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Valley/Ventura County Sports | OJAI VALLEY TENNIS TOURNAMENT
NOTEBOOK

At the End, He Turned Over an Ace

April 25, 1999|STEVE HENSON and LAUREN PETERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Travis Rettenmaier of Camarillo was thwarted in his attempt to win back-to-back titles in boys' 16 singles by his good buddy Brian Wilson.

Wilson, with a devastating first serve, won, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, ending the match appropriately with a knee-buckling ace. He and Rettenmaier attend the Weil Tennis Academy in Ojai and have been friends for five years.

Wilson had a feeling me might face Rettenmaier in the final, especially when he saw Rettenmaier was seeded No. 1 and he was at No. 2.

"Travis and I play all the time, but the intensity and energy of this crowd made it huge," Wilson said. "I knew my serve would have to be big. Travis plays so well I had to get some free points."

*

Zuzana Stunova of Washington lost in first-round singles and doubles matches, but the tournament was not a total loss.

When Stunova, a junior, attended Rio Mesa High from 1994-96 as an exchange student, she lived with three different families. This weekend she visited with all of them.

"That made it very special," said Stunova, who is from the Czech Republic.

Each family had young daughters, making Stunova a big sister several times over. One of them is 13-year-old Erica Sauer of Somis, who lost in the girls' 16 doubles final.

"She's never beat me," Stunova said. "But we competed all the time. She's a great person. We helped each other in many ways."

*

Sauer and Reza Zalameda of Los Angeles played up a division but still reached the final.

Sauer and Zalameda, the second-seeded team in the division, were beaten, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, by top-seeded Carla Rocha and Sandra Rocha at Libbey Park.

The final-match loss was the second Sauer and Zalameda have suffered in three weeks. They fell in the girls' 14 doubles final at the Easter Bowl two weeks ago.

Sauer, 13, isn't bothered.

"It's still a good showing," she said. "They just played really well and we didn't play that well today. But it's a good experience to play in front of so many people."

*

One day after shocking No. 2-seeded Nicholas Weiss and Alex Menichini in Southern Section doubles, Dave and Scott Stewart of Malibu defeated Prakash Amritraj and David Frankel of Harvard-Westlake in the semifinals, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

"Those guys played really well again," Frankel said. "We had a good opportunity. We thought we could win it."

The Stewarts' high level of play shouldn't have come as a surprise. Doug was a national 14-and-under champion last year and Scott is his talented 16-year-old brother. Both attend Malibu High.

*

Tiffany Brymer is on a roll. She has been since teaming up with Abigail Spears seven months ago.

Brymer, who won the Southern Section girls' individual title in December while attending Rio Mesa High, on Saturday added the Ojai girls' 18-and-under doubles championship to her string of successes.

She and Spears, the top-seeded team in the tournament, defeated second-seeded Melissa Esmero and Adriana Hockicko, 6-2, 6-4, in the final match Saturday at Libbey Park.

"It's a great accomplishment," said Brymer, who lost in the girls' 18 doubles final last year with another partner.

"Everybody knows what Ojai is."

The No. 1-ranked girls' 18 doubles team in the nation, Brymer and Spears have lived up to that standing.

The Ojai title is the fourth they have won since joining forces.

They won the USTA's Southern California sectional championship last October. That title was followed by others in the Fullerton tournament in February and the Easter Bowl junior championships two weeks ago.

"We communicate really well and we both love doubles,", said Brymer, who left Rio Mesa in January after one semester.

She stayed just long enough to win the 1998 Southern Section championship and give the Spartans their third girls' singles' champion in four years.

Brymer attends the San Fernando Valley Professional School in Burbank, a private school for kids--primarily child actors--who work or are involved in other time-consuming activities.

Brymer is completing psychology and calculus classes at the school and should graduate in June.

"It gives me more time to train," said Brymer, who will attend USC on a tennis scholarship in the fall.

*

Quinn Borchard and Davy Jones of Rio Mesa High also enjoyed a strong run at Ojai before losing.

The Camarillo residents, ranked eighth in Southern California in boys' 16 doubles last year, lost to Tony Congdon and Ryan Haymond of Bakersfield Central, 6-1, 6-4, on Saturday in the semifinals of the boys' Southern Section doubles.

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