Meridian, MS—Seeded #6 in the ITA Southern Regional JUCO tournament, MMI's Anna Waller more than lived up to her seeding by forging her way to the final round of play.
As the sixth-seeded player, Waller collected a bye in the first round. She then knocked off East Central Community College's Josie Hurst, 6-0, 6-1, in the round of 16 before taking on her fellow teammate, Kitty Greenwalt, in the quarterfinal round. Greenwalt, the tournament's third seed, gave Waller all she could handle in a three-set donnybrook. Waller prevailed, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, in a hard-hitting slugfest of a match. Ksenia Vasilyev, another of Waller's teammates and the tournament's No. 1-seeded player, had to bow out in the semifinal round after defeating Itawamba Community College's Julianna Alves, 6-4, 6-1, and Meridian Community College's Tessa Ward, 6-1, 6-0, due to a foot injury. The Vasilyev walkover vaulted Waller into the final match, where she lost in a scintillating three-setter, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, to the tournament's two seed, Itawamba's Nicolle Romero.
In other singles action, Andrew Branicki advanced to the semifinals by defeating Itawamba's Reese Duncan, 6-2, 6-2, and Joseph Tanjuatco, his MMI teammate and the tournament's No. 5 seed, 6-2, 6-3. Branicki fell to the tournament's No. 1-seeded player and eventual champion, Itawamba's Franco Roldan, 6-0, 2-6, 6-3, in a brutal battle of punishing ground strokes and thunderous serves.
After being dispatched from the main draw by Meridian Community College's Dieter Gonzalez, the tournament's No. 6 seed, 6-2, 7-6 (1), PJ Smith took care of business in the consolation round, defeating players from Meridian (6-1, 6-1), Meridian (6-0, 6-0), Itawamba (7-5, 6-2), and Meridian (6-4, 6-0).