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Wolverines Have San Luis Obispo's Number in Final

Tennis: Harvard-Westlake wins Division III title; coach predicts 14-4 victory over Tigers.

June 04, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TARZANA — The prediction was 14-4. So was the outcome.

Just as he did before every boys' tennis match this season, Harvard-Westlake High Coach Marty Klein slipped a piece of paper bearing his prediction into his pocket.

It wasn't the first time Klein's forethought was on the money, but it was his first correct prediction for a Southern Section final, with Harvard-Westlake cruising past San Luis Obispo for its second consecutive Division III title Wednesday at Braemar Country Club.

"I've been right before but not like this," said Klein, a first-year coach at Harvard-Westlake who shared his prediction with Wolverine fans after the match.

Klein knows his crew pretty well by now. He watched the Wolverines win 70 of 72 sets in the playoffs to advance to the final. Although San Luis Obispo (21-2) gave Harvard-Westlake its toughest match in the postseason, it was hardly a nail-biter.

Fueled by its 8-1 performance in doubles play, top-seeded Harvard-Westlake (20-4) took a 4-2 lead after the first round and 9-3 after the second.

The No. 1 doubles team of Brian Bezonsky and Brent Iloulian, who have lost less than a handful of sets all year, clinched the victory with a 6-1 victory over No. 2 Scott Bunker and Joe Diehl.

"We played solid, and the [doubles] teams weren't bad," Bezonsky said.

Bezonsky and Iloulian lost only four of 22 games against San Luis Obispo and were one of two doubles teams to sweep the competition. After winning their first set, 6-0, they started slow in their second set and trailed, 2-0, against the No. 3 team of Ian Leopold and Ross Barasch.

"We knew if we hung in there and kept hitting the ball back we'd be OK," Iloulian said.

Bezonsky and Iloulian won six of the last seven games in a 6-3 victory.

The No. 3 doubles team of David Frankel and Prakash Amritraj swept, 6-4, 6-1 and 7-6 (7-3).

Kamyar Daneshvar and Aron Gortman, Harvard-Westlake's No. 2 doubles team, were the only pair to lose a set. In their first set against Bunker and Diehl, Daneshvar and Gortman played sub-par, according to Klein, and lost, 6-4.

Gortman's performance was questionable enough for Klein to take him aside after the set.

"[Gortman] tanked," Klein said. "I told him if he does that again, I'm gonna break him in half. Then I'm gonna let the rest of the boys have him."

Daneshvar and Gortman responded with 6-3 and 6-1 victories.

Travis Hasson, San Luis Obispo's No. 1 singles player, dominated the Wolverines. After taking just 35 minutes to beat No. 1 Kevin Bezonsky, 6-1, Hasson went on to beat No. 2 Andrew Rosenfeld, 6-3, and No. 3 Andrew Trager, 6-1.

"[Hasson] is tough," Klein said.

Kevin Bezonsky, ranked No. 22 among Southern California 18-year-olds, lost to Hasson but recovered for victories of 6-4 and 6-1.

Rosenfeld fell to Hasson, ranked No. 14 in Southern California among 18s, 6-3.

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