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SoCal Junior Sectionals tennis tournament begins Saturday

SoCal Junior Sectionals tennis tournament begins Saturday
Newport Beach resident Austin Di Giulio, shown hitting a forehand on June 25, 2016, is the No. 3 seed in the boys' 18s at the 116th annual Southern California Junior Sectional Championships. (File Photo)

The largest annual junior tennis tournament in the country begins Saturday, and local players won’t have to travel far.

Los Cab Sports Village in Fountain Valley is the home site for the 116th annual Southern California Junior Sectional Championships. The prestigious Level 1 tournament will also be contested at other sites throughout Orange County.

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Qualifying for the main draw in each age group takes place Saturday through Monday. Main draw matches start Wednesday with the round of 64, culminating in the title match for each age group on June 25.

Newport Coast resident Calissa Dellabarca is the top seed in the girls’ 14s main draw at junior sectionals. The boys’ 18s draw has local title hopefuls in Newport Beach residents Austin Di Giulio and Max McKennon, who are seeded Nos. 3 and 5, respectively.

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McKennon, the Daily Pilot Dream Team Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year as a freshman at Newport Harbor High, was home-schooled this past year as a sophomore. He just turned 16 but is playing up for this tournament.

Lawee Sherif of Huntington Beach is the No. 4 seed in boys’ 14 singles, and Jessica MacCallum of Laguna Beach is the No. 4 seed in girls’ 12 singles.

Other players are seeded ninth in the block seeding format. In the boys’ draws, they include Andre Saleh of Newport Beach (18s singles), David Duong of Fountain Valley (12s singles) and Tadevos Mirijanyan of Newport Beach (10s singles).

Girls’ players seeded ninth include Leyden Games and Rebecca Lynn of Newport Beach (18s singles), Mika Ikemori of Huntington Beach (14s singles) and Sarah MacCallum of Laguna Beach (14s singles).

Corona del Mar High senior Danielle Willson is not playing singles in the tournament. But the USC-bound Willson, the two-time Dream Team Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year, is playing doubles with Lindsay Hung of San Clemente. Willson and Hung are the No. 4 seeds in the girls’ 18 doubles draw.

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