McNally shocks girls' 18s top seed Arconada at ASICS Easter Bowl

April 9, 2015 08:08 AM

By Steve Pratt, special to

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The young and precocious shined brightest Wednesday at the 48th annual ASICS Easter Bowl.

Caty McNally, a 13-year-old wild card from Cincinnati, shocked No. 1 seed Usue Arconada of College Park, Md., 6-4, 7-5, in the second round of the ITF girls’ 18s singles at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Just one year ago, McNally was 12 and competing in the 14s at the ASICS Easter Bowl, losing in the quarterfinals and placing sixth overall. She then watched her brother John win the boys’ 16s title.

Caty McNally said it probably would be a day or so for the upset to register.

“I just beat the No. 6 girl in the world, so it feels pretty good,” she said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. Maybe it will tomorrow morning when I wake up. 

“I’m just really happy,” she continued. “She’s a really good player. I just had to keep fighting and had to go for the win. I got a really good lead in the first set, and she was a little tight.”

The finals of the USTA boys’ and girls’ 12s and 14s singles were completed on Wednesday, with both 14s finals producing memorable matches.

In the boys’ 14s, 13-year-old No. 3 seed Adam Neff of Bradenton, Fla., came back to beat No. 10-seeded Jaycer Calleros of San Antonio, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“He was playing unbelievable in the first set, and you have to give him credit for the way he played,” Neff said. “I’m not sure what happened at 1-4 in the second. Something just clicked, and I was able to get the victory. I just told myself to not miss. I tried to change the game plan and grind and tried to not out-hit him. That ended up working.”

Neff broke his strings in all five of his Wilson racquets during the match and had to borrow a racquet from someone in the stands at one point. He was actually leading, 2-1, in the third set with the borrowed stick before his coach scrambled to have more racquets strung.

Neff said it was “extra special” to make his largest comeback in an ASICS Easter Bowl final the way he did. He said he wasn’t aware of any other 14s winners in the iconic event but said, “I’m thinking Andy Roddick won the 14s maybe.”

Past 14s winners at the ASICS Easter Bowl include Gene Mayer (1969), John McEnroe (1973), Vince Spadea (1988) and Justin Gimelstob (1991). Roddick did win the 16s Easter Bowl title in 1998.

The girls’ 14s final went down to the very end, as No. 14 Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton, Fla., came back from down 5-2 in the final set and saved two match points to beat top-seeded Alexa Noel of  Summit, N.J., 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4).

Osuigwe, who won the 12s at the Junior Orange Bowl in December, said at last year’s ASICS Easter Bowl she was up 5-2 in the third set, only to lose in the 12s quarterfinals to eventual champion Kacie Harvey.

“It feels great to win the Easter Bowl,” said Osuigwe, 12, whose father is a trainer at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Hunter Heck, the No. 6 seed from New Brighton, Minn., beat No. 2 Jameson Corsillo of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-2, to win the boys’ 12s singles.

“I had a lot of nerves before the match, but it goes away once I start playing,” said Heck, a 12-year-old seventh-grader who plays for his local high school tennis team.

In the girls’ 12s singles final, top-seeded Gabriella Price of Montebello, N.Y., took out unseeded Emma Jackson of La Grange Park, Ill., 6-1, 6-2.

“It feels amazing,” Price said after the match. “The best thing in the world.”

Just last month, Price had her name in lights as she participated in an exhibition at the BNP Paribas World Tennis Day celebration at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She took on Coco Gauff before the Monica Seles-Gabriela Sabatini exhibition.

“[Today] was kind of the same as that,” she said. “Because they had my name up there.”

Price is currently working full-time with renowned coach Rick Macci in Florida.

To keep up with all the ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the website at, and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter.