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TENNIS / OJAI TOURNAMENT

Freudenberg Loses in Three Sets

April 24, 1998|DAVE McKIBBEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Brandi Freudenberg's tennis game wasn't much different than the weather for Thursday's opening day at the 98th Ojai tournament--spotty with occasional flashes of brightening conditions.

Freudenberg, a junior at UCLA and a former standout at El Modena High, showed that her all-court game is coming along, but she wasn't able to outlast Oregon junior Alina Wygonowska, losing 6-3, 6-7 (9-11), 6-1 at the Ojai Valley Racquet Club.

The match took nearly five hours because of several rain delays. Freudenberg could have used one more delay in the last set to stop Wygonowska's momentum.

"She played more consistent and hit the ball deeper than I did in the last set," Freudenberg said.

Freudenberg saved three match points in the second set and won an exciting tiebreaker by playing aggressively.

"I like coming in," she said. "I enjoy putting the pressure on her to pass me. Maybe I should have started out playing more aggressively in the first set rather than letting her dictate."

Wygonowska, the nation's 47th-ranked college singles player who is a native of Poland, dictated the match by moving Freudenberg around the court by lashing forehand and backhands into the corners. Many times, all Freudenberg could do was put up defensive lobs and hope Wygonowska would miss an easy putaway.

Freudenberg, a highly ranked junior and a two-time Times Orange County girls' tennis player of the year, hasn't had the college career some expected of her. But she has had a solid three years at UCLA, a perennial power in women's tennis.

This season, Freudenberg is 13-10 in singles and 15-12 in doubles. Last year, she was 14-6 in singles and 16-13 in doubles on a team that reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Freudenberg has never played higher than fifth in the UCLA lineup.

"This year I felt like I could make a step up, but it hasn't happened," she said. "I don't really play for a spot in the lineup, I'm out there to play for my team."

The highlight of Freudenberg's year came three weeks ago when she and doubles partner Kati Kocsis won the deciding match in a 5-4 upset of top-ranked Stanford. The victory was UCLA first over Stanford in three seasons.

"I live for those pressure situations," Freudenberg said.

UCLA Coach Stella Sampras said Freudenberg has proven that much.

"As a coach, Brandi's the kind of player you want out there in that kind of position," Sampras said. "She's pretty calm out there."

This summer, Freudenberg will test her nerves against professionals when she travels to France with teammate Kelly Rudolph to play the satellite circuit. Freudenberg and Rudolph were given a ranking by the French Tennis Federation based on their college results.

"My ranking is plus 26, but I'm not sure what that means," Freudenberg said. "I've wanted to go over there for a few years, but my parents wouldn't let me until this year, and I feel like I have more of a game to take over there now.

"I think it'll give me some knowledge to see if that's what I want to do--live out of a suitcase for months at a time."

Even if a pro career doesn't work out, Freudenberg will be happy she tried.

"My dad [Jerry] played college basketball at Westmont," she said. "He wants to see me try the tour because he never got the chance to play pro basketball."

Ojai notes

Arizona State freshman Faye DeVera, who won three Ojai junior titles while at Villa Park High, lost in the second round of the Pac-10 women's invitational to Andrea Reisz of Washington State, 7-5, 7-6. . . . The UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton women lost in the main draw of the Big West Conference tournament. Boise State beat the Titans, 5-0, and Pacific beat UCI, 6-0. The UCI Irvine men, who had a bye, play Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the quarterfinals this morning. . . . In the girls' 16 singles, top-seeded Melissa Esmero of Mater Dei defaulted herself from the tournament but did not give a reason, according to tournament officials. Newport Beach's Alexandra McGoodwin lost to last year's girls' 16 champion, Jennifer Baker of Palm Desert, 6-2, 6-3. Kim Nguyen of Saddleback, Caylan Leslie and Nadia Vaughan of Corona del Mar won their first-round matches in straight sets. . . . In the boys' interscholastic singles, Dana Hills' Javier Carillo advanced into the round of 16 with two straight-set victories, the second coming over Greg Biorkman of University. La Quinta's Robert Chu won twice despite serving underhanded because of a sore shoulder. He will play nationally ranked San Marino's John Paul Fruttero in the round of 16. Second-seeded Ryan Moore of Servite, who didn't drop a game in winning two matches, plays Travis Hasson of San Luis Obispo. Corona del Mar's Parker Collins reached the round of 16 by beating Burbank's Ben Martin, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. Martin earlier knocked out Laguna Beach's Aaron Talarico, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-8). Woodbridge's Adam Artunian and Esperanza's Tom Lloyd were also eliminated in the first round. Los Alamitos' Cody Jackson lost in the second round to Brian Wilson of San Marcos, 7-5, 7-6.

In community college play: Kunio Koga of Saddleback defeated Glendale's Lee Dong, 6-0, 6-1, in the second round. In doubles, Saddleback's Khaled Naffa and John Cappello defeated Butte's Lonnie Carruth and John Ozwald, 6-2, 6-3. Orange Coast's Matha Garcia defeated Kelly Patterson of Chabot, 6-1, 6-0, in the second round. Teammate Camella Jaeger defeated Kristy Stegman of Mt. San Antonio, 7-5, 6-2.

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