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Championship Week
Davis and Porter Take Top Prizes, Open Wildcards
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The George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California, was the home of the USTA Girls' 16 & 18 Nationals for the second straight year. Even though the event doesn't quite have the long history of the Boys' 16 & 18 Nationals in Kalamazoo, it is on its way there.

Tournament Director Liz Blum with 16s Champion Peggy Porter
© Marcia Frost, College And Junior Tennis
Two 192 draws required the use of courts at the University of San Diego and San Diego State the first few days, with the Barnes Tennis Center as the center of all activity. The one thing all sites had in common was perfect weather. While matches in other events around the country were rain delayed or dealing with massive heat, San Diego had eight days of partly sunny skies and 70-75 degree temperatures.

The Girls' 16s got interesting when No. 15 Alyssa Smith of Laguna Niguel, California, knocked out No. 1 Kimberly Yee. Smith had been ready for the possibility of playing the top-seed.

"I haven't played 16s in a while. I had to get a wildcard coming in, so I knew I could be anywhere in the draw. I thought it was a great match and we both played well. I was excited to go out today. I knew she would bring her best."

Her road to the final did not get any easier, requiring three-set matches with Cassandra Vazquez in the quarterfinals and No. 14 Dasha Ivanova in the semis, but Alyssa Smith made it all the way to the final round. There she faced third-seeded Peggy Porter of Dallas, Texas, who was coming off sweeping this age division at the Clay Courts. Porter also had not lost a set in this tournament. The final match between Smith and Porter would be filled with great points and an exciting 10/8 tiebreaker in the first set, but it would be the higher seed that would take the Gold Ball, 7-6,6-4.

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