Minnesota state high school champions Michael Sicora and Whitney Taney lead the list of winners at the USTA Northern Junior Sectional Championships in the Twin Cities. Winners of each flight receive automatic invitations to USTA National Zonal, Intersectional and some national tournaments. A complete listing of endorsed players by the Section will be released Wednesday night.
In the most anticipated match-up of the day, Minnesota Boys State AA Champion Sicora of Buffalo, Minn., defeated top-seeded Andrew Lee of Eden Prairie, Minn. in the Boys 18s final 7-6, 6-2. In the last week, Sicora has won the Minnesota state tournament and the Junior Sectional title and has beat Lee three times in the past three weeks.
Taney of Edina continued her unbeaten streak in USTA Northern play with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Northfield's Christina Keesey in the finals. Taney is the two-time Minnesota state champion and is undefeated in Minnesota state High School League and USTA Northern play since 2002.
In girls 16s, top-seeded Niltooli WIlkins of Burnsville, Minn., defeated Rochester's Alexa Palen, the tournament's three seed, 6-3, 6-3 in the finals. Wilkins was the Minnesota state tournament runner up to Taney in 2005, while Palen won the Minnesota Class A doubles title this year.
The boys 16s saw Mounds View seventh grader Wyatt McCoy defeat South Dakota Flight 2 state champion Billy Paluch in the finals 6-0, 6-3. McCoy advanced to the quarterfinals of the Minnesota state high school tournament and had two match points against Sicora before falling 6-1 in the third set.
Excelsior's Aria Lambert, seeded first in the tournament, won the girls 14s with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over second seed Makenna Borg of Eden Prairie, Minn. Top-seeded Hamish Weerasinghe of Edina, Minn., defeated second seed Jack Hamburg of Rapid City, S.D., 6-4, 6-4 in the boys 14s final.
In girls 12s, Samantha Anderson of Thompson, N.D. beat Meghanna Vasireddy of Golden Valley, Minn., 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the finals. Anderson was seeded number one in the tournament, while Vasireddy was number two. Rochester's Thomas Nath won the Boys 12s with a 6-3, 6-1 win over unseeded Christian Phelps of Eau Claire, Wis. Nath was the second seed in the tournament.