Tennis season will end with Saturday showdowns
Stars and Stripes October 21, 2022
WIESBADEN, Germany – Almost all the top seeds in the DODEA European tennis championships made it through the semifinals Friday to earn a shot at Saturday titles.
In singles action, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will face off: Kaiserslautern’s Stella Schmitz vs. Ramstein’s Kassianna von Eicken and Ramstein’s Tristan Chandler vs. Marymount’s Leonardo Proietti.
All four have sailed through the tournament undefeated.
Schmitz, a sophomore playing in her first European singles bracket after winning a doubles title last year with teammate Abigail Hover, overcame some early jitters to overpower third-seeded Asalei Caffarelli from Marymount, 6-1, 6-0.
“I definitely came in a little nervous,” Schmitz said. “Usually I’m not that nervous, which I surprised myself with that. But I think I handled the nerves pretty well and I could play my game.”
Von Eicken also won her semifinals match, 6-1, 6-0, against Sigonella’s Charlize Caro, the No. 4 seed.
A senior, Von Eicken is excited to be in the finals after being sidelined the last two years due to injury. As a freshman, she finished third at Europeans.
“I’m glad to be back for my senior year,” she said.
Chandler, who won as a freshman for Kaiserslautern, is the only returning singles champion. He bettered Kaiserslautern’s Alexander Brunt, 6-0, 6-0 - a victory that was bittersweet, he said.
“Having to play against my old teammate, it was difficult at first,” Chandler said. He’ll be rooting for Brunt to get third on Saturday, while aiming to defend his title. He’ll face Proietti, who disposed of the No. 6 seed, Naples’ Sam Stutzman, 6-0, 6-0.
“It was a fun match,” Stutzman said. “I definitely gave him a hard time on some points.”
In doubles action, Stuttgart siblings Devin and Kiera French survived a nailbiter against Vicenza freshmen Addie Wilson and Annika Svenson in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 10-5. The French sisters entered the tourney as the No. 1 seed after ending the regular season undefeated. They finished fourth last year and have been striving for a doubles’ title all season.
“That’s the one thing I wanted to do for Devin’s last year here,” said Kiera French, a year younger than her senior sister. “We’re so excited.”
Devin French said Wilson and Svenson gave them “our closest match ever. They are definitely good players.”
Wilson and Svenson almost earned a rematch against Kaiserslautern’s Hover and Alisa Dietzel. The Raiders duo beat Naples’ Liliana Stutzman and Talia Lord, 6-1, 6-0, in the semifinals. Hover and Dietzel defeated Wilson and Svenson 8-2 in pool play earlier Friday.
On the boys’ side, Stuttgart’s Noah Shive and Zachary Call upended Vicenza’s Sam Grady and Andrew Reed for a spot in the finals. They’ll try to end a Cinderella run by Naples’ Nick Cronk and Ben Avalos. The sixth-seeded Cronk and Avalos battled past No. 3 seed Ramstein brothers Eric and Sean Kim, 6-2, 6-3.
“I think we played the best match of our life,” Cronk said of the semifinals win.
The underdogs dropped only one match in the tourney – to Stuttgart.
“It’s our revenge match,” Avalos said of Saturday’s game.
Play on Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. at the T2 Sports Health Club.
DODEA European tennis championships
Friday at Wiesbaden
Tristan Chandler (Ramstein) def. Beckham Witty (Hohenfels) 8-0, Samuel Stutzman (Naples) def. Alejandro Cuesta (SHAPE) 8-4, Cuesta def. Cameron Holloway (Vilseck) 8-0.
Leonardo Proietti (Marymount) def. Alexander Brunk (Kaiserslautern) 8-0, Carson Owens (Bahrain) def. Grant Rohrer (Brussels) 8-3, Rohrer def. Gray Bayless (AFNORTH) 8-1.
Chandler def. Brunk 6-0, 6-0; Proietti def. Stutzman 6-0, 6-0
Noah Shive/Zachary Call (Stuttgart) def. Nick Cronk/Ben Avalos (Naples) 8-6, Shive/Call def. Gethin Moose/Tyler Kesinger (Alconbury) 8-0, Cronk/Avalos def. Joseph Moody/Adrian Metcalf (Hohenfels) 8-1, Nicholas Lanker/Grant Sturgeon (Rota) def. Moody/Metcalf 10-7, 9-8, Moose/ Kesinger def. Lanker/Sturgeon 8-2.
Jacob Gerber/Jace Martin (Kaiserslautern) def. Eric Kim/Sean Kim (Ramstein) 8-6, Sam Grady/Andrew Reed (Vicenza) def. Calvin Moncada/Jesse Rico (Lakenheath) 8-0, Grady/Reed def. Matthew Mendoza/Ja’Cori Thomas (Bahrain) 8-0.
Shive/Call def. Grady/Reed 6-2, 6-3; Cronk/Avalos def. Kim/Kim 6-2, 6-3.
Stella Schmitz (Kaiserslautern) def. Charlize Caro (Sigonella) 8-0, Delia Gordon (Vicenza) def. Meredith Maxwell (Ansbach) 8-0, Isabel Williams (Stuttgart) def. Maxwell 8-3.
Kassianna von Eicken (Ramstein) def. Asalei Caffarelli (Marymount) 8-2, Carla Cuesta (SHAPE) def. Samantha Moran (Spangdahlem) 8-2, Cuesta def. Sheckina Boswell (AFNORTH) 8-0.
Schmitz def. Caffarelli 6-1, 6-0; Von Eicken def. Caro 6-1, 6-0.
Devin French/Kiera French (Stuttgart) def. Talia Lord/Liliana Stutzman (Naples) 8-1, Mariana Torrente de la Pisa/Chiara D’Arrigo (SHAPE) def. Anceline Sanchez/Rachana Dacumos (Alconbury) 8-1, Kennedy Call/Aliya Jones (Ramstein) def. Sanchez/Dacumos 8-1.
Abigail Hover/Alisa Dietzel (Kaiserslautern) def. Addie Wilson/Annika Svenson (Vicenza) 8-2, Abigail Halttunen/Riley Thomas (Brussels) Elizabeth Petrich/Maddison Beedham (Lakenheath) 8-5, Halttunen/Thomas def. Bella Rainey/Sophia Rainey (Wiesbaden) 8-4.
French/French def. Wilson/Svenson 6-3, 5-7, 10-5; Hover/Dietzel def. Lord/Stutzman 6-1, 6-0