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OJAI TENNIS NOTEBOOK

Close Calls Getting Old for Lloyd

April 27, 2001|DAVE McKIBBEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The first day of the Ojai Valley tennis tournament was no different than the last few weeks of the regular season for Arizona sophomore Tom Lloyd, a former star at Esperanza High.

Lloyd was on the verge of a huge upset against one of the top-ranked players in the nation, UCLA sophomore Jean-Julian Roger. But Roger, 11th in the NCAA singles rankings, pulled off an acrobatic drop volley at break point, 4-4, in the second set and went on to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in the first round of the Pac-10 men's singles tournament at Libbey Park.

"If I come up with a few more shots, I could have won a few more big matches," said Lloyd, who plays No. 2 singles for Arizona. "But he hits a pretty good shot at 15-40, hits three bomb serves and it's pretty much over. That's pretty much the story of my year."

Lloyd's other heartbreakers came against No. 51 Jean-Noel Grinda of UCLA, No. 25 K.J. Hippensteal of Stanford and No. 83 Balazs Veress of California.

"I know I can play with these guys," he said. "I just need to get over the hump."

USC junior Ryan Moore, a former Southern Section singles champion at Servite, got over the hump twice, beating Whi Kim of Arizona in the morning, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, and Nic Dubey