Newport Harbor High senior Natalie Braverman and Villa Park sophomore Lindsey Nelson will play in one semifinal and Anaheim Canyon's Tracy Lin and Woodbridge's Elizabeth Exon will face off in the other as Orange County-area players swept through the round of 16 and quarterfinals of singles competition in the Southern Section girls' tennis individual tournament Friday at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach.
Braverman used two-handed, topspin-loaded backhand and forehand shots that proved an effective one-two punch in a 6-3, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over frequent practice partner Anne Yelsey of Corona del Mar. She eliminated Nazlie Ghazal of Temecula Chaparral in the round of 16 in the morning.
"Natalie just played unbelievably. I would hit a good shot and it would come back better," Yelsey said.
Yelsey is at No. 46 in current U.S. Tennis Assn. girls' 18 division national standings and Braverman is at No. 64. In Southern California, Braverman is at No. 16, Yelsey at No. 19.
"'I think we knew it was going to be a catfight," said Braverman, who advanced to Monday's final of the USTA National Open before losing to Judith De Vera.
"I'm really happy with the way I played. This is my last year and I've got to do it right," Braverman said.
Nelson also did the right things in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Cristina Visico of Long Beach Wilson in the quarters and a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Beverly Hills' Kate Jolson in the morning.
Lin advanced with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-0 victory over Harvard-Westlake's Jessica Leck, followed by a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Palm Desert's Robyn Baker. Exon, also a semifinalist last year, returned with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Cate's Lori Stern after getting there by default because Calabasas' Monica Wiesener pulled out of the tournament because of a strained right calf.
The semifinals are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the championship match to follow at SeaCliff.
"There are a lot of good players from Orange County," Lin said. "I see them all the time and it's no surprise to see them there."
The upset of the day occurred in doubles, where Palm Desert's sophomore tandem of Jennifer Joy and Ashley Mettert eliminated the top-seeded Peninsula team of Shilpa Joshi and Macall Harkins, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), in the quarterfinals.
Joy and Mettert will face Corona del Mar's Taylynn Snyder and Brittany Holland in a semifinal. Snyder and Holland defeated Los Alamitos' Melissa Selmanson and Gia Nafarrete, 6-3, 6-3.
The other doubles semifinal will include Peninsula's Colby Comstock and Nikki LaBrucherie and Calabasas' Celia Durkin and Erin Everly. Comstock and LaBrucherie beat Dana Hills' Kristen Wilson and Kristin Bronowicki, 6-2, 6-3. Durkin and Everly took 35 minutes to defeat Laguna Beach's Lindsay Butterwick and Camerin Barron-Sandman, 6-1, 6-1.