Cahana A Finalist At Riviera/ITA All-American Championships

October 13, 2002
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 13, 2002

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA -- Old Dominion women's tennis team member Nataly Cahana (Qiriat Bialik, Israel) reached the finals of the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association's All-American Championships for the second consecutive year falling in the championship match with a heartbreaking, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 loss to Duke's Kelly McCain on Sunday.

McCain, the No. 4 seed, won 10 of the last 11 games to capture her first national collegiate title and the third by a Duke player at the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American. She registered five victories over players ranked in the top 25 of the Omni Hotels national singles rankings en route to the title.

Cahana, ranked #11 in the ITA Pre-Season Poll and a two-time ITA All-American, has reached at least the quarterfinals in six of the eight national tournaments she has played in. She had beat McCain 6-4, 6-3 in last year's Riviera/ITA All-American semifinals before falling to Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff in the final.

Cahana opened play in the tournament with a victory over Northwestern's Marine Piriou in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. She followed with a second round upset of third seeded Jewel Peterson of Southern California, edging her opponent out in a tight three set rally, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6). She then followed with a quarterfinal win over Duke's Amanda Johnson, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-5 and took a 6-3, 6-4 match against Mira Radu of Mississippi in the semi-finals.

The Icy Hot/ITA Women's All-American Championships and it's men's counterpart - the Icy Hot/ITA Men's All-American Championships - are the first of three national championship tournaments for collegiate tennis during the 2002-03 season. The two other tournaments (for singles and doubles only) are the Omni Hotels/ITA National Indoor Championships in November and the season-ending NCAA Championships in May.

Tournament Summary:

1st Round: Nataly Cahana (ODU) def. Marine Piriou (Northwestern): 6-4, 6-0

2nd Round: Nataly Cahana (ODU) def. #3 Jewel Peterson (USC): 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6)

Quarterfinals: Nataly Cahana (ODU) def. Amanda Johnson (Duke): 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-5

Semifinals: Nataly Cahana (ODU) def. Mira Radu (Miss): 6-3, 6-4

Finals: Kelly McCain (Duke) def. Nataly Cahana (ODU): 5-7, 6-2, 6-1