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PREP TENNIS / SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS : Woodbridge Has Surprisingly Easy Time With Dana Hills

It wasn’t supposed to be this easy for Woodbridge. The last time the Warriors played Dana Hills, they tied in sets and won the match by only four games. But Tuesday’s 11-7 victory over Dana Hills in the Southern Section Division I quarterfinals at Dana Hills wasn’t much of a contest.

Woodbridge (20-2) led, 4-2, after the first round and, 9-3, after the second round. A dumbfounded John Stephens had trouble explaining his team’s poor performance.

“I don’t know? Why did we lose?” Stephens asked one of his players.

Finally, Stephens said his team was simply too excited to play.

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“I think the girls wanted it, but the nervousness out there translated to us being timid on the court,” he said. “They started out being tentative and never got out of it.”

One difference for Woodbridge was the play of No. 1 singles player Natalie Exon, who swept her three sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, after winning two of three in the first meeting. Woodbridge also got two victories from its top two doubles teams of Julie Barraco and Yuka Suzuki and Ali and Courtney Tenerelli and its No. 3 singles player Alyssa Artunian.

For their trouble, the Warriors get to face the best girls’ tennis team in the nation, defending champion and top-seeded Palos Verdes Peninsula, which has never lost a dual match in school history.

“I have a song I want to play for [my team],” said Willett, whose team was defeated by Peninsula, 12-6, last month. “My daughter went to Northwestern and it’s the same one the Northwestern [football] coach plays to his team, ‘High Hopes’ by Frank Sinatra. If the Wildcats can do it, maybe the Warriors can too. We’d have to have the best match of our lives, because they’re so strong.”

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--DAVE McKIBBEN

In other Division I matches:

Corona del Mar 14, Mater Dei 4--Megan Wachtler swept in singles, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, for Corona del Mar (17-3). The Sea Kings will play second-seeded Santa Barbara (21-1) in the semifinals.

Santa Barbara 13, Santa Margarita 5--Ashley Jensen and Kate Klimkowski swept in doubles, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6, for Santa Margarita (14-7).

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In Division II:

Laguna Beach 11, Los Alamitos 7--Michelle Bray swept in singles, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, for top-seeded Laguna Beach (19-3). In doubles, Sarah Cohen and Vanessa Zajfen swept 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, and sophomores Trini Jessoe and Kim Allen won, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Los Alamitos finished 13-7.

Villa Park 9, Diamond Bar 9 (Villa Park wins on games, 75-67)--Faye DeVera swept in singles for second-seeded Villa Park (18-0), 6-0, 6-2, 6-0. The Spartans advance to the semifinals against third-seeded Calabasas.

In Division III:

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El Dorado 14, Temecula Temecula Valley 4--El Dorado’s Jana Lund and Melisa Liao swept in doubles, 6-0, 6-0, 7-5, and Kiki Lundquist and Annie McMillan also swept, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6. Top-seeded El Dorado (22-1) will play fourth-seeded Claremont Webb in the semifinals.

Hemet 10, Rosary 8--Third-seeded Hemet advanced although Eleanor Luzano swept in singles, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 for Rosary (21-2).


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