Crystal Juan, Gabby Lee Advance to ITA Cup in Doubles
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Crystal Juan and Gabby Lee won an All-CMS doubles semifinal at the ITA West Regionals on Sunday morning, earning a bid to the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia from Oct. 14-17, while Juan capped off her weekend with a championship in the B Flight singles championship on Sunday afternoon.
Juan and Lee defeated Devon Wolfe and Alisha Chulani 8-5 in a close matchup in one of two morning semifinals. The Athena duo then had another close battle in the championship match, before falling 6-4, 6-4 to Angie Zhou and Marissa Markey of Pomona-Pitzer, but still earned a spot in the ITA Cup by reaching the finals.
CMS started strong in the championship match, taking a 3-1 lead in the first set before the Sagehens were able to battle back to take a 6-4 win. The Athenas fell behind in the second set, but battled back even at 3-3, before Zhou and Markey were able to edge them out by the same 6-4 on their home courts at the Pauley Tennis Complex.
Juan will be making her second appearance at the ITA Cup doubles championships, after reaching nationals in 2019 with Anna Kern, when they ended up as ITA West Regional runners-up to their own teammates, Justine Leong and Catherine Allen. Juan and Kern then went on to reach the semifinals of the ITA Cup with two impressive wins, before falling to a team from Wesleyan, which ended as the runner-up to Leong and Allen in the finals.
In addition to her doubles bid to the ITA Cup, which she earned on her birthday, Crystal Juan also added the championship of the B flight in singles without dropping a set. She capped off her full weekend of tennis (five singles matches, five doubles matches in three days) with a 6-4, 6-3 win in the B flight championship over Ritia Agarwal of Caltech.
Allen and Caroline Cox were ITA Cup doubles champions in 2018 (as well as NCAA Champions in the spring of 2019), which gives Juan and Lee a chance to give CMS the doubles champions for three tournaments in a row, after the 2020 one was canceled due to the pandemic.