Youthful talent highlights 2013 Rockdale Open
A talented pool of players emerged on Rockdale last week for the 34th annual Rockdale Open held at Veterans Memorial Park. The adult division saw some heated competition, but the youth tourney was highlighted by a couple of players who were under the age of 10 but clearly have bright futures in the world of tennis.
John Swords of Temple is the men’s singles champion for the second consecutive year. He defeated David Cuebas of Taylor in the finals, 6-0, 6-1. These two also faced off in the same final during the 2012 Open.
Swords current ly holds the No. 1 UTSA ranking in Texas for both the 45 and under singles and 30 and under singles. Cuebas is a four-time Rockdale Open champion.
Cuebas defeated Yusef Barnes of Charlotte, North Carolina in the semifinals. Barnes played his high school tennis at Leander Rouse and now plays at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. He has earned All Conference honors as a freshman where he plays in the No. 2 singles slot.
“We had more wind this year than 10 years past combined,” adult division director Lee Thomason said. “ We had a slightly smaller turnout (from last year’s adult division), but the quality of tennis was just as good.”
Stephen Cortez of Bartlett and Matt Malish of Thrall teamed up to take the men’s doubles title, taking down Barnes and teammate Brandon Briner of Georgetown in the finals.
Anna Maldonado of Rockdale and Niki Morgan of Academy won the women’s doubles title, defeating Theresa Randig of Taylor and McKenna Kramer of Robinson.
Maldonado won last year’s women’s doubles title as well, but with a different partner. Morgan is the tennis coach at Academy High School.
The duo of Cori Mullins and John Swords, won the mixed doubles championship, defeating Rockdale’s husband and wife team of Tom and Anna Maldonado in the finals.
Mullins is the tennis coach at Cedar Creek High School in Round Rock and played college tennis at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio.
There were no Open women singles participants this year.
YOUTH TOURNEY— Seventy-three participants played in the
Open’s youth tournament, an increase of almost
20 from the previous year.
This was the second year the youth portion has been played at night on Wednesday and Thursday on city and school courts. Winners were decided in 15 divisions.
“Because we’re scheduled at the end of the summer, we’re really not up against any other tournaments. We had more girl’s entries than in at least 10 years,” Thomason said. “We had a lot more Rockdale players, particularly in the youth tournament, and they we’re able to play against some really good competition.”
Eight-year-old Brayden Michna of Taylor wowed the crowd, winning the 16 boys singles. He defeated Vance Kasner of Lexington in the final.
Michna then went to San Antonio over the weekend and won the Roddick Series Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club Junior Open 12 boy’s singles. He is currently ranked in the USTA state 10 and under division.
Barron Hunt of Taylor defeated Jacob Boles of Taylor in the 18 boy’s singles. Ecaroh Jackson of Caldwell beat Michaela Ratcliff of Round Rock to win the 18 girl’s singles title.
The Rockdale team of Jacob Crump and Kacey Crump took the 18 mixed doubles title.
Rockdale’s Blake King was a part of two winning duo’s. He and Ben Blanchard teamed up to win the 14 boy’s doubles title. King then paired with Lily Schweitzer in the 14 mixed doubles division.
The two faced Ben and Erin Blanchard in the final that ended at 1:38 a.m. Thursday.
King played 10 matches in two days.
Other event winners were Devon Whitsel of Rockdale, 12 boy’s singles; Landry Laywell of Thorndale, 12 girl’s singles; Laywell and Logan Woelfel of Thrall, 12 mixed doubles; Tanner Towery of Lexington, 14 boy’s singles; Amanda Maloy of Georgetown, 14 girl’s singles; Maloy and Abby Boles, both of Georgetown, 14 girl’s doubles.
Also, Christian Grimes and Travis Gage, both of Milano, 16 boy’s doubles; Cody Randig and Lance Morales, both of Taylor, 18 boy’s doubles; Ashley Gilbert and Courtney Gilbert, both of Caldwell, 18 girl’s doubles.
The Rockdale Open was sponsored by the Rockdale Tennis Association, Gatti’s Pizza, Citizens National Bank, Lee’s Landing and The Rockdale Reporter.
Shelly Sanders and Thomason served as directors for the youth tournament, with Thomason director for the adult division.
1st round— Dillon Bankston ( Thorndale) d. Christian Mora (Rockdale) 6-0,
6-3; Matthew Hanel (Cameron) d. Robert
Rodriguez ( Temple) 3- 6, 6- 0 (10-7);
Robert Lopez (Killeen) d. Brandon Briner
(Georgetown) 6-1, 6-1; Joaquin Garcia
(Cameron) d. Fidel Vasquez (Brenham)
7-5, 2-6 (11-9); Luis Perez (Pleasanton)
d. Koy Quinney (Rockdale) 6-4, 6-1; Yusef
Barnes (Charlotte, N.C.) d. Jacob Cmerek
(Taylor) 7-5, 6-1.
