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Calabasas Is No Match for No. 1 Team

Division IV tennis: Yelsey, Reitz help top-seeded Corona del Mar dominate singles en route to 13-5 victory in final.


CLAREMONT — Calabasas High girls' tennis players penned slogans, nicknames and messages of encouragement with markers on their arms, backs and shoulders.

But none of it made much difference. The writing was already on the wall.

Anne Yelsey and Brittany Reitz surrendered only one game apiece in sweeping three sets each at No. 1 and No. 2 singles to help top-seeded Corona del Mar defeat No. 2-seeded Calabasas, 13-5, in the Southern Section Division IV championship match Monday at The Claremont Club.

With four players ranked in the top 20 in their age groups in Southern California by the U.S. Tennis Assn. and five in the top 50, Corona del Mar (21-2) won eight of nine singles sets against a mix-and-match lineup for Calabasas (21-1), the 1999 division champion.

Yelsey, a sophomore rated No. 3 in the USTA Southern California girls' 16 division, blanked Dana Schnitman and Marisa Kagan, 6-0, and beat Monica Weisener, 6-1.

Reitz, a junior ranked No. 16 in girls' 18 in Southern California, also beat Schnitman and Kagan by 6-0 scores, and defeated Weisener, 6-1.

"We knew we could win if we played a good match," Yelsey said.

Schnitman, competing in singles for the first time all season, was inserted as Calabasas' No. 1 player.

"I don't think I was quite ready for that," Schnitman said. "I was shocked, but I just said I'd do it for the team. But they were tough."

Kagan usually plays doubles as well, but was at No. 3 singles as Calabasas Coach Bill Bellatty put singles standouts Celia Durkin and Erin Everly to No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, respectively, in an effort to spread the Coyotes' strengths.

Weisener and Durkin, both freshmen, and Everly, a sophomore, rotated around the singles lineup all season, and combined for a 166-6 record in sets.

But their efforts weren't enough against the Sea Kings, who took a 5-1 first-round lead on the way to their 11th consecutive victory.

"We have such a tough team," said Reitz, who teamed with Yelsey to win the USTA Southern California girls' 18 doubles sectional title and placed third by default in the 18 mixed doubles sectional tournament with Irvine University's Aaron Yovan on Sunday.

"We're playing so well right now. Everything's kind of falling into place. I think we could take on any team right now and do really well."

Corona del Mar traditionally has played in Division I, where the Sea Kings won the Southern Section title in 1997 and fell in the semifinals last season.

This season, a section rule prohibits teams from moving up and out of enrollment-based playoffs, forcing Corona del Mar to compete in Division IV.

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