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Despite Setback, El Camino Real Meets Its Goals

Tennis: Conquistadores satisfied with season, but fall to four-time champion Palisades in City 4-A final.


STUDIO CITY — The El Camino Real High boys' tennis team knew exactly what it was up against.

There were no delusions of grandeur as the Conquistadores prepared to face three-time defending City Section 4-A champion Palisades in the team final Friday at the Racquet Centre.

"I told the guys [before the match], 'Guys, today is frosting. We already accomplished what we wanted to,' " El Camino Coach Phil Yanov said.

The Conquistadores accomplished their goals of winning a league title and reaching their first 4-A final, but ended their undefeated season with an 18 1/2-11 loss to Palisades in the championship match.

"The season was wonderful," Yanov said. "We were 14-1. You can't ask for anything better than that."

Palisades (13-3), which notched its 23rd City title, jumped out to a fast start with leads of 5-1 and 10-2. The Dolphins then claimed a 12 1/2-3 1/2 lead after playing 14 of 25 sets.

The Dolphins clinched the victory, 15 1/2-5 1/2, when their No. 1 doubles team of Jung Cho and Matt Parker defeated the Conquistadores' No. 3 team of Marcelo Lee and Jason Park, 6-3.

Then El Camino Real's singles players sprang to life--against Palisades' No. 3 and No. 4 players. The Conquistadores won half of their 16 singles sets against Palisades, each player winning two of four sets.

The two Palisades players nobody could compete with were No. 1 Danny Westerman, the City's defending individual champion, and No. 2 Artin Tafazoli, the City individual runner-up.

Westerman lost four games in four sets and Tafazoli dropped two.

Bobby Narayan, El Camino Real's No. 3 singles who held serve twice at 2-2 before losing 6-2, boasted to a teammate that he "won two games off [Westerman]."

"You have to look on the bright side of things," Narayan said.

Narayan, like his teammates, was done in by Westerman's big serve and powerful forehand.

In City 3-A semifinals:

Van Nuys 21, Narbonne 8 1/2--The No. 2-seeded Wolves (14-2) dominated Narbonne (13-2) in the singles competition, losing only one of 16 sets. Van Nuys is headed to the final for the third consecutive year.

No. 1 singles Vincent Hsu, No. 2 Sammy Choo and No. 3 Alex Manqu did not lose a set.

In a rematch of last year's final, Van Nuys, the defending champion, will face top-seeded Eagle Rock in the championship Monday at the Racquet Centre.

Eagle Rock 17 1/2-Cleveland 12--The Cavaliers' storybook season came to end at the hands of Eagle Rock (16-0).

Cleveland (10-6), seeded No. 12, won six of nine doubles sets, but only three of 16 singles sets.

Cleveland's No. 1 doubles team of Michael Hale and Franklin Ahn went undefeated in three sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

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