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City Section

Friday, Nov. 19

CITY SECTION PLAYOFFS

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION FINAL

Granada Hills 5, Palisades 2
In a rematch of last year’s City Section girls’ tennis final, it took only an hour and 15 minutes for Granada Hills to win its third consecutive Championship division title Friday at Balboa Sports Complex in Encino.

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The top-seeded Highlanders (14-2) won the first four matches in the best-of-seven format and breezed to a 5-2 victory over second-seeded Palisades (13-3), which was looking to avenge its 6-1 loss a year ago.Moments after sophomore Jennifer To wrapped up her 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 4 singles to give Granada Hills a 3-0 lead, seniors Alex Margolin and Kristine Mayor clinched the Highlanders’ sixth section title with a 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 1 doubles. Seniors Maria Cardenas and Ramya Sreepathi won in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 3 singles to set the tone.

“We had a lot of confidence coming in and all of us were pumped up right from the first point,” Sreepathi said. “I knew our singles would dominate, but I thought we might have some trouble in doubles. Fortunately, we pulled through.”

Sreepathi is the only girl in school history to play in four City finals, the first two under former coach Ron Wood and the last two with Wood’s successor, Simon Robertshaw.

“I’ve never really thought about it,” she said. “It’s a big individual accomplishment but I care more about how our team does.”

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The only points for Palisades (13-3) came at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, but by that time the outcome had already been decided. The longest match was at No. 1 singles, where Roxanne Plata dealt Palisades’ Krista Slocum her first loss of the season, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4.

“I’m not used to playing girls who dictate play as much as she does,” Slocum said. “I was up 5-2 in the first set, but she raised her game and mine went down a bit. She took more chances and was more aggressive in the third set and that’s why she won.”

Granada Hills has reached seven consecutive City finals, winning four, and has posted a 57-4 record over the last four seasons. Palisades beat Granada Hills, 4-3, to win the last of its 17 City titles in 1998.

--Steve Galluzzo

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SINGLES

Roxanne Plata, GH, d. Krista Slocum, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4; Maria Cardenas, GH, d. Lauren Pugatch, 6-1, 6-1; Ramya Sreepathi, GH, d. Kathryn Cullen, 6-3, 6-4; Jennifer To, GH, d. Masha Elakovic, 6-4, 6-0.

DOUBLES

Alex Margolin-Kristine Mayor, GH, d. Yasmir Navas-Brittany O’Neil, 6-0, 6-4; Emily Yu-Julia Dyachneko, GH, lost to Lotte Kiepe-Mary Logan, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5; Olivia Pokorny-Becky Friedman, GH, lost to Sarah Jurick-Sara Yankelevitz, 6-3, 6-4.Records: Palisades 13-3; Granada Hills 14-2.

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INVITATIONAL DIVISION FINAL

Reseda 5, Sylmar 2
Reseda swept all four singles matches to defeat Valley Mission League rival Sylmar, 5-2, in the Invitational final. Sara Pilgreen and Gabi Weiss won, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, at No. 2 doubles to clinch the victory for the Regents (12-4), who defeated Sylmar (9-7) for the third time this season.

SINGLES

Lily Stapornkul, R, d. Kim Alballat, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1; Julie Teng, R, d. Jessica Padilla, 6-1, 6-2; Sarah Settle, R, d. Maggie Tapia, 6-3, 6-1; Vaishadi Ramasamy, R, d. Angie Ponce, 6-2, 7-6 (8).

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DOUBLES

Mary Phan-Mariya Stepanenko, R, lost to Barbara Hernandez-Elizabeth Zamora, 6-2, 7-5; Sara Pilgreen-Gabi Weiss, R, d. Edith Perez-Veronica Rascon, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5; Anna Tran-Annie Tran, R, lost to Jeanette Navarro-Fastimah Zulkifl, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.Records: Sylmar 9-7; Reseda 12-4.

Tuesday, Nov. 16

CITY SECTION PLAYOFFS

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INVITATIONAL DIVISION

SEMIFINALS

Reseda 5, Monroe 2
Sarah Settle won her No. 3 singles sets, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 1 doubles team of Mary Phan and Mariya Stepanenko won, 6-1, 6-2, to propel visiting Reseda into the division finals against Sylmar at 1 p.m. Friday at Balboa Sports Center.

Sylmar 6, Cleveland 1
Jessica Padilla won her sets at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-4, to pace seventh-seeded Sylmar’s upset of third-seeded Cleveland at Balboa Sports Center in Encino. Sylmar (9-5) will meet Reseda in the division final at 1 p.m. Friday at Balboa Sports Center.

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Monday, Nov. 15

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION

SEMIFINALS

Granada Hills 4, El Camino Real 3
Jennifer To, facing El Camino Real senior Honey Saedi at No. 3 singles, had dropped the first set and faced match point in the second, but the sophomore rallied for an 0-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory for top-seeded Granada Hills at the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino.

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Granada Hills (13-2), the two-time City Section champion, will meet second-seeded Palisades (13-2) in the title match--a rematch of last year’s final--at 1 p.m. Friday at the Balboa Sports Complex. El Camino Real finished 10-4.

Palisades 4, Carson 3
Lauren Pugatch won at No. 2 singles, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, to lead No. 2-seeded Palisades (13-2) at Balboa Sports Center. Freshman Kathryn Cullen, up from the junior varsity for the playoffs, won at No. 3 singles, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, for Palisades, which plays the winner of Granada Hills-Woodland Hills El Camino Real for the title at 1 p.m. on Friday at Balboa Sports Center. Carson, seeded No. 3, finished with a 13-2 record.


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