DeVera Is Picture Perfect in Final


Faye DeVera will never rival the Bryan twins in popularity up here in this hot and sleepy town that loves its tennis, but she is beginning to build a nice little Ojai resume and picture file on the Libbey Park wall of fame.

She captured her third Ojai junior title Saturday in five appearances with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 victory over San Diego’s Kari Olsen in the girls’ 18 finals. DeVera, a senior at Villa Park, has been sharper and has played more aggressively than she did Saturday, but she was steady enough from the baseline and came up with enough winners to give Olsen problems.

She also capitalized on Olsen’s generosity and honesty, something that isn’t exactly prevalent in junior tennis matches.


Olsen led DeVera, 5-4, in the first set and the score was at deuce when DeVera nailed a forehand ground stroke that landed inside the baseline. Olsen didn’t make a call but the umpire called the ball out. DeVera won the next point and when the umpire announced a deuce score again, Olsen looked confused.

“Kari said the ball was that far in and ‘That’s game,’ ” DeVera said. “I don’t remember seeing anyone doing that. They usually go with what the umpire says. It was to her disadvantage to tell the umpire.”

Would DeVera had done the same for Olsen?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t know that I would have spoke up with the crowd and everything.”

Each player held serve and then DeVera won the tiebreaker easily as Olsen made too many unforced errors. DeVera closed out the match by keeping her ground strokes deep and Olsen off balance. DeVera’s victory avenged a loss to Olsen in San Diego three months ago and gave her one final pleasant memory of Ojai as a junior. She won the girls’ 18 doubles last year and the girls’ 14 singles four years ago.

“This isn’t any bigger than the others,” DeVera said. “Either way, an Ojai title’s big.”

But no matter how many titles she wins, DeVera will never be as popular as Bob and Mike Bryan of Camarillo. The Bryans won several doubles titles in Ojai as juniors and are freshmen at Stanford this year. They attract the biggest crowds and get most of the media attention from the local papers.

Los Alamitos sophomore Cody Jackson didn’t have many problems with his game Saturday. In fact, he treated the net like it was home. Jackson served and volleyed his way to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Phillip Sheng of Thousand Oaks in the boys’ 16 finals.


“I felt the best I’ve ever felt playing the game the way I wanted to,” Jackson said.

Jackson is having quite a spring. Last month, he beat San Marino’s John Paul Fruttero, ranked first in Southern California, in the South Bay tournament. As a high school player, he has lost only one set.

Earlier in the day, Jackson outlasted Zoran Korac of San Marino, 6-7 (9-7), 6-2, 6-1.

Caylan Leslie, a freshman at Corona del Mar, upset top-seeded Natalie Mikolich of San Diego in the girls’ 16 semifinals, but wasn’t able to beat Jennifer Baker of La Quinta in the finals, losing, 6-3, 7-5. Leslie said her serve let her down in the finals.

“I was having so much trouble with it in the first set that I started using my second serve as my serve,” she said. “I was serving way too many double faults.”

Leslie fought back from 3-0 and 5-3 deficits in the second set, but couldn’t extend the match to a third set.

“I had a long match in the morning,” she said. “I think the sun just drained me.”


The 14 finals were dominated by Orange County players. In the boys’ 14 final, Brian Morton of Costa Mesa defeated Drew Hoskins of Los Alamitos, 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-4. In the girls’ 14 final, Amberly Tantee of Dana Point beat Ashley Maddocks of Laguna Beach. . . . David Lingman of Woodbridge and Thomas Lloyd of Esperanza lost in the boys’ 16 doubles final to Carl McCafferty and Ryan Redondo of Highland, 6-4, 7-5. Etel Bugescu of University and Kelly Ramirez of Ontario won the girls’ 16 doubles title with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Kate Romm and Amy Tranckino of Dana Hills. . . . Former Newport Harbor star Geoff Abrams of Stanford reached the Pac-10 men’s invitational finals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Fernando Samayoa of USC. He will play his teammate, Charles Hoeveler, in this morning’s 9:30 final. . . . Joseph Gilbert of Sunny Hills and now Boise State lost in the men’s independent college semifinals, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, to Cory Guy of UC Santa Barbara. . . . Cameron Lindee and Bob Walker of UC Irvine and Thomas Bohun and Steve Tallakson of UC Irvine advanced to the semifinals of the men’s independent college doubles. . . . In the women’s independent singles semifinals, Loyola Marymount’s Mara Colaizzi, formerly of Newport Harbor, defeated Brenda Varga of Cal Poly Pomona, 6-1, 6-4. She will play Barbara Valkova of Cal State Bakersfield in today’s 8 a.m. final. . . . Natalie Exon of Woodbridge lost in the women’s open singles semifinals to Dina Birch of Calabasas, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4. . . . UCLA’s Kevin Kim and Eric Lin, formerly of Sunny Hills and Canyon, lost in the Pac-10 men’s doubles semifinals to Paul Goldstein and Ryan Wolters of Stanford, 6-3, 6-3.