After taking its knocks in football and basketball, University brought home a City Section championship trophy.
The Warriors defeated Taft, 23-6 1/2, to win the 4-A Division tennis championship Tuesday at the Racquet Center in Studio City.
University’s Jay Jackson won three of his four singles matches and Aapo Aro, a transfer student from Finland, suffered his first loss of the season but won three other matches.
The Warriors dominated the doubles competition winning seven of nine sets. University’s Jason Barkham and Matt Levin, three-year varsity starters, swept their three matches.
“We were more talented and more experienced,” University Coach Tom Anderson said. “What makes it even better is we won with style and class. I don’t remember a championship being won with such a lopsided score. This is the most rewarding victory of my career.”
Bruno Diederichs and Lenny Krayzelburg were the outstanding swimmers for Santa Monica in the three-day California Community College state meet at Cypress College.
Diederichs swam 4 minutes 37.69 seconds to win the 500-yard freestyle on the opening day and swam a school-record 15:54.51 to win the 1,650 freestyle. Diederichs also broke his own record of 9:37.84 in the 1,000 and finished fourth in the 400 individual medley (4:10.70).
Krayzelburg, a Fairfax graduate, won the 100 backstroke in a school-record 50.74. It was also the fastest time in the nation at the community college level. He also won the 200 backstroke in a national record 1:47.91. He also finished fourth in the 50 freestyle (21.29).
Krayzelburg was named the meet’s most outstanding swimmer.
It’s hard to imagine upperclassmen looking up to a sophomore for inspiration. Unless, of course, you’re volleyball standout Raoul Williams.
Williams, a sophomore outside hitter, had 28 kills and served 16 points, including the game-winner, as University beat Bell, 15-6, 15-12, 15-10, Tuesday in the City 4-A finals at University.
“He’s amazing,” Bell Coach Mike Mayfield said about Williams, the Western League co-most valuable player. “I look at him as a teaching tool for our hitters for next year. He has a great jump serve. Face it, he beat us. They went to him a million times.”
Nick Strouse had 13 kills and Mark Williams, Raoul’s younger brother, had nine kills to lead the Warriors’ attack. Setter Jamie Strofs had only one unforced error.
The Warriors (14-1) play Granada Hills (15-1) at 8 p.m. Friday in the championship match at Cal State Northridge. The City 4-A final matches Williams and Granada Hills’ Mike DiSimone, who had 22 kills Tuesday in the victory over Palisades.
“I don’t think we’ll try to stop Mike,” University Coach Neal Newman said. “He’s going to get his attack and we’re going to get ours. They are in the same position. They have to figure out how to stop us.”
University won City titles in 1975, 1985, 1987 and 1992.
The Warriors will play without Western League co-MVP Michael Rupp, who left the team because of academic reasons.
Palisades fell short in its bid for a second upset.
Palisades senior middle blocker Gaby Amar had a match-high 25 kills, but the defending City 4-A champions were no match for third-seeded Granda Hills, 15-7, 13-15, 15-8, 15-12, in Tuesday’s other semifinal.
The host Highlanders were led by DiSimone, who had nine kills in the deciding game and the match-clinching kill.
Amar had 10 kills in the final game to keep the Dolphins close. Junior outside hitter Dan Von Wetter had 11 kills, including the first nine without an error until midway through the third game for Palisades (6-10).
Steve Pardridge had eight kills and Jeff Lemen added seven for the 10th-seeded Dolphins.
Last week, Palisades pulled off an upset of second-seeded Westchester, 6-15, 16-14, 15-5, and 18-16. The Comets played without all-league junior outside hitter Kevin Bergschneider, who has been out because of a broken hand.
Palisades Coach Howard Enstedt made a lineup change, substituting 6-foot-3 junior Darin Guthrie into the lineup for 5-11 junior Erin Whalley.
“I made the move because Guthrie’s offense is starting to come around,” Enstedt said. “I switched Whalley with one of our setters on the front line to give us more firepower.”
The Dolphins, who have won nine City championships, missed 6-7 James Turner, who transferred to Ojai Thacher.
“He got his scholarship to UCLA and said bye,” Enstedt said. “That set us back three months.”
Attention Division I softball coaches.
In need of a quality infielder?
Palisades had four infielders make Western League first team and Coach Dave Weinstein believes they’re future Division I prospects.
“This is the best infield I’ve ever had considering the level of competition,” said Weinstein, who coached baseball during the mid-1970s. “They have an uncanny mechanical ability with the glove.”
Junior first baseman Millie Rodriguez led the team with a .640 batting average and four home runs in Coastal Conference play. Sophomore shortstop Mindy Spire (.625, four home runs), freshman second baseman Laurel Swigert (.475) and sophomore Sabrina Romero (.452) proved to be equally adept with the bat as well as the glove.
The foursome completed 14 double plays.
Pitcher Meg Reinis (.390) was named to the first team as a designated hitter and sophomore catcher Maritza Jaramillo (.425) was selected to the second team. Reinis’ brother Lee plays baseball for University.
“We have people come down to see our catcher throw runners out and the infield turn double plays,” Weinstein said. “Even the varsity baseball team came out to watch.”
The Dolphins (11-4 and 8-2 in Coastal Conference play) finished second behind Westchester in the Western League. But with all the key players returning, the Dolphins should contend for a City 4-A title next season.
All this team needs is a new coach.
Weinstein, who turns 60 in July, is retiring at the end of the school year.
University senior utility infielder Sandy Ginoza suffered a broken right leg two weeks ago while sliding into third base during a softball game against Manual Arts.
Ginoza suffered a multiple fracture and underwent surgery last week.
“I don’t think Sandy will be playing competitive sports again,” University Coach Patricia Peisner said. “The most painful thing is that she will not be able to compete for her Japanese traveling league basketball team.”
Ginoza, who played third base, outfield and pitched, led University to a share of the Metro League title. The Warriors hope sophomore pitcher Megan Fahey, who missed the season because of tendinitis in her right elbow, will return next season.
“She suffers from overuse syndrome,” Peisner said, noting that Fahey also pitches in a youth softball league. “No one saw much of her this year. She needs to get on a strength program to handle the grind she has put herself through.”