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GIRLS NATIONALS: Is there a SoCal match-up in the making?

There’s a glimmer of hope that a much anticipated semifinal match-up is on queue at the USTA Billie Jean King Girls Nationals in San Diego this week. With the Round of 16 scheduled for Thursday, both top seed Kayla Day and #4 seed Salma Ewing remain in the hunt for an 18s National title. The Southern California natives have a couple more hurdles to pass before a potential SoCal showdown in Saturday’s semifinals.

That’s not to say the path will be smooth and easy. On Wednesday, Santa Barbara’s Kayla Day struggled to gain momentum in the first set and trailed for most of it before escaping with a 7-5 win, and subsequently a straight set victory over fellow SoCal rep Camille Kiss. Next up for Day, the #11 seed Gabriella Price.

Ewing, on the other hand, cruised in her Round of 16 match with Michelle Sorokko (Eastern), a 6-2, 6-1 victory to set up today’s meeting with #10 Dalayna Hewitt (Midwest). Ewing won last week’s USTA SoCal Open Sectionals and has continued her exceptional play throughout the past two weeks on home turf. She also remains alive and well in 18s doubles action, with a R16 match slated for Thursday afternoon.

The last hope for SoCal in 16s competition fell on Wednesday, as Hina Inoue fought hard to reach a third set but was overcome in the end by Florida’s Elaine Chervisnky. Chervinsky also remains alive in 16s doubles, which resumes today as well.

Casie Wooten and her teammate India Houghton (NorCal) continue to excel in 16s doubles and will play in the quarterfinals late Thursday afternoon.

In 18s doubles, Taylor Johnson remains in the mix with her partner Elysia Bolton (Eastern), as does the tandem of Rena Lin/Julia Deming, who will meet the #3 seed Allen/Corley on Thursday.

Draws and live streaming video are available at the tournament website. Weekend semis and finals will air on the Tennis Channel beginning Saturday.

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