From Staff Reports
Odds and ends from the local high school girls' tennis scene:
Putting the streak in perspective: Just how impressive is
Crescenta Valley's 46-match regular-season winning streak?
To put the streak -- which started after a Sept. 29, 1999 Pacific
League loss to Arcadia -- in perspective, the Falcons have nearly won
more matches since their 9-9 (76-73) loss than league rivals Glendale
and Hoover combined.
Since Sept. 29, 1999, the Tornadoes -- who had two wins when the
Falcons lost to the Apaches -- have won 25 matches.
Glendale has won 25 matches during that same span.
But CV's streak might be in jeopardy when it faces host Upland at
3:15 p.m. Tuesday.
The Highlanders advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I
semifinals in 2001, before losing to eventual runner-up Dana Hills.
Three days later, the Falcons -- who disposed of North Hollywood,
14-3, in an intersectional showdown Friday to extend the streak,
which began Oct. 1, 1999 -- will play host to L.A. City Section
powerhouse Granada Hills at 3:15 p.m.
Granada Hills has reached the past four City Section finals,
Singles party: Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Coach Ron Zambrano
hasn't had competitive balance since he took over the program in
Since Zambrano's arrival, the Tologs have sported strong doubles
teams that have kept them competitive.
Now Zambrano's got a troika of singles players in Sarah Bartlett,
Charlotte Guy and Jennifer Iwata who could flourish the next two or
Following Monday's 13-5 nonleague victory against Hoover at the
Fremont Tennis Center, the trio improved to 25-2 in their sets.
There's strength in youth.
Guy and Bartlett, the Nos. 1 and 3 players, respectively, are
sophomores. Iwata's a junior who gained varsity experience last
season for the Tologs, who finished fourth in the Mission League and
missed the postseason.
Bartlett excelled last season on the school's junior varsity
"When they were freshmen, you had to motivate them to continue to
play," said Zambrano, who is also the boys' tennis coach at St.
"Now they are natural singles players. In the past, we haven't had
this kind of talent in singles. We just want to keep motivating them
to get better."
The Tologs won their first three matches against Pasadena La
Salle, Flintridge Prep and Hoover and improved to 3-0 for the first
time under Zambrano. They'll try to make it four in a row in
Tuesday's nonleague match against Village Christian at El Cariso Park
The teacher 2, the pupil 0: Flintridge Sacred Heart's 15-3 victory
against intracity opponent Flintridge Prep on Sept. 13 was a little
bit more meaningful for Zambrano, who had the opportunity to coach
against his former player and current co-worker, first-year Rebel
mentor Andy Rojas.
Rojas -- who played under Zambrano for three years at St. Francis
before graduating in 1997 -- has worked with the Tolog coach giving
lessons at the Fremont Tennis Center twice a week for the past four
years, and took over the Flintridge Prep girls' program this fall
after coaching the boys' team for the first time in the spring.
Zambrano was the one primarily responsible for Rojas landing the
position at Flintridge Prep after he contacted Rebel Athletic
Director Alex Rivera once he learned of the opening.
"I have a lot of respect for Ron and we respect each other's
teams a great deal," Rojas said.
"When we play, it's more of a friendly match than an intense
competition. So much so that some of the girls exchanged phone
numbers to go and hit on the weekends."
Zambrano's St. Francis team beat Rojas' Flintridge Prep squad on
Feb. 26 by an identical 15-3 score, but the final outcomes aren't the
focal point of the duo's post-match conversation.
"I talk to Ron a lot about my team and how they're progressing,"
said Rojas, who helps Zambrano with private lessons Fridays and
"When we play against each other, we don't take advantage of what
we know. He trusts me and I trust him. For example, I'm taking back
all of his stuff to the Tennis Center because he had to leave right
after the match to go start the lesson."
Hopefully some of Zambrano's early success can rub off on Rojas,
whose squad is 1-4, 0-1 in Prep League following Friday's loss
against Rancho Palos Verdes Chadwick.