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Monday, Nov. 22
SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS
At the Claremont Club
Calabasas 9, Peninsula 9 (Calabasas wins on games, 78-62)
Top-seeded Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula entered the Southern Section Division I girls' tennis championship match on Monday with 11 titles in hand and the owner of a 45-match winning streak.
The Panthers weren't able to add to the totals, however, thanks to Calabasas sophomore Erin Wiesener's performance down the stretch in a 6-1 decision over Peninsula's Tiffany Teerawatanannot. Wiesener lifted the second-seeded Coyotes to a 78-62 victory on games after the teams had tied, 9-9, in sets in the Division I final at the Claremont Club. That the outcome rested on the last singles match of the day was appropriate, because Calabasas (21-0) shined while winning eight of nine singles matches to claim its second division title in three years. The Coyotes, who have won six section titles, defeated Beverly Hills for the 2002 Division I crown.
Amanda Fink and Kristen McVitty, Calabasas' top two singles players, each dropped just one game in winning three sets, and in a match that came down to the final set, the Coyotes' dominance in games was critical to their success. Before beating Teerawatanannot in her decisive third-round set, Wiesener had split her other two sets, losing to Tania Mahtani, 6-2, and defeating Sara Chung, 6-2.
"We came out with our game," said Fink, a senior who will play at USC next season. "You always know it's going to be tough against them. This is a wonderful way to go out in my last high school match."
The ending didn't sit well with the Panthers (22-1), who hadn't lost since Corona del Mar last beat them, in the quarterfinals of the 2002 playoffs.
"I think today they showed they were the better team. We have good doubles teams, they're singles are just too much," Peninsula Coach Mike Hoeger said. "Fink and McVitty are almost unbeatable, and when you're down 6-0 right from the start, we knew a 9-9 tie probably wasn't going to be enough."
Troy 10, Santa Barbara 8
Despite the fact that the same two teams were involved, there would be no repeat of last year.
Fullerton Troy made certain of that by winning eight of nine singles sets and stealing two key doubles sets en route to a 10-8 victory over defending-champion Santa Barbara in the Division II championship match Monday at The Claremont Club.
Santa Barbara defeated Troy on games, 74-70, after the teams tied, 9-9, in sets in the 2003 title match. This year marked Troy's sixth consecutive appearance in the division final. The Warriors' only other title came against Newport Harbor in 2001.
"It was like a tug-'o-war," said Troy No. 3 singles player Alison Ramos. "Everybody has been waiting for this. We worked our butts off for it."
Ramos, a freshman, was perhaps the missing link in the Warriors' failed title run last season. Her arrival gave Troy a top-notch third singles player to go with the two standouts the Warriors already had in senior Clare Fermin and junior Cosmina, and proved crucial down the stretch against Santa Barbara.
Ramos won her first two sets, 6-1, 6-0, and then sealed the Warriors' victory by recording their tenth point with a 6-2 victory over Santa Barbara senior Whitney Peterson, the Dons' top player, who played at No. 2 in the lineup. The Warriors needed a strong performance from Ramos to hold off Santa Barbara, which trailed 4-2 after the first round of round-robin play but closed the gap in the last two rounds with key doubles victories.
Trailing 4-5, the Dons' top doubles team of Lizze Collector and Roxanne Teti rallied for a 7-5 third-round victory over Troy's No. 2 team of Avni Patel and Bobbie Geiss. That decision followed a second-round comeback victory over Patel and Geiss by Santa Barbara's third doubles team of Brooke Robertson and Kristen Franz. Robertson and Franz also trailed, 4-5 and had a match point against them, but took the next three games to win, 7-5. Troy got doubles help, however, from Jennifer Chow and Erica Liao, who won two of three sets.
"We came close, but there's no cigar," Santa Barbara coach Steve Geremia said. "There wasn't much margin for error, and they did what they needed to do to win."
Campbell Hall 12, Brentwood 6
The rubber match wasn't much of a stretch for North Hollywood Campbell Hall.
The top-seeded Vikings (19-1) dropped only one game while sweeping all nine singles sets to capture its second consecutive Division III championship with the victory over Brentwood on Monday at the Claremont Club.
Seniors Ally Krasnopolsky and Lauren Shearer,a left-hander, and sophomore Katarina Reveche each won three sets as did the Vikings' No. 1 doubles team of Alison Wagner and Michelle Sulahian, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Krasnopolsky and Reveche each won their three sets without dropping a game.
The victory was Campbell Hall's 13th in a row since its only loss, a 10-8 defeat to Brentwood in the teams' first of two Olympic League meetings earlier this season. Campbell Hall won the second league match, 14-4.
"I feel bad that I'm leaving. It's kind of sad. It was over so fast," Krasnopolsky said. "We had a lot of pressure to repeat after we won last year, and I think we handled it well. It just shows the kind of talent that we have."
Brentwood, which defeated Campbell Hall for the division championship in 2002, was at less than full strength this time.
The Eagles played without their top two singles players because of injuries. Junior Austin Hansen has been sidelined the past two months because of a strained left knee. Her freshman sister, Logan Hansen, has been out for the past month with a back problem.
"I wish I was playing," Austin Hansen said. "There's nothing worse than watching your team play and wanting to help and not being able to be out there."
Beverly Hills 14, Walnut 4
The No. 3 doubles team of senior Jade Sherman and sophomore Briana Banayan won three sets, including one against Walnut's No. 1 team of Tammy Chu and Manon Carrie, to lead Beverly Hills to its third division title in five seasons.
The top-seeded Normans (20-4), making their fifth consecutive appearance in a final match, also won the Division III championship in 2000 and the Division II title in 2001.
Sherman and Banayan beat Chu and Carrie, 7-5, and won their other sets, 7-5, 6-2. They were the only Beverly Hills players to win three sets. Top player Tova Hausman was replaced by a subitute in the third round.
"Somthing came over us," Sherman said with a giddy laugh. "We've been playing really well and improving every match in the playoffs, and this was the best we've ever played."
Crystal Kim won two of three sets, going 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, at No. 1 singles for Walnut (20-1), which advanced to a final match for the first time. The Mustangs also won one set each at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
Malibu 9, Fairmont Prep 9 (Malibu wins on games, 75-72)
Chelsea Mosser won two of three sets as top-seeded Malibu hung on for its second consecutive Division V title by edging Fairmont Prep on games Monday at the Claremont Club.
Mosser defeated Academy League singles champion Carissa Aboubakare, 6-4, in one key set, and she beat Anya Walinowicz, 6-2, for her other victory. Mosser fell, 6-1, to Bianca Aboubakare, Carissa's sophomore sister, in her third set.
Bianca Aboubakare and No. 1 doubles players Jenny Chung and Julie Luzar recorded three-set sweeps for Fairmont Prep (19-1).