Gettysburg College junior Laura Gradiska from Menlo School was named the Centennial Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Week on Monday.
Gradiska won a pair of matches in her season debut. After studying abroad during the fall season, she picked up wins at the top of both singles and doubles lineups in a 5-4 loss to Carroll University on March 6. She teamed with first-year Maria Martinovic for an 8-4 win at the top doubles position before rebounding from a first-set loss for a 3-6, 6-4, 10-2 win at No. 1 singles.
Gettysburg College junior Laura Gradiska from Menlo School. Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Athletics.
In other tennis news, Atherton resident Cici Bellis was one of eight women to receive wild cards in the Miami Open, set for March 21-April 3 in Key Biscayne at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
Bellis seeks to improve on her 2015 Miami Open appearance, which saw her fall to eventual champion Serena Williams in the third round. Bellis, the No. 1-ranked junior player in 2014 and youngest woman to win a match at the US Open since Lindsay Davenport in 1991; has won three titles on the ITF circuit.
Despite getting 18 points and four assists from senior Hailie Eackles from Pinewood School, Pacific couldn't overcome a big hole early and fell to Pepperdine, 81-72, last week in the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. For Eackles, the loss marked the end of her college career.
Also in the WCC Tournament, former Stanford All-American Jennifer Azzi coached her USF team to a 70-68 victory over BYU in the championship game on Tuesday night. The triumph earned the Dons their first NCAA Tournament berth in 19 years.
Top-seeded BYU (26-6) jumped out to a big early lead in the rematch of last year's title game, but the sixth-seeded Dons (21-11) settled down after a shaky start to make it close heading into the fourth quarter. Former Eastside Prep standout Hashima Carothers, a junior at USF, played 10 minutes and had two rebounds.