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Warren Fulgenzi takes siblings on the road for annual La Jolla Tennis Open

Warren Fulgenzi takes siblings on the road after unseeded Stacy and Brandelyn win mother-daughter tennis championship in a return to Vancouver, Wash., where they also won in 2012

Dad and the sibling quartet take to the courts for the La Jolla Open in Southern California that starts Wednesday

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN | June 19, 2017

The mother and daughter praise was mutual as Stacy and Brandelyn Fulgenzi came away with their second U.S. Tennis Association Mother-Daughter Indoor Championship earlier this month.

Now its father and the Fulgenzi youngsters, four in all, taking to the road for the annual La Jolla Open played in the San Diego area. The tournament runs from Wednesday through Sunday and it will be Warren senior and junior, Brandelyn, Lauren and the youngest, 13-year-old Nico, taking to the courts.

Warren Fulgenzi, Jr., a 3-time state champion who played his high school tennis at Santa Fe High before transferring to Las Vegas Robertson, just completed his college freshmen season at Our Lady of the Lakes, a NAIA school in San Antonio, Tex.

“He did not lose a singles match all season,” said his dad, “and the team qualified for the national tournament, but lost in the opening round.”

Four of the five Fulgenzis heading for the tournament in California have won state titles. This includes dad, junior, 17-year-old Brandelyn and 15-year-old Lauren.

Nico has to bide his time, but no doubt has the talent to join dad and his siblings on the long Fulgenzi family championship list that ranks number one all-time in New Mexico, and can always boast of bragging rights. Nico, too, will play for Robertson.

For unseeded Stacy and Brandelyn, it was a return to Club Green Meadows in Vancouver, Wash., and the excitement of again winning the event won in 2012 when Brandelyn was 12.

In the finals, they claimed a 7-5, 7-6 victory over Darcy and Juliana Simon for the main draw championship. To each one, it was mutual admiration.

Said mom: “The way she played was just amazing. I just wanted to sit and watch her. The shots she hit were just phenomenal.”

Ditto daughter in regard to mom.

“She’s really gotten good over the years,” Brandelyn said. “It was fun playing with her knowing if I couldn’t get the shot, she would be right behind me to get it. I can count on her.”

But it wasn’t certain if Stacy, 44, would be up to the task. For most of the spring, Brandelyn, a junior, and Lauren, a freshman, were starring for the Robertson tennis team, in fact winning back-to-back state doubles championships over cousins Jenese and Jaci, their Robertson teammates who won it when Brandelyn and Lauren were still in Santa Fe.

So mom needed a place to work on her swing, to get tournament-ready, so she decided on hitting against a gym wall and thought it was pretty interesting and rewarding.

And if both she and Brandelyn were nervous, it didn’t show as they polished off the No. 2 and 4 seeds, and in the finals of the 16-team field, won over the also-unseeded Simons, Darcy and Juliana, in two sets.

Before that, they were close to being ousted in an earlier match before rallying from down three match points in the second set, and then winning the decider.

The support from the stands came from Lauren. She was mom and sister’s lone supporter. She cheered, she also kept count of all the match points. She was in full voice in set two of the championship-match tiebreaker that the Fulgenzis dominated 7-1.

Now Lauren will be taking to the court as she, her dad and siblings, go in quest of honors at the La Jolla Open.

“We’ve played there before,” said Warren, Sr., “but not in the Open.”

Now, three days after Father’s Day, he takes to the courts with his sibling quartet, and hoping to bring home some awards.

Tennis anyone? Just ring up the Fulgenzis.

Through the years, the tennis Fulgenzis have won state championships a St. Michael’s, Santa Fe High, and Las Vegas High before it became Robertson in 1957. About everyone in the family who served and volleyed made the list.

In all, they have won 11 boy’s singles and 10 boy’s doubles. On the girl’s side, Brandelyn was the first and only one to win state, winning both singles and doubles at Robertson, even teamed with senior Greta Miller to win state doubles while at Santa Fe High.

And who coaches the tennis teams at Robertson? Warren and Roman Carlos Fulgenzi. It’s all in the family.

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