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SOUTHERN SECTION TEAM TENNIS PLAYOFFS : Sunny Hills States Case on Courts : Division II: Unbeaten Lancers win section title with 11-7 victory over Harvard-Westlake.


FULLERTON — It took three weeks, but Sunny Hills eventually corrected a mistake made by the Southern Section seeding committee. The Lancers claimed the section's Division II championship with a convincing 11-7 victory over North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake Wednesday at Sunny Hills Racquet Club.

Sunny Hills, unbeaten in the regular season, was seeded second for the playoffs. Harvard-Westlake, 13-2 with losses to Division I finalists Peninsula and Santa Barbara, was seeded No. 1.

Sunny Hills (22-0) cruised through the playoffs, losing only six sets in four matches. Harvard-Westlake (17-3), which had won five of the last six 2-A titles before moving up to Division II this season, lost 14 sets in its four victories.

But Wednesday there was no doubt which team was the best in Division II.

"We wanted to tell everyone that we should have been seeded 1," Sunny Hills' Dave Robbins said.

Harvard-Westlake Coach Harry Salamandra said he needed no more convincing.

"We have a good team, but they just played better than us," Salamandra said. "They had a few more players than us."

Sunny Hills' depth allowed Coach Steve White to move Robbins, his best singles player, to No. 1 doubles. Robbins teamed with Jason Nevadomsky to sweep three sets, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

"Those were the ones we had to have," White said.

Juno Kuan, Nevadomsky's normal partner, moved to No. 1 singles and won two of three matches.

"They did exactly what we had planned," Salamandra said. "We just got outplayed."

Said Nevadomsky: "I think coach made a good decision. We couldn't have gotten any more in singles anyway."

Not with Phillip Tseng at No. 1 singles for Harvard-Westlake. Tseng, who lost in the section individual semifinals for the second consecutive year, won his three sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, over Juno Kuan, Joseph Gilbert and Kevin Kim.

But Tseng's victories were the only singles points for Harvard-Westlake.

Sunny Hills got an unexpected lift from Kuan, a junior, who won his matches, 6-1, 6-0.

"He's a good singles player," White said. "People don't really understand that."

Said Kuan: "I thought I'd play No. 3. I was kind of surprised to be at No. 1. They put me anywhere."

Salamandra believes his team lost the match at doubles, where it won only four sets. Harvard-Westlake's No. 3 team of Wilt Park and Farbad Nasseri were swept, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

"I thought we'd get better performances from our No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams," Salamandra said.

But Nevadomsky said his team played as he thought they would.

"We had all the right mixtures on this team," Nevadomsky said. "The (section title) was our goal immediately. We knew we had the talent to win it."

Nevadomsky, Robbins and doubles player Danny Lee also played on the Lancers' section championship team in 1991.

"This team was stronger because of our singles," Nevadomsky said.

Two of those singles players, Kim and Gilbert, are freshmen.

"The seniors got the freshmen used to the concept of team tennis," said White, who received an ice-water shower from his team after the match.

But White said the freshmen played like seniors Wednesday.

"You're going to hear about them," White said. "They were not afraid of this match. The seniors were more nervous than they were."

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