Bernstines Make Big Splash in Davenport City Juniors
By John Packett, RTA Contributing Writer
That score was heard often over the Memorial Day weekend at Byrd Park, site of the Davenport City Junior Tennis Championships, when all three of Mark Bernstine’s boys made their presence felt during the three-day tournament.
Chase Bernstine made the most noise, winning the boys’ 18 singles title as an unseeded player and knocking off the two seeded players in his side of the draw. He also teamed with his younger brother, Ryan, to capture the boys’ 16 doubles and finish runner-up in the boys’ 18 doubles.
Ryan was a finalist in the boys’ 14 singles division, while eight-year-old Evan was runner-up in the boys’ 10 singles (played under QuickStart rules and scoring).
Chase’s victory in singles was the most significant outcome of the weekend. The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Goochland Middle School upset No. 3 seed James Pollard in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Danny Polk in the semis.
Polk plays No. 1 singles for Hanover High School and Pollard is the Hawks’ No. 4 player.
In the final, Chase edged unseeded Tate Steinour, Midlothian High’s No. 1 player, 6-4, 6-4.
“I think he had an injury in his shoulder,” said Bernstine. “So it was a little bit easier to handle his serve. I know it was a lot harder when we played before. Both of us were playing pretty well, and the second set got tougher.”
Steinour, 16, said the two have something of a budding rivalry going.
“It was a close match,” said Steinour, who also ousted two seeds. “We play really well against each other. We’ve known each other for a while and we’ve played each other countless times, so we know each other’s games and each other’s weaknesses.”
Steinour was using the tournament as a tuneup for the state Group AAA team tournament, where the Central Region champion Trojans will meet Ocean Lakes in the quarterfinals on May 28 at Manchester High School.
“This was some great competition,” said Steinour. “Chase, who beat me, and a bunch of other good players.”
The Bernstine brothers hadn’t played together in a while, Chase said, but looked sharp in defeating top-seeded Pollard and Andrew Carey 8-4 in the boys’ 16 doubles and barely going down to Steinour and Matthew Cousins 8-6 in the boys’ 18 division.
“I think we have good communication skills,” said Chase. “And we’re always trying to build each other up. I think that helps a lot.”
Ryan Bernstine was the No. 2 seed in the boys’ 14 singles and lost to top-seeded Billy Troiano 6-0, 6-3.
“I played all right but I could have played better,” said Ryan, 12. “I was playing better in the doubles than I was in singles.”
The Bernstine’s father is the director of tennis and fitness at Hermitage Country Club and has worked with them for a long time.
“He’s [Chase] been working really hard the last couple of years and he’s growing, and things are starting to click for him a little bit,” said Mark. “He’s starting to hit the ball well and strong and starting to play fairly aggressive.
“They all like playing. They have a good time. I think they have fun playing together.”
Other noteworthy champions came on the girls’ side of the competition. In the 16 singles division, unseeded Allie Straus rolled through the draw, losing only seven games in three matches and beating No. 1 seed Caroline Hare 6-2, 6-1 in the final.
“I’m usually a finalist and lose in the last round,” said Straus, 16, a 10th-grader at Collegiate, where she is expected to move into the top six next fall. “I didn’t know any of the girls, but I’ve been hitting a lot better than usual so I was feeling pretty good about it.
“I was pretty happy. I was surprised. It was a good tournament for me. My brother [Brady] usually plays in it every year and he usually wins. So it was nice to finally win one myself after he won so many times.”
In the 14 singles, unseeded Jessica Wills captured the title, defeating top-seeded Mary Crawford 6-2, 6-0 in the final. Elizabeth Dudley, who plays No. 5 singles for Mills Godwin, was a double winner in the girls’ 18 singles and doubles.
DAVENPORT CITY JUNIOR RESULTS
Boy's 18's singles final: Chase Bernstine def. Tate Steinour 6-4, 6-4
Boy's 16's singles final: Karlis Katlaps (2) def. Hithesh Reddy 6-1, 6-2
Boy's 14's singles final: Billy Troiano (1) def. Ryan Bernstine (2) 6-0, 6-3
Boy's 12's singles final: Alaister Burke (1) def. Phillip Andrews 6-0, 6-1
Boy's 10's singles final: Cole Hencecroth def. Evan Bernstine (2) 0-4, 4-3, 1-0
Girl's 18's singles final: Elizabeth Dudley def. Nicole Broussard 6-2, 6-2
Girl's 16's singles final: Allie Straus def. Caroline Hare (1) 6-2, 6-1
Girl's 14's singles final: Jessica Wills def. Mary Crawford (1) 6-2, 6-0
Girl's 12's singles final: Allison Wandling def. Olivia Saunders 6-1, 6-1
Girl's 10's singles final: Stewart Loupassi (2) def. Ella Robinson (1) 4-1, 4-0
Coed 8's singles champion: Stephen Matthew Faraci
Coed 8's singles finalist: Sterling Burke
Boy's 18's doubles final: Matthew Cousins/Tate Steinour def. Chase Bernstine/Ryan Bernstine 8-6
Boy's 16's doubles final: Chase Bernstine/Ryan Bernstine def. Andrew Carey/James Pollard 8-4
Boy's 14's doubles final: Billy Troiano/Karlis Katlaps def. Conner Steenrod/Ethan Xie 8-0
Boy's 12's doubles final: Phillip Andrews/Mac Hester def. Trevor Maiese/John Halloran 9-7
Girl's 18's doubles final: Elizabeth Dudley/Ara McCarty def. Nicole Broussard/Laurel Mouer 8-3
Girl's 16's doubles final: Morgan Fuqua/Sophie Linnell def. Emerald Fleming/Anna Ransone 8-1