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Mann Runs Into a Whiteout : Tennis: 16-year-old from Canoga Park ousted from 18 singles in Junior Sectional, 6-0, 6-3.

June 24, 1995|DANA HADDAD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Dylan Mann managed to win only three games in his quarterfinal match against David White Friday in the Southern California Junior Sectional tournament.

Most players would be upset with the kind of 6-0, 6-3 defeat that eliminated the Canoga Park resident from the main draw of the biggest tournament of the year in Southern California.

Not Mann. He was ambivalent.

"I did nothing spectacular and nothing horrible," Mann said. "I was just coming in to take it one point at a time and do whatever I could."

Mann, 16, couldn't do much against White, 18, of Rancho Santa Fe. But his top-eight finish at Los Caballeros Sports Village will almost assure him a trip to the boys' 18-and-under singles national championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., in August.

Not even Coach Desi McBride could be disappointed with Mann, an up-and-coming serve-and-volley player who was overmatched by a more-experienced and more-polished baseliner.

Mann, as did top-seeded Jason Cook of Woodland Hills the day before, fell victim to the savvy and pinpoint passing shots of White.

"[Mann and Cook] play good court position and they hit the ball well, but they don't have real weapons yet," McBride said. "This guy [White] can do some damage."

White has a big forehand, a big serve and good touch at the net. But his biggest asset, which was the key against Mann and Cook, was his ability to leave opponents at the net, watching his screaming passing shots.

Perhaps if Mann had not charged the net so frequently, he might have matched ground strokes with White. But White said Mann was right in staying aggressive.

"He can't change his game to accommodate mine," White said. "He's got to keep playing his game and I've got to keep playing mine. Whoever's game is better, wins."

Mann threatened only once in the match. Down, 3-1, in the second set, he broke White's serve then held to make it 3-3. But White held serve to lead, 4-3, then broke Mann in the longest game of the set: three deuces.

Mann fought off two advantage points for White, but was eventually caught at the net with a winning shot on his backhand side. White served out the match.

"He returned great and passed real well," Mann said. "He was able to handle the big shots I hit. I missed a few shots on key points that could have turned the second set the other way."

Nick Varvais of Simi Valley, the only other 18-and-under player left in the main draw of singles, lost to Geoff Abrams of Newport Beach, 6-3, 6-1.

Varvais, 15, was seeded seventh. Abrams, 17, was unseeded but was considered the favorite based on his having played for the U.S. Junior National team in 1994 and his attendance at the prestigious Palmer Tennis Academy in Key Biscayne, Fla.

"I didn't serve well and I could have returned a little better," Varvais said.

They were even until the fifth game of the first set, when Varvais double-faulted and hit a forehand long to have his serve broken. From that point, Abrams played better from the baseline.

"I wouldn't say it was an easy match," Abrams said. "I played well enough to get on him before he could get a rhythm."

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