Defending champion Janie Ellis punched her ticket back into the Central Section individual girls tennis championships.
The Clovis West High junior played her way into the 16-player tournament by winning two matches Saturday during the North Area tournament at Buchanan – 6-0, 6-0 over Liberty-Madera Ranchos’ Maddie Dick in the round of 16 and 6-0, 6-1 over Kerman’s Maria Aguilar in the quarterfinals.
All quarterfinal winners in singles and doubles advance out of the section’s three area tournaments. Quarterfinal losers are eligible to be one of four wild cards chosen at the section finals seeding meeting Monday.
North Area top-seeded Ellis, who beat Buchanan’s Sravya Gudipudi 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 for the 2015 section title, will be joined in the individual championships field by No. 2 Elizabeth Schulz of Clovis North, No. 3 Lasya Gudipudi of Buchanan and No. 4 Grace Moore of Buchanan.
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Qualifying out of the North Area in doubles were No. 1 Julia August/Katelyn Pevandi of Clovis West, No. 2 Kelly Crouch/Tori Mueller of Clovis, No. 3 Nandini Nair/Aliya Kusumo of Clovis North and No. 4 Natty Villarreal/Senna Ryland of Clovis East.
The Central Area got in two rounds Saturday and will play quarterfinals Monday, starting at 9 a.m.
The top four seeds in singles – No. 1 Claire Yang of Redwood, No. 2 Kate Sapasap of Redwood, No. 3 Lacey Clark of Mt. Whitney and Maddie Giannetto of Monache – and in doubles – No. 1 Kerris Lassley/Alyssa Byde of Sanger, No. 2 Mary Jolly/Autumn Lee of Sanger, No. 3 Evin Haworth/Erika Roeloffs of Central Valley Christian and No. 4 Kelsey Gong/Monica Gong of Sierra Pacific – are all still alive.
South Area qualifiers include No. 1 Madison Swaney of Frontier, No. 2 Delany Roche of Bakersfield Christian, No. 3 Erica Paradise of Stockdale and No. 4 Liberty Roche of Bakersfield Christian in singles, and No. 1 Anastasia Drulias/Alexsia Drulias of Garces, No. 2 Kate Kelly/Margo Kuney of Bakersfield, No. 3 Annabella McGilvray/Abby Stevens of Bakersfield Christian and unseeded Isa Iturriria/Bella Bank of Bakersfield in doubles.
The section’s individual finals are set for Nov. 4-5 at Garces.