Despite Setback, El Camino Real Meets Its Goals


The El Camino Real High boys' tennis team knew exactly what it was up against.

There were no delusions of grandeur as the Conquistadores prepared to face three-time defending City Section 4-A champion Palisades in the team final Friday at the Racquet Centre.

"I told the guys [before the match], 'Guys, today is frosting. We already accomplished what we wanted to,' " El Camino Coach Phil Yanov said.

The Conquistadores accomplished their goals of winning a league title and reaching their first 4-A final, but ended their undefeated season with an 18 1/2-11 loss to Palisades in the championship match.

"The season was wonderful," Yanov said. "We were 14-1. You can't ask for anything better than that."

Palisades (13-3), which notched its 23rd City title, jumped out to a fast start with leads of 5-1 and 10-2. The Dolphins then claimed a 12 1/2-3 1/2 lead after playing 14 of 25 sets.

The Dolphins clinched the victory, 15 1/2-5 1/2, when their No. 1 doubles team of Jung Cho and Matt Parker defeated the Conquistadores' No. 3 team of Marcelo Lee and Jason Park, 6-3.

Then El Camino Real's singles players sprang to life--against Palisades' No. 3 and No. 4 players. The Conquistadores won half of their 16 singles sets against Palisades, each player winning two of four sets.

The two Palisades players nobody could compete with were No. 1 Danny Westerman, the City's defending individual champion, and No. 2 Artin Tafazoli, the City individual runner-up.

Westerman lost four games in four sets and Tafazoli dropped two.

Bobby Narayan, El Camino Real's No. 3 singles who held serve twice at 2-2 before losing 6-2, boasted to a teammate that he "won two games off [Westerman]."

"You have to look on the bright side of things," Narayan said.

Narayan, like his teammates, was done in by Westerman's big serve and powerful forehand.

In City 3-A semifinals:

Van Nuys 21, Narbonne 8 1/2--The No. 2-seeded Wolves (14-2) dominated Narbonne (13-2) in the singles competition, losing only one of 16 sets. Van Nuys is headed to the final for the third consecutive year.

No. 1 singles Vincent Hsu, No. 2 Sammy Choo and No. 3 Alex Manqu did not lose a set.

In a rematch of last year's final, Van Nuys, the defending champion, will face top-seeded Eagle Rock in the championship Monday at the Racquet Centre.

Eagle Rock 17 1/2-Cleveland 12--The Cavaliers' storybook season came to end at the hands of Eagle Rock (16-0).

Cleveland (10-6), seeded No. 12, won six of nine doubles sets, but only three of 16 singles sets.

Cleveland's No. 1 doubles team of Michael Hale and Franklin Ahn went undefeated in three sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

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