CLAREMONT, Calif. - All four women's doubles teams still alive in the ITA West Region Championships on Sunday were from CMS, and the top-seeded team of senior Catherine Allen and first-year Justine Leong was able to come away with the championship in the four-team intrasquad battle.
Allen and Leong defeated sophomore Crystal Juan and first-year Anna Kern 6-4, 6-4 in the finals to earn the West Region title. Juan and Kern will join Allen and Leong at the ITA Cup Doubles Championship in Rome, Georgia on Oct. 17-20 in the new expanded format this year, with the top two finishers from the region each receiving invitations to the 16-team field.
The morning began with the semifinal round, with two different CMS vs. CMS matches taking place to determine which Athenas would make the trip to Georgia. Allen and Leong fought off senior Anastasia Bryan-Ajania and sophomore Devon Wolfe 8-4, and Juan and Kern taking an 8-2 decision over senior Madison Shea and sophomore Sydney Lee.
It was the second straight big win for Juan and Kern over their Athena teammates, as they defeated senior Nicole Tan and sophomore Sarah Bahsoun, last year's national runners-up, in the quarterfinals. Lee and Shea, meanwhile, played No. 3 doubles for the Athenas throughout their NCAA Tournament run a year ago.
The top-seeded duo of Allen and Leong proved to be too much, though, prevailing in a tight contest 6-4, 6-4 with Allen providing the winning drop shot on match point. It represented the second straight ITA West Doubles Championship for Allen, who won it a year ago with junior Caroline Cox, who is studying abroad this fall. Cox and Allen went on to win the ITA Cup and then take the NCAA Doubles Championship over Tan and Bahsoun.
After playing together in doubles, Allen and Leong were scheduled to face off against each other in the singles final, but that match was postponed so the two of them could both compete independently at the International Tennis Federation's Claremont 25K as amateurs. Allen and Leong both earned their way to the ITA Cup in singles yesterday by reaching the finals, and then earned an entry into the doubles championship as well.
In other action on Sunday, senior Lauren Yamagami went to a third-set tiebreaker for the B Flight singles championship, but came up just short to Kendall Bolock of Redlands 6-3, 2-6, 10-6. Kern also went to three sets in the finals of the A Flight consolations, but fell 6-2, 2-6, 10-6.
Juan, Kern, and Leong will all be making their first trips to the ITA Cup. In addition to last year's doubles championship, Allen came in third place in singles at the 2017 ITA Cup as a sophomore after winning the West Region title.