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Thousand Oaks Shows True Colors, 11-7

April 22, 1999|LAUREN PETERSON

Philip Sheng was dressed in green from head to toe, matching his green hair.

Sheng was one of several Thousand Oaks High tennis players who dyed their hair green to match the school's green-and-white color scheme.

The Lancers matched up even better with Westlake and upset the Warriors, 11-7, in an emotional Marmonte League match Wednesday at Thousand Oaks.

Westlake (10-1, 7-1 in league matches) is the second-ranked team in the Southern Section Division III coaches' poll.

"This is tough," said doubles player Albert Kim of Westlake, which was a Division III finalist in 1997 and a Division II finalist last season.

"We just don't expect to lose to anybody. But they played a good match."

Thousand Oaks (12-2, 7-1), ranked sixth in Division II, avenged a 10-8 loss to the Warriors earlier this season and moved into a tie for the league lead with four matches left.

"I don't care if we share it, as long as we have it," said doubles player Geronimo Cebrero of Thousand Oaks. "This was payback, really good payback."

The Lancers took a 4-2 lead after the first round, highlighted by a come-from-behind victory by Sheng over Erik Janson at No. 1 singles. Sheng, defending league singles champion, trailed, 6-5, 30-0 in the 12th game, but rallied to tie the match and won in a tie-breaker, 7-6 (7-3).

Westlake tied the match, 4-4, in the second round but Thousand Oaks won seven of the last 10 sets.

Besides three victories by Sheng, the Lancers dominated doubles play, winning seven of nine sets. Thousand Oaks got doubles sweeps by the No. 1 team of Willie Mullin and Jason Korniski and the No. 3 team of Cebrero and Serge Mitrofanov.

The Warriors played without Billy Corso, who usually plays No. 1 doubles with Mike Horak, but missed the team bus to the match and was held out by Coach Bernard Kuai.

No. 3 doubles player Mike Moffelotto also missed the match because of personal reasons, forcing the Warriors to shuffle their lineup.

"Everything went kind of whacked out in doubles," said Kim, a senior who usually plays No. 2 doubles with his sophomore brother, Allen.

Albert Kim played with Horak while Allen Kim teamed with Phillip Rothfritz.

Albert Kim and Horak lost two of their three sets, and Allen Kim and Rothfritz were swept by 6-2 scores.

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