San Jose Women: Six New Teams Make Main Draw
Heidi Hausheer was all smiles before the final match of the p1440 San Jose qualifier on Thursday, which might seem to be an odd time to be so outwardly relaxed.
Not for Hausheer, who finally, she said, laughing, didn’t have to go through Jessica Sykora and Delaney Knudsen in the final round of a qualifier.
In the previous two qualifying events she played – AVP Manhattan Beach, the CBVA Zuma satellite qualifier – she had met Sykora and Knudsen in the final round, falling twice in a pair of close matches.
In San Jose, it was not Sykora and Knudsen on the other side of the net, but Heather Lowe and Josie Ulrich. Hausheer and her partner, Lauren Deturk, made it, for the first time, a stress-free end to the day, winning 21-14, 21-11, the second career main draw for both, each of whom had previously qualified for an NVL.
And that seemed to be the theme of the day on the women’s side. Each of the six teams making it out of the qualifier in San Jose are making their first main draw appearance as a team: Hausheer-Deturk, Avery Bush-Traci Weamer, Tina Toghiyani-Alicia Zamparelli Flavia, Cecilia Agraz-Natalie Hayes, Tory Paranagua-Elise Zappia, Kathryn Hogan-Milena Matic.
After making it through to main draw in Huntington Beach earlier this year with Christina Matthews, Bush had made it to at least the third round in six of the next seven qualifiers, and to the fourth round in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach.
“I feel like this year we’ve been pulling the hardest draws against really good people who will make it through and take like a seventh,” Bush said, laughing. And then, of course, her and Weamer drew the one seed, Jace Pardon and Aurora Davis, two main draw mainstays.
And then it all came together. After the score was tied at 7-7 in the third set, Bush and Weamer pulled away, winning 15-11 and securing a spot in the weekend’s main draw, Bush’s first since May and Weamer’s first since 2016.
“It feels good to play and get through this qualifier against a really good team,” Bush said. “They’re so good and they’ve played together before and done really well because they have such good ball control and they’re both really smart players. So we knew that going in, we knew that we were going to get our points and they were going to get theirs, it was just staying calm. It feels so good not to have an easy road, to have a good team and win.”
It’s fitting, too, that the first p1440 event of the year is featuring so many new names.
“More opportunities for players,” Billy Kolinske said as he watched some of the qualifier play on Thursday. “Isn’t that what it’s all about?”
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