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Laguna Beach’s Jessica MacCallum wins national junior tennis tournament

Laguna Beach's Jessica MacCallum won a national Level 3 tournament on Monday.
Laguna Beach’s Jessica MacCallum, shown hitting a forehand at the Tennis Club of Newport Beach in February, won a national Level 3 tournament on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach High School freshman Jessica MacCallum said she is enjoying her first year of high school tennis.

“It’s a very nice change of pace [from tournament tennis],” she said in a phone interview. “I have a lot of support behind me, and it’s fun.”

She plays singles along with her older sister Sarah, a junior. The two MacCallums have helped the Breakers earn a 6-4 record as the season heads toward the finish line.

The top-seeded Jessica MacCallum has shown she’s plenty capable on her own as well.

She won a national Level 3 United States Tennis Assn. junior tournament at El Dorado Park in Long Beach on Monday when she defeated unseeded Grace Gamal of Villa Park, 6-4, 6-1, for the girls’ 16 singles title.

MacCallum said that she felt good during the tournament, comparing it to her run to the Junior Sectionals title match last November.

“I’m relieved to know that my fighting spirit is still there, and that I can still kind of tap into the way I was playing during sectionals,” she said. “It’s a part of my game now. It wasn’t just a one-time thing where I was on a roll, you know? I’m really happy that I’ve gotten back to that level.”

MacCallum did not lose a set on her way to the title. She was also a doubles finalist with Maren Urata of La Cañada Flintridge, as the unseeded duo fell to No. 2-seeded Olivia Center of South Pasadena and Kate Fakih of Pasadena, 6-4, in a one-set title match.

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