played host to both Men's and Women's Championships last year.
Men's Championship Singles -- Finals
(2) Kaes Van't Hof, USC d. (1) Robert Farah, USC 6-3; 7-6(2)
Men's Championship Doubles -- Finals
(1) Farah/Van't Hof, USC d. Bellama/Brooklyn, ASU 6-4; 6-4
Women's Championship Singles -- Finals
(4) Riza Zalameda, UCLA d. (2) Amanda Fink, USC 6-3; 6-4
Women's Championship Doubles -- Finals
(2) Fink/Niculescu, USC d. Cossou/Ilcinkas, CAL 7-5; 6-1
Men's Invitational Singles -- Finals
(2) Bozhidar Katsarov, CAL d. (4) Wes Miller, ASU 7-6(4); 7-6(7)
Men's Invitational Doubles -- Finals
(3) Dahan/Katsarov, CAL d. Levis/McNaughton, USC 8-6
Women's Invitational Singles -- Finals
(4) Alex McGoodwin, UCLA d. Wendy Pilecka, ASU 7-6(7); 6-1
Women's Invitational Doubles -- Finals
(4) McGoodwin/Remynse, UCLA d. Dillon/Moore, CAL 8-1