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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | NATIONAL COLLEGIATE
TENNIS CLASSIC PREVIEW

Country's Best Come Courting Sherwood in Competitive Style

January 09, 1998|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

THOUSAND OAKS — The Bryan twins are in. Ditto for Ania Bleszynski and Monique Allegre.

They are coming home to play a little tennis.

And not just any old tournament, but the National Collegiate Tennis Classic, an event some consider more competitive than the NCAA championships.

The stage for the tournament's 22nd edition, which runs today through Sunday, is Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, better known for its golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

But the attention this weekend will be on the facility's hardcourts, where the top eight men's and eight women's teams are set to battle in the invitational that's a prelude to the 1998 season.

The tournament features a 32-player singles and a 16-team doubles draw.

Leading the men's singles competition is top-seeded Bob Bryan of Stanford, the No. 1-ranked college men's player from Rio Mesa High.

His brother, Mike, a Stanford teammate who is ranked No. 11, is also playing.

Bob won the Pacific 10 Conference singles title in April at Ojai. The twins will play doubles together this weekend.

The women's draw includes Stanford's Bleszynski, one of the top college players and a Harvard-Westlake graduate, and Allegre, an Arizona junior from Camarillo High.

Three-time NCAA champion Stanford heads the men's team competition, followed by UCLA, ranked No. 2 in 1997. Pepperdine and USC also are entered.

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