OJAI, Calif. (Apr. 27, 2019) – Senior Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) of the Caltech women's tennis team achieved what was once unthinkable on Sunday morning when she won the Division III women's singles championship at The 119th Ojai Valley Tournament.
Third-seeded Moriyama advanced through the draw this week playing some the best tennis of her career but needed to go through the top-seeded Caroline Kutach of Trinity University in order to bring the championship back to Caltech. The Beavers' senior captain did just that, playing consistent tennis throughout en route to a 6-4, 6-2, victory which should undoubtedly serve as a source of confidence for her teammates and herself moving forward. Moriyama will likely go down as the third-winningest singles player in program history, but the first player on either men's or women's team to win gold in Ojai.
"Kana winning the championship is a result of all her hard work and is a testament to how important personal engagement is to success," Head Coach Mandy Gamble said. "Over the course of the tournament Kana overcame a lot emotionally and by the time she reached the semis found herself in a space where physically and tactically she was at 100 percent. I've never coached a player who executed a game plan so solidly as Kana did. It was pure magic."
Moriyama also had the opportunity to compete in the doubles championship alongside freshman Anna Tifrea (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy). The senior and freshman played well together over the weekend and perhaps exceeded expectations in spite of Thursday being their first doubles match as a pairing. After winning three matches to advance to the final as the third-seeded team, Moriyama and Tifrea ultimately fell victim to Trinity's Kaffen sisters, but not without having embarked on one of the best doubles runs in Caltech history at The Ojai.
"Anna reaching the doubles final with Kana was wonderful," Gamble said. "Anna's doubles game popped off at the tournament and we are excited about her future. Ankita (Roychoudhury), in her second round match, played her best tennis to date and I'm looking forward to her continued development."
The Beavers will celebrate the achievement before going back to work to prepare for second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the upcoming SCIAC Postseason Tournament this week.