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Experience Pays Off for Marshall : Prep tennis: Seasoned Barristers win City 3-A championship, 16 1/2-13, after trailing Eagle Rock.

June 13, 1991|GARY KLEIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Tournament experience paid dividends for the Marshall High boys' tennis team this season, especially in last week's City Section 3-A Division championship match against Eagle Rock.

Marshall, which cruised into the final with a 16-0 record, found itself trailing, 13-7, at The Racquet Center in Studio City before the Barristers' singles players drew on their experience and came back for a 16 1/2-13 victory.

It was the first championship for fourth-year Coach Eshwar Sitaramya and the school's first since 1984.

"These players have a lot of experience playing on their own," said Sitaramya, whose teams had lost in the second round of the playoffs the past two years. "In previous seasons, we had maybe one player with that kind of experience.

"It makes a difference."

It certainly did against Eagle Rock, which came out playing aggressively and won six of nine sets in doubles.

Marshall, however, came back on the strength of its singles players, especially No. 3 player Eric Clemente and No. 4 Chris Soong.

Manuel Gil-Goodman, the Barristers' No. 1 singles player, lost his first set, 6-1, then won three in a row.

Arthur Tombakian, Marshall's No. 2 player, split four sets.

Meanwhile, Clemente won three of four and Soong swept all four sets.

"They (Eagle Rock) are not an easy team to overcome," Sitaramya said. "When they got to 13, I was just hoping we could come back and win by a point.

"But we seemed to really wake up and they seemed to run out of gas.

"It was a great win and a nice way to end a perfect season."

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