SOUTHERN SECTION DIVISION II TENNIS : This Title Is Sweeter for Artists

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Laguna Beach made it two in a row Tuesday, winning the Southern Section Division II girls' tennis championship by defeating Edison, 11-7, at the Claremont Club.

This was a rematch of last year's semifinals, when the teams tied, 9-9, in sets but Laguna Beach advanced on games, 78-74. The Artists went on to defeat Arcadia, 12-6, for the title.

"This victory is a lot sweeter than last year," Coach Bob Walton said. "Last year, Edison was our tough match, so the final was a little anticlimactic."

Edison was again a tough opponent this time. Going into the third-round sets, the teams were tied, 6-6. But Laguna Beach got an outstanding performance from its No. 3 doubles team as Stacey Seybold and Heather Holmes defeated the Chargers' No. 1 team of Michelle Turner and Tami Demaree, 6-0.

"The win of the day was our No. 3 doubles," Walton said. "That helped seal our victory."

The Chargers rely heavily on doubles, and the match seemed to be going their way until the third round. No. 2 Nicole Kojima and Lindsay McAndress swept, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2, and Turner and Demaree won their first two matches easily, 6-2, 6-2. But then they came up against Seybold and Holmes.

"We are both seniors, and we went into this match knowing it was our last. We wanted to win," Holmes said. "I knew we could do it. We had to."

Michelle Bray, the Artists' No. 1 singles player, swept her matches, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, coming back to win in the third against Brooke Lacey after trailing, 0-4.

No. 2 Lindsay Weiss won her first match, 6-0, but struggled in her second, losing, 6-0, to Kelly Foster. She was able to regain her composure and win her final match, 6-0.

"I knew we needed our singles to win, because Edison's doubles are so strong, " Weiss said. "After my second match, I just went out and played my hardest and concentrated on winning."

Amanda Hastings-Phillips also had to dig deep in her third match. Down, 2-4, against Kelly Foster, Hastings-Phillips was able to come back and win, 7-6 (7-3).

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