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Semana Nautica Wraps Up With Tennis, 6-Mile Ocean Swim, Kardboard Kayaks

Stefan Menichella is the No. 1 seed in the men’s open at the 80th Santa Barbara Open tennis tournament. Click to view larger
Stefan Menichella is the No. 1 seed in the men’s open at the 80th Santa Barbara Open tennis tournament.

The action takes place in the ocean and on the tennis courts for the second weekend of Semana Nautica, Santa Barbara’s summer sports festival.

The 80th Santa Barbara Open tennis tournament will feature play at several levels at the Municipal Courts and Pershing Park on Saturday and Sunday.

In the men’s open, Santa Barbara’s and Pepperdine’s Stefan Menichella is the top seed and UCSB’s Nathan Eshmade is No. 2.

UCSB’s Natalie Da Silveria and recent Westmont graduate and former runner-up Lauren Stratman are the top  seeds in the women’s open.

Open division play for men and women starts at 8:30 a.m., at the Municipal Courts. After first-round byes, the men’s seeded players hit the courts at 11:30 a.m., and noon. The women’s division semifinals begin at 12:30 p.m.

Men’s doubles matches are at 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday and the championship is Sunday at 2:30.

The women’s singles final and men’s quarterfinals are scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 a.m., and the men’s semifinals follow at 11:30 a.m. The final is next week.

Menichella was an age-group star while growing up in Santa Barbara before he followed his coach to Orange County and played high school tennis at University High in Irvine. He helped University win four straight CIF Division 1 team titles.

Menichella reached the singles final of the USTA National Open Hard Court last month in San Diego, losing to top seed Emmanuel Mensah after ousting No. 2 seed Nicholas Kamisar in the semifinals.

Spencer Simon (serving) and Menichella are the top-seeded men’s open doubles team. They won the USTA National Hard Court title in Newport Beach. Click to view larger
Spencer Simon (serving) and Menichella are the top-seeded men’s open doubles team. They won the USTA National Hard Court title in Newport Beach.

Menichella won the National Hard Court doubles with Santa Barbara’s Spencer Simon. The two are playing together in Santa Barbara.

Simon is the No. 3 seed in singles and Westlake's Alex Yaftali is fourth.

Eshmade played No. 1 singles for UCSB and helped the Gauchos win the Big West title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. He was named the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table College Men’s Tennis Player of the Year.

Da Silveria was key member of UCSB’s women's team that won the Big West title and its first-ever NCAA Tournament match.

Stratman earned first-team NAIA All-American honors after leading Westmont to the GSAC regular season and tournament championships this past spring. She also won her third straight GSAC Player of the Year honor. In her prep career at Dos Pueblos High, she won four straight Channel League singles titles.

While the tennis players are blasting balls back and forth on the hard courts, a hardy group of swimmers will be making their way from Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry’s Beach in the Semana Nautica 6-mile ocean swim.

San Marcos grad and UC Davis-bound Olivia Smith, winner of last weekend’s 1- and 3-mile swims, is expected to compete and go for the Semana Nautica sweep.

Also happening this weekend is the always popular Krazy Kardboard Kayak Race on Saturday at 1 p.m. at West Beach. Teams construct kayaks out of pieces of cardboard and tape, trying to make them seaworthy enough to paddle across the harbor entrance.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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