Briefly In Sports

Pitz competes at U.S. Open

Laguna Beach’s Taylor Pitz advanced to the quarterfinals at the Nike 6.0 Junior Pro girls’ event over the weekend at the U.S. Open of Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier.

Pitz, who will be a junior at Laguna Beach High, won her heat in the first round with a score of 12.00 to advance to the quarterfinals. It was the second-best overall score of the first round.

In the quarterfinals, Pitz finished third in her heat with a score of 6.37, but only the top two scores advanced.


Pitz, who has been a USA Surf Team member the past two years, earned 1,250 tour points for her efforts.

Another Laguna resident, Eli Viszolay, competed in the Nike 6.0 Junior Pro boys’ event. Viszolay, who totaled a score of 5.98, was eliminated in the first round.

Laguna teams headed to Junior Olympics

The Laguna Beach Water Polo club has several teams headed up north for the S&R; Sport USA Water Polo boys’ and girls’ Junior Olympics.


The girls’ teams, coached by Chad Beeler, include a 12-and-under girls’ team, a 14-and-under girls’ squad, a 12-and-under boys’ team and a 10-and-under co-ed team.

The 12-and-under girls’ team qualified second in the Southern Pacific Zone, behind Newport. However, the team has gone back and forth with Newport at tournaments. Laguna topped Newport at the San Diego County Cup in May.

Laguna Beach water polo Coach Ethan Damato said the 14U girls’ team also has five incoming freshmen into the Breakers program.

Upper-age Laguna girls’ players are playing for different teams. Damato said Breakers Jessica Shusko and Melena Masson are playing for SET, while Jessie Holechek and Yoshi Andersen are playing for Huntington Beach Water Polo Club. The SET girls qualified second in the 16U division, while Huntington Beach qualified fourth.

Lexie Ross, who will be a senior, is playing for the 18U SET team that qualified first in the zone.

Damato himself is coaching a 16-and-under boys’ team for TRIAD, which he said includes players from Laguna, Mission Viejo and Dana Hills. Nolan McConnell and Erik Hendrickson of Laguna are among the players on that team.

The boys’ Junior Olympics begin Saturday and continue until Tuesday. The girls’ competition begins Thursday and continues until Aug. 2.

Games will be played in Northern California, at and around the Stanford campus.


Pavlik is 17th at Manhattan Beach

Laguna Beach resident Whitney Pavlik and partner Stacy Rouwenhorst finished tied for 17th Saturday at the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Manhattan Beach Open.

Pavlik and Rouwenhorst, who were seeded ninth, split $960 at the tournament considered to be the “granddaddy" of the tour.

They won their first two winner’s bracket matches before falling to No. 8-seeded Katie and Tracy Lindquist, 21-11, 21-18. Pavlik and Rouwenhorst then were upset in their first contender’s bracket match by No. 26-seeded Angela Knopf and Chrissie Zartman, 21-18, 21-17.

It’s the third time Pavlik and Rouwenhorst have finished 17th at a tournament this year, but the first since mid-May. Their best remains a seventh-place finish in Brooklyn over the Fourth of July weekend.

The next AVP Tour tournament is at Hermosa Beach, beginning Aug. 6. That’s the final Southern California tour stop this season.

Local tennis players at Costa Mesa tourney

Several Laguna Beach youth tennis players are competing this week at the 17th annual Costa Mesa Summer Junior Classic tournament.


Madeline Jaeger is the No. 3 seed in girls’ 18 singles, and she had a Round of 16 and possible quarterfinal match Wednesday and a possible semifinal match Thursday.

In girls’ 12 singles, Bailey Jaeger won her first match over Madelyn Gehrich of Dove Canyon, 6-4, 6-1. She was set to play top-seeded Riley McQuaid of Tustin in the Round of 16. Laguna’s Kira Hamilton is also in the girls’ 12s draw.

On the boys’ side, Benito Romeo advanced to the Round of 16 in boys’ 16 singles by topping Brandon Young of Aliso Viejo, 6-0, 6-1. Alex Manolakas was also in the boys’ 16s draw but was beaten by Zach Haber of Newport Beach, 6-2, 6-3.

Laguna’s Morgan Lebby fell in the Round of 16 in boys’ 14 singles.

Championship matches in the different age divisions are scheduled for today at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

"” Matt Szabo