Players who weren't there seemed to have more of an impact than players who were in the City girls' tennis championships Tuesday at the Racquet Centre in Studio City.
Palisades (who else?) won the 4-A girls' tennis title with a 6-1 victory over Granada Hills, and Eagle Rock defeated Hamilton, 4-3, to win the 3-A title.
Granada Hills and Eagle Rock had to play without their No. 1 singles players who were playing in a tournament, while Palisades lost three players because they had failed a class. Hamilton was the only team not missing a player.
In the 4-A, Granada Hills Coach Ann Kennedy said the loss of her player, Alisha Portnoy, hurt her team more than the loss of three players hurt Palisades because it was her No. 1 player. Without Portnoy, the Highlanders had to juggle their starters and play a singles lineup of four sophomores.
Palisades, missing one singles players and two doubles players, dipped into its reservoir of players and didn't suffer much of a dropoff in talent.
"It would have been a lot more difficult (if Portnoy had been there)," Palisades Coach Bud Kling said. "(But) we were assured of four (matches), so maybe it would have been 4-3 instead of 6-1."
"It would have made a difference," Kennedy said. "He (Kling) knows it. We all know it."
It was Palisades' third straight title and eighth in 12 years as the Dolphins finished the season 17-2. Granada Hills finished 16-2.
In the 3-A, Eagle Rock's missing player almost turned out to be the difference as the Eagles were not only without their No. 1 player but the City's No. 1 player as well, Janice Lum.
But after Hamilton took a 2-0 lead, Eagle Rock battled back to tie at 3-3 and won the title when the No. 3 doubles team of Agnes BoQuiren and Yih Yih Tsai defeated Krista Hansen and Kyung Yu, 7-6, 6-3.
"I think it would have been a little easier (with Lum)," Eagle Rock Coach Sonya Most said. "(But) I'm also proud of my team because we won without our big gun."
It was the first title ever for Eagle Rock (15-0). Hamilton finished 15-2.