Second round—John Swords (Temple)
d. Bankston 6-0, 6-0; Lopez d. Hanel 6-2,
6-3; David Cuebas (Taylor) d. Garcia 6-3,
6-1; Barnes d. Perez 6-0, 6-2.
Semifinals—Swords d. Lopez 6-0, 6-0;
Cuebas d. Barnes 3-6, 6-3 (12-10).
Finals—Swords d. Cuebas 6-0, 6-0.
1st round—Yusef Barnes- Brandon
Briner (Charlotte, N.C.- Georgetown) d.
Dillon Bankston-Bradley Betak (Thorndale)
6-0, 6-1; Blake Cuba-Ricky Heine (Round
Rock-Hutto) d. Clayton Bland-Koy Quinney
(Rockdale) 6-2, 6-4; Joaquin Garcia-Luis
Perez (Cameron-Pleasanton) d. Christian
Mora- Marco Sanchez (Rockdale) 6- 0,
6-2; Stephen Cortez-Matt Malish (Bartlett Thrall) d. Jacob Cmerek-Cody Randig
(Taylor) 6-4, 6-2.
Semifinals— Barnes Briner d. Cuba-
Heine 6-3, 6-4; Cortez-Malish d. Garcia Perez, 6-2, 6-0.
Finals— Cortez-Malish d. Barnes-Briner
Finals—Anna Maldonado-Niki Morgan
(Rockdale- Academy) d. Theresa Randig McKenna Kramer ( Taylor-Robinson)
1st round—John Swords (Temple)-Cori
Mullins (Round Rock) d. McKenna Kramer
Eric Bortz (Robinson) 6-0, 6-2; Anna
Maldonado-Tom Maldonado (Rockdale)
d. Stephen Cortez- Kaci Malish (Bartlett Thrall) 7-6, 6-7 (10-7).
Kramer-Bortz 6-1, 6-2; Swords-Mullins d.
Cortez-Malish 6-1, 6-1.
Finals— Swords-Mullins d. Maldonado Maldonado 6-0, 6-1.
12 and under
1st round— Matthew Radcliff (Round
Rock) d. Stephen Graham ( Thrall) 8-0;
Radcliff d. Zachary Bohac ( Taylor) 9-7;
Devon Whitsel (Rockdale) d. Ryan Hall
Consolation—Bohac d. Hall 9-7.
Finals—Whitsel d. Radcliff 8-4.
Round robin— Casey Weison (Taylor) d.
Sophie Thomason (Rockdale) 8-5; Landry
Laywell (Thorndale) d. Thomason 8-0.
Finals—Laywell d. Weison 8-0.
Finals—Landry Laywell-Logan Woelfel
( Thorndale-Thrall) d. Sophie Thomason Stephen Graham (Rockdale-Thrall)
14 and under
1st round— Chase Cuba ( Thrall) d.
Brian Woods (Taylor) 8-2; Ben Blanchard
(Rockdale) d. Cuba 8-1; Tanner Towery
( Lexington) d. Alan Mar tinez ( Taylor)
8-1; Colby Bexley (Lexington) d. Bradley
Graham ( Thrall) 8-1; Coby Robertson
(Lexington) d. Andrew Stolte (Thrall) 8-1.
2nd round— Martinez d. Cuba 8- 0;
Graham d. Stolte 9-7; Towery d. Blanchard
9-7; Bexley d. Robertson 8-1.
Consolation—Martinez d. Graham 8-0.
Finals—Towery d. Bexley 9-8.
1st round— Colby Bexley-Ryan Garrison (Lexington) d. Devon Whitsel- Gunnar Miller (Rockdale) 8-5; Tanner Towery Michael Weber (Lexington) d. Brian
Blanchard-Adrian Saucedo (Rockdale) 8-3;
Ben Blanchard-Blake King (Rockdale) d.
Andrew Stolte-Chase Cuba ( Thrall) 8-1;
Coby Robertson-Braden Michna (Lexington Taylor) d. Bradley Graham-Kyle Poling
2nd round— Whi t sel - Mi l ler d.
Blanchard- Saucedo 8- 4; Stolte- Cuba
d. Graham-Poling 9-8; Towery-Weber d.
Bexley-Garrison 9-7; Blanchard-King d.
Robertson Michna 8-5.
Consolation— Whi tsel - Mi l ler d.
Finals—Blanchard-King d. Towery-Weber 6-3, 6-2.
1st round—Amanda Randig (Taylor) d.
