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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | BOYS' TENNIS

Gortman Doubles His Pleasure During Senior Season

May 28, 2000|LAUREN PETERSON

This year, playing doubles is a pleasure for Aron Gortman of Harvard-Westlake.

A key figure in the Wolverines' most successful season ever, Gortman hardly figured at all last year.

The senior did not play most of last season, mostly because of a dispute with then-coach Marty Klein over whether Gortman should play singles or doubles on a deep team.

"I'm cool either way," Gortman said. "But my preference is singles."

That was what he concentrated on in junior tournaments while sitting out.

Gortman is happily doing both this year.

Sometimes even on the same day.

Gortman was pivotal to Harvard-Westlake's third-place showing in the first National High School All-American tournament in March.

In one day, he overcame an ankle injury and sore shoulder that forced him to serve underhanded to win two pro-set singles matches, and teamed with Allan Haldeman to win two doubles matches in an event that included schools from California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Virginia.

He and Haldeman won two of three sets to help the Wolverines defeat Southern Section Division I defending-champion Corona del Mar on games in the team semifinals Thursday.

Friday, they won two matches in the Southern Section individuals' doubles tournament to advance to the semifinals Saturday.

"I came back ready to play," Gortman said. "I really wanted to come back and help the team win."

Harvard-Westlake (25-3-1), the No. 2-seeded team in Division I, will face top-seeded Peninsula in the championship match at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Claremont Club in Claremont.

*

Three players, including Gortman and Tim Mullane of Agoura, competed in the opening round of the Quiksilver tournament at sites in Irvine and Fountain Valley, and in the Southern Section individual tournament in Huntington Beach on Saturday.

The schedule conflict was recognized before the tournaments began, however, and Quiksilver officials accommodated those playing in the Southern Section event.

"They were real good," said Bob Walton, Southern Section tournament director. "They were helpful.

"They said just to let them know who was still going and they would work around it."

The Quiksilver matches of Gortman, Mullane and Brian Swatt of Beverly Hills were scheduled for late afternoon Saturday, after Southern Section semifinals and finals were completed.

"It's like, crazy," Gortman said. "It's going to be the craziest day of the year.

"But if I win everything, it'll be the greatest day of my life."

As it happened, Gortman and Allan Haldeman of Harvard-Westlake, and Mullane and Amir Nejad of Agoura lost in the Southern Section doubles semifinals, saving Gortman and Mullane one match.

Swatt and Hekamat advanced to the final match, leaving Swatt with three matches for the day.

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Jesse Ferlianto, Harvard-Westlake's No. 3 singles player, has hit plenty of high notes lately, on the tennis court and off.

The sophomore has been vital to the team's success, sweeping three sets in the Wolverines' 14-4 victory over Camarillo in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division I playoffs, and taking two of three sets during a semifinal victory over Corona del Mar on Thursday.

He also won a U.S. Tennis Assn. designated tournament in Anaheim two weeks ago, defeating Adrian Mardyks of Camarillo, 6-4, 6-4, in the championship match May 14.

The day before, Ferlianto won quarterfinal and round-of-16 matches against Kevin McQuaid of Los Alamitos and Peter Surapol of Cerritos, then raced from Anaheim to Pasadena to compete in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival at Occidental College.

"I won my two matches in the morning, then went home and showered and just went straight there," Ferlianto said.

Ferlianto, an accomplished concert pianist and accordion player, was one of the four top finishers among 17 competitors in the 14- and 15-year-olds' division on the piano.

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