Perez-Somarriba Wins Oracle ITA Masters Title
By Alex Schwartz
MALIBU, Calif. – Estela Perez-Somarriba of the University of Miami women’s tennis team earned one of the most prestigious collegiate championship trophies Sunday at the Malibu Racquet Club.
The junior defeated No. 41 Evgeniya Levashova of Pepperdine, 6-4, 6-3, to win the elite Oracle ITA Masters, live on ESPN3. For Perez-Somarriba, ranked third in the nation and seeded fourth in the tournament, the win was her fifth in straight sets during the four-day, 32-player tournament.
“Today, Estela proved that she has taken a giant step forward in terms of maturity,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Handling this stage with such a high level of tennis is not an easy thing to do, but Estela did just that.”
After dropping the first two games of the match, Perez-Somarriba took six of the next eight to win the first set. She then jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, making it six consecutive victories.
Levashova, seeded sixth, took back-to-back games to pull within two and after the players then exchanged wins, Perez-Somarriba served for the match at 5-3 in the second set and closed it out.
“Tactically, she was on point all week and it continued once again today,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Estela deserved this one and I’m so happy for her.”
In the 10 sets Perez-Somarriba played in California, she lost four-plus games just three times; only once did an opponent surpass that mark. Perez-Somarriba’s championship win will be re-aired on ESPNU Tuesday at 5 p.m.
This is the fourth time a Miami player or pair has won the title at one of the ITA’s major fall championships.
It is the third such occasion in singles, with Perez-Somarriba joining Audra Cohen and Megan Bradley, who won the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in 2006 and 2004, respectively. In addition, Lise Gregory and Ronni Reis won that tournament on the doubles side in 1986.
With her victory over Levashova, Perez-Somarriba earns an automatic berth to one of the other prime fall events, the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, held Nov. 7-11 in Surprise, Ariz.
“It’s been an amazing week,” Perez-Somarriba said. “It’s a great start to my junior year and I’m proud of how I handled tough situations throughout my matches. Paige helped me a lot during the whole tournament and I can’t to play on big stages this year. Let’s keep it up; this is just the beginning.”
For more information on the Oracle ITA Masters, including the complete draws and photo galleries, click HERE.
Singles Main Draw – Championship
No. 3  Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. No. 41  Evgeniya Levashova (PEP), 6-4, 6-3