PacWest tennis championships a success at Dominican

Dominican University of California was the host team for seven other teams, including perennial powerhouse BYU-Hawaii, the No. 1 ranked team in NCAA Division II, at the Pacific West Conference Women’s Tennis Championships April 19-21.

PacWestThe event, the first NCAA Division II tournament of its kind staged in the San Francisco Bay Area, was contested at Marin Tennis Club, 925 Belle Avenue in San Rafael next to the Dominican campus. It featured players from eight states and 21 foreign countries plus nine-time national champion BYU-Hawaii, which won the tournament. Dominican finished seventh and served as a worthy host.

"Dominican raised the bar for future PacWest tennis tournaments," said Dixie State coach Eric Pelton.

Joining Dominican and the undefeated Seasiders in the eight-team tournament are fifth-ranked Hawai’i-Pacific University, University of Hawai’i-Hilo, Chaminade University, Grand Canyon University, Dixie State College and Academy of Art University of San Francisco.

Singles and doubles competition began on April 19 with quarterfinal matches on the 12-court complex at Marin Tennis Club. Host Dominican, seeded eighth, faced top-seeded BYU-Hawaii on Courts 2-7.

Other quarterfinal match-ups were No. 2 seed Hawai'i Pacific vs. No. 7 seed Dixie State, No. 3 seed Grand Canyon vs. No. 6 seed Hawai'i Hilo and No. 4 seed Academy of Art vs. No. 5 seed Chaminade.

Semifinal matches were on April 20 and team championship finals matches were played on April 21 at Marin Tennis Club.

Consolation finals matches on April 21 were played at the Terra Linda High School courts.

The host Penguins were led by sophomore Irina Morozova, a native of Ukraine who is Dominican’s top player out of West Bay High School in San Carlos. She and her doubles partner – Fair Oaks’ Gaby Verspieren, a transfer from NCAA Div. I  Gonzaga – had a winning record as the Penguins’ No. 1 team.

The No. 1 player at the PacWest Women’s Tennis Championships was BYU-Hawaii junior I-Hsuan (Annie) Hwang from Tainan City, Taiwan. She is undefeated  in her two-year career with the Seasiders. Teammate Shoaozhuo (Sherry) Li, a freshman, is undefeated as BYU-Hawaii’s No. 2 singles player this year.

Other No. 1 players in the three-day tournament at Dominican were Grand Canyon’s Katharina Mittag from Germany, Hawai’i-Pacific’s Zora Vlckova from the Czech Republic, Chaminade’s Yanita Arnaudova from Bulgaria, Academy of Art’s Kunkanda “Cartoon” Phukchampa from Thailand, Hawai’i-Hilo’s Melanie Viriyapunt from Santa Ana and Dixie State’s Krista Anderson from St. George, Utah.

The tournament was sponsored by, State Farm Insurance, Brad Gilbert’s Tennis Nation in San Rafael, Post Street Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Corte Madera and Private Wealth Partners of Larkspur.