Macilynn Boatwright (Thrall) 8-5; Jabreon
Jackson (Caldwell) d. Victoria Perez (Taylor) 9-7; Amanda Maloy (Georgetown) d.
Randig 8-1; Boatwright d. Randig 8-6;
Jackson d. Abby Boles (Georgetown) 9-7.
Consolation—Perez d. Boatwright, def.
Finals—Maloy d. Jackson 6-2, 6-1.
Round robin— Amanda Maloy- Abby
Boles (Georgetown) d. Carly Morgan-Tara
Arledge (Rockdale) 8-1; Macilynn Boatwright Lindsey Woelfel (Thrall) d. Morgan
Finals— Maloy- Boles d. Boat-
Round robin— Blake King- Lily Schweit zer ( Rockdale) d. Lindsey Woelfel Bradley Graham ( Thrall) 8- 0; Ben
Blanchard-Erin Blanchard d. Woelfel-Graham 8-0.
Finals—King-Schweitzer d. Blanchard-
Blanchard 9-7 .16 and under
1st round—Marco Sanchez (Rockdale)
d. Rhett Guthrie (Hutto) 6-4, 6-2; Brayden
Michna (Taylor) d. Caleb Gardner (Taylor)
8-0; Vance Kasner (Lexington) d. Sanchez
6-1, 6-1; Patrick Cochran (Round Rock) d.
Dalton Merka (Bastrop) 7-5, 4-6 (10-7);
Andrew Randig (Taylor) d. Dustin Strelsky
(Rockdale) 6-2, 6-2; Michna d. Blake King
4-6, 6-4 (10-7).
2nd round— Merka d. Sanchez 8-5;
King d. Strelsky (8-0); Kasner d. Cochran
6-2, 5-7 (10-7); Michna d. Randig 6-4,
6-3; Merka d. Guthrie 8-3.
Consolation—King d. Merka 8-4.
Finals—Michna d. Kasner 7-6, 6-5.
1st round— Christian Grimes-Travis
Gage (Milano) d. Dustin Strelsky-Spencer Evans (Rockdale) 6-1, 6-0; Pearce
Loth-Bradley Betak (Rockdale-Thorndale)
d. Blake King-Keller Driscoll (Round Rock)
Consolation— King- Driscoll d. Kasner Randig 8-5.
Finals— Grimes- Gage d. Loth-Betak
3-6, 6-2 (10-5).
18 and under
Round robin—Barron Hunt (Taylor) d.
Ray Stewart (Thorndale) 8-0; Jacob Boles
(Taylor) d. Mason Crump (Rockdale) 8-2;
Boles d. Stewart 8-2; Crump d. Hunt 8-6;
Crump d. Stewart 6-3, 4-6 (10-3).
Finals—Hunt d. Boles 8-6.
Round robin— Cody Randig- Lance
Morales (Taylor) d. Jake Wilson-Seth Lopez
( Taylor) 6-3, 6-2; Jacob Crump-Mason
Crump (Rockdale) d. Jacob Boles-Jeremy Kovar ( Taylor) 1- 6, 6- 3 (10- 6);
Randig-Morales d. Boles-Kovar 6-3, 3-6
(11- 9); Crump- Crump d. Boles- Kovar
9-8; Boles-Kovar d. Wilson-Lopez 3-6,
Finals— Randig- Morales d. Crump-
Crump 6-3, 6-2.
1st round— Alexandra Martinez ( Taylor) d. Breanna Clifton (Taylor) 6-2, 6-2;
Ecaroh Jackson (Caldwell) d. Courtney
Gilbert (Caldwell) 6-2, 6-1; Lauren Hartenstine (Taylor) d. Ashley Gilbert (Caldwell)
6-4, 6-3; Michaela Ratcliff (Round Rock)
d. Thessy Rossainz (Taylor) 6-2, 6-1;
Consolation— C. Gibert d. Clifton 8-2;
Rossainz d. A. Gilbert 8-4; C. Gilbert d.
Semifinals—Jackson d. Martinez 6-2,
6-3; Ratcliff d. Hartenstin 6-0, 6-2.
Finals—Jackson d. Ratcliff 6-2, 6-3.
Semifinals— Ashley Gilbert-Courtney
Gilbert (Caldwell) d. Megan Hall-Breanna
Clifton (Taylor) 9-7; Lauren Hartenstine-Alexandra Martinez ( Taylor) d. Hall-Clifton
Finals— Gilbert- Gilbert d. Hartenstine Martinez 8-3.
Finals—Jacob Crump- Kacey Crump
(Rockdale) d. Julie Nemec-Barron Hunt
(Taylor) 6-4, 3-6 (10-4).