Current, Future Lion Shine in Costa Mesa
Current LMU tennis player Jessica Perez beat LMU commit Caisey Lee Emery in the Championship Final.
Junior Jessica Perez won the Costa Mesa Open Classic Tournament, defeating LMU commit Caisey Lee Emery, 7-6, 6-1, for the Tournament title on Wednesday. Emery was the #3 seed in the draw, while Perez was tabbed fourth.
Perez started her run in the tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Francis Dean, who played collegiately at Pacific last season. A hard-fought 7-6, 1-6, 10-5 victory over Nini Guensler (Utah State) propelled Perez into the quarterfinal round and a match against Valeria Corral, who she dispatched in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3. The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif. advanced to the semifinal, where she topped top-seed Constance Branstine (Texas A&M commit), 6-3, 7-6 to reach the final and Emery.
Playing exclusively at #1 singles for LMU last year, Perez went 13-16 overall, including 9-14 in dual play en route to being named second team All-West Coast Conference in singles. The highlight of her season came against WCC-rival Pepperdine when she defeated then-#9 Lorraine Guillermo, who went on to be named WCC Player of the Year. Perez went 3-3 in the fall this year, including a victory over USC’s Alexandra Letzt at the Jack Kramer Invitational.
Emery began the open draw with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Nicole Knickerbocker. She then beat Andrea Duva (UC Irvine) and Sophie Bendetti by the same scores to reach the semifinals. A walkover victory over Manon Peri sent Emery into the final, where she fell to Perez.
Emery, who played high school tennis at Buena High School due to El Camino not fielding a tennis team, went 85-2 in matches over her three seasons of high school tennis. As a junior in 2014, she won the Channel League singles title, becoming the first player in Buena history to earn the championship. For her efforts, she was named MVP of the league and Ventura County Player of the Year. As a senior in 2015, Emery went undefeated in singles play (28-0) and won a League doubles title with her sister, Colbey Shae Emery. On the Junior circuit, Emery was the 2014 Esme Pearson Designated G16s Champion and a 2014 Double Sectionals G16 Champion and mixed finalist. She climbed as high as #15 in Southern California in the 16s rankings, and as high as #52 on Tennis Recruiting.
Perez and the Lions will open the spring season under first-year head coach Agustin Moreno on January 30 at Cal State Northridge.
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