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GIRLS' TENNIS

Lingman Turns Attention to College

September 12, 2000|DAVE McKIBBEN

About this time last year, Woodbridge High's Susanna Lingman was trying to decide whether she wanted to play her junior season of high school tennis. This year, Lingman is faced with a much tougher decision: where to attend college.

It took her most of the summer, but Lingman has narrowed the field to five schools: Harvard, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Washington and Northwestern. Lingman will miss a handful of matches while she takes her recruiting trips.

"High school tennis is not my No. 1 priority right now," said Lingman, a first team Times Orange County selection the last two years. "I've got a lot of hard classes and a lot of trips to take. It's kind of stressful. It's hard for me to make choices with colleges. I'm not real good at saying no to people."

In the midst of Lingman's crazy fall is the high school tennis season.

"It's going to be fun to play," she said. "I still need to improve my tennis."

Lingman had hoped to visit UCLA and Stanford this fall, but neither school recruited her after a disappointing performance at the girls' 18 USTA National Hard Courts in San Jose.

"Stanford would have been a great place for me, but it just didn't work out for me there," she said. "UCLA told me they had two other players that were ahead of me."

Lingman, who scored a 1,280 on the SAT and is ranked 11th in Southern California in the girls' 18s, said she turned down UC Irvine and several Ivy League schools.

"I wanted to go someplace where I can grow and develop as a tennis player," she said. "I'm not where I need to be yet."

She will try to get there by developing a net game during the high school season. Lingman said her approach to high school tennis will change drastically this season.

"I'm willing to take a loss if I'm going toward something that's going to make me a better player in the future," Lingman said. "If I come into the net on the wrong ball, then I'll live with it. I'll probably take a few more chances than I normally would and I might work on my serve throughout a whole match.

"I'm going to use some of these matches as practice. That will help motivate me for matches against the average teams. I'll still be able to get something out of it."

How good will Lingman's team be? The Warriors were ranked third in the Times' preseason poll, but that was before junior Elizabeth Soriano, the team's No. 3 singles player, returned to Florida, where she grew up.

"We're going to miss her," Lingman said. "Our doubles are going to have to pick up the slack."

NATIONAL FIELD ALMOST SET

It appears the county's top five ranked teams will be in the 16-team field at next month's national high school girls' tournament at Balboa Bay Club Racquet Club. Top-ranked Corona del Mar is the host team, second-ranked Dana Hills and third-ranked Woodbridge were invited early.

Tournament director Tim Mang said he has added fourth-ranked Troy and he will probably add fifth-ranked Villa Park. Eighth-ranked Newport Harbor has also accepted an invitation to play in the event, Oct. 6-7.

Other schools in the all-California field are Carpinteria Cate, San Marino, Folsom Granite Bay, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Beverly Hills, Del Mar Torrey Pines, Cupertino Monte Vista, Menlo Atherton and Pleasanton Foothill. Mang said Torrey Pines will probably be the top-seeded team followed by Peninsula.

A LOOK AHEAD

Dana Hills, coming off an impressive 16-2 romp of then sixth-ranked University, will probably get a stronger test today at home against fourth-ranked Troy. The Warriors, who have yet to play a match, reached last year's Southern Section Division II title match and have all but one of their top six players returning.

In another top-10 matchup today, Woodbridge travels to surprising Laguna Beach. The 10th-ranked Artists, who lost their top player Ashley Maddocks to the Weil Academy in Ojai, are coming off an 11-7 victory over a deep Capistrano Valley team.

On Wednesday, Newport Harbor hosts ninth-ranked Sunny Hills. Thursday, Corona del Mar travels to Woodbridge.

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If you have an item or idea for the tennis report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at david.mckibben@latimes.com

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