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Villena Leads Chaminade to a 2-A Tennis Title

Times Staff Writer

Abigail Villena knew this was one match she couldn’t let slip away.

With her team near defeat, the Chaminade High sophomore tennis player faced Indio’s No. 1 singles player, Angie Ealy.

Villena had faced Ealy in this spot before. In September, Villena had led, 5-3, but allowed Ealy to tie it, 6-6. Villena won the tiebreaker, 7-6, and Chaminade won a close match.

On Tuesday, Villena again had a 5-3 lead. This time, there was no struggle. Villena held for a 6-3 victory, and Chaminade went on to win the Southern Section 2-A tennis championship at the West End Tennis and Racquet Club in Torrance.

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As in September, the teams tied, 9-9, in match play, Chaminade winning on total games. The score Tuesday was the same, Chaminade winning on total games won, 72-66.

“I knew that if I stayed tough I could pull it off,” said Villena, whose victory helped bring Chaminade back from a two-point deficit to lead Indio, 9-8.

Chaminade trailed Indio, 8-6, with four matches in progress, but rallied behind its singles players. Villena’s victory secured the championship. The Eagles lost the final doubles match, but already had clinched in total games.

“I would have liked to have won one more doubles match,” Chaminade Coach Sue Earl said, “but I’ll take it. I’m not greedy.”

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Although Chaminade had already beaten Indio (18-2) this season, Tuesday’s win avenged a loss to the Rajahs in last season’s semifinals.

The Eagles (18-2) won only one doubles match, but dominated Indio in singles. Stanley and Villena swept their three matches, while teammate Sarah Eipe lost only to Ealy.

3-A DIVISION

San Marino 16, Thousand Oaks 2--San Marino had defeated Thousand Oaks earlier in the season, 12-6, but the Lancers (20-4) had played that match without two top players, so this match was expected to be closer. But San Marino (24-0) dominated, winning the first 15 matches en route to its 48th consecutive victory and its fourth championship in five years.

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“We didn’t play nearly as well as we did against Agoura in the semis,” Thousand Oaks Coach Gail Ellis said. “The whole mood was not as pumped up.”

1-A DIVISION

Mayfield 13, La Reina 5--La Reina lost in the 1-A final for the third straight year. After losing to Diamond Bar and Mayfield in the last two finals, La Reina Coach Leif Jonassen thought this would be the year the Regents would bring home the championship. But despite being backed by half of its 300 students, who had left the school at 6:30 a.m., La Reina (16-7) lost after the 12th match.

Said Jonassen: “The third time wasn’t the charm for us. Maybe next year.”

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