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Laguna girls’ tennis advances to semis

Mike Sciacca

It was no secret heading into the 2002 season that CIF Southern

Section Division I girls’ tennis was a division of several talented

teams.

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Even when the postseason playoffs began last week, Laguna Beach

High coach Brian Ricker said he felt that any one of eight teams had

a legitimate shot at the crown.

As of Thursday, the division had been whittled down to its final

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four, and Ricker’s Breakers were among those left in the hunt for the

division title.

Laguna Beach survived a visit from Dana Hills Tuesday in a tense

quarterfinal showdown, taking the match by holding a 79-77 edge in

games over the Dolphins.

The victory sent Laguna Beach into a semifinal match on Thursday

at top-seed and unbeaten Beverly Hills (28-0).

The final score from the match was not available at press time.

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The doubles team of Katie Ochwat and Correy Miller scored a 7-6

(7-5) victory in the final match to lift fourth-seeded Laguna Beach

to the win.

Ochwat and Miller won two of three as did the Breakers’ No. 2

doubles team of Jackie Reed and Britton Simons.

Camerin Barron-Sandman won two of three at No. 1 singles, as did

No. 2 Claire Rietsch.

In CIF boys’ cross-country action:

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At the CIF Southern Section cross-country prelims held last

Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, the Laguna Beach boys’

varsity team turned in a strong performance and qualified for the CIF

finals race, scheduled for Saturday.

The Breakers will be racing in Saturday’s final at Mt. SAC against

the top 12 programs in CIF Division IV. Schools finishing among the

top six at Saturday’s finals advance to the Nov. 30 State

Championships.

Saturday’s race begins at 9:45 a.m.

It is the fifth consecutive year that the Laguna Beach boys’ have

qualified for the finals.

“We should be very competitive in the race this year,” Laguna

Beach coach Dave Brobeck said. “We advanced to the finals with little

difficulty, running at about 80% of our potential in an effort to

save ourselves for the best race of the season this weekend.”

In CIF boys’ water polo action:

LB Wilson 7, Laguna Beach 5

The host Breakers gave the top-ranked and defending champion

Bruins all they could handle for the second time this season, before

succumbing in a Division I quarterfinal match last Saturday.

Laguna Beach seemed to have momentum on its side throughout much

of the match, but Wilson’s defense turned back several Breakers’

scoring opportunities, allowing the Bruins to maintain a slim lead.

Nick McConnell’s second goal of the game brought Laguna Beach

within one goal entering the final period, but the Breakers could get

no closer.

Chris Stansbury held Wilson’s two-meter player, Johnny Foster,

scoreless, his stifling defense caused the All-American to miss all

four of his shot attempts.

Stansbury, meanwhile, tied McConnell for Laguna scoring honors

with two goals. He also led the team with three steals and two

assists.

Tristan Able scored once and had three steals.

Hugh Sandys came up with his best performance of the year, with 15

blocked shots.

The Breakers began postseason play last Thursday by defeating

visiting Capistrano Valley, 7-5, in first round action.

Chris Cole scored a match-best four goals, Nima Mortazavi finished

with two, and Able scored once. Bryan Early led Laguna with three

assists, and Sandys finished with seven saves.

Laguna Beach, which finished runner-up in the Pacific Coast

League, concluded its first season at the Division I level with a

22-7 record.

Moore League champion Long Beach Wilson, meanwhile, remained

perfect at 29-0. Saturday’s win marked the second time this season

that the Bruins have beaten the Breakers in a hard-fought match.


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