Jan. 5, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Men’s tennis National Letter of Intent signee Billy Pecor (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished second in the Boys’ 18 singles competition and women’s tennis signees Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) teamed up to capture the girls’ 18 doubles title at the USTA Winter National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz.
The six-day USTA Winter National Championships began on Dec. 27 and were contested through Jan. 1 and featured nearly 1,000 junior tennis players from across the country. The prestigious event is considered one of the nation’s four junior Level 1 ‘Grand Slam’ tournaments, along with the Easter Bowl, Clay Courts and the Hard Courts.
Pecor, who is finishing his senior year at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., was seeded 23rd in the Boys’ 18 singles main draw, which featured 128 competitors. He downed Jason Alabaster 6-0; 6-0 and Johnny K. Wang 7-5; 6-4 in the early rounds.
Then Pecor knocked-off seventh-seeded Ben Guthrie 6-3; 3-6; 6-2 and Gregory R. Scott 6-1; 6-1 for a place in the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Pecor took down third-seeded Blake A. Bazarnik in straight sets 7-5; 6-3. In the semifinals, Pecor outlasted 29th-seeded Robert K. Verzaal 6-2; 1-6; 6-4 to book his place in the championship match. In the finals, second-seeded Daniel Kosakowksi outlasted Pecor 6-2; 7-6 (4).
Sanders and Sabacinski were the eighth seed in the 61-team girls’ 18 doubles field. In the first round, they downed Miriam R. Lane and Lizzie Oosterbaan 6-1; 6-0 and then cruised past Alyssa Caffey and Janie L. Nowland 6-0; 6-0.
In the quarterfinals, the future Irish teammates knocked off the top-seeded team of Whitney P. Kay and Ellen Tsay 6-3; 7-6 (6). In the semifinals, Sanders and Sabacinski downed Gabrielle C. Devlin and Julie Vrabel 6-3; 6-0 to book a place in the championship match. They defeated Katie Le and Jamie N. Pawid in three sets, 6-4; 4-6; 6-4, to claim the championship.
The Notre Dame men’s tennis team opens the 2010 dual season on Jan. 22 when they play host to William & Mary at 5:00 p.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish women’s team opens the 2010 dual season in Iowa City, Iowa with a noon showdown versus the Hawkeyes.
— ND —