Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TENNIS / SOUTHERN SECTION DIVISION IV CHAMPIONSHIP : Tallakson Lights Fire, Nordhoff Mates Fuel It

June 03, 1993|DAVID COULSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Confidence can be an intoxicating thing.

Just ask Steve Tallakson and the Nordhoff boys' tennis team.

Sparked by three wins from their No. 1 singles player, the Rangers won 10 of the first 11 matches Wednesday at the Ojai Valley Inn and Country Club to defeat Santa Maria St. Joseph, 12-6, for the Southern Section Division IV championship.

Tallakson, a four-year varsity player at Nordhoff and the Rangers' recognized leader, implored his teammates to play with confidence during the final and his words didn't fall on deaf ears.

"I was trying to get them pumped up, to know the importance of this," Tallakson said.

The Ball State-bound senior did his part with wins of 6-1, 6-0, and 6-0 over Ray Cavazos, Luis Ogas and Matt Polacsay. But Tallakson, who finished undefeated in 30 games of match play this season, was only one of many problems for St. Joseph (17-6).

Chris Biorkman also swept, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, and the doubles team of Justin Zimmerman and Carey Biorkman added wins over Erik Smith and Eddie Silva (6-3), Jason Weatherall and David Merlo (6-4), and Bryon Gresser and Carsten Laubsch (6-3).

Zimmerman had predicted a Nordhoff championship as a freshman. It took four years for the senior to realize it. "I had no idea what it took to win one back then," Zimmerman said. "We all zoned out today. The first round (when Nordhoff won five of six sets) got us going."

It was the first section title in tennis since 1979 for Nordhoff, which finished the year 21-3.

Jason Vrtis came back from a 4-3 deficit to beat Polacsay, 6-4, in a first-round No. 3 singles match.

"It's kind of like they peaked at this point," said Nordhoff Coach Roy Rodriguez, who pointed to Vrtis' comeback win. "It ignited our kids and it had a reverse effect on the other kids."

St. Joseph Coach Georgeanna Domingos said she was surprised by how easily Nordhoff dominated her team. The Rangers had beaten St. Joseph, 12-6, earlier this season, but the matches were much closer.

"I don't remember this Nordhoff team," Domingos said. "They played out of their heads."

Just a by-product of confidence.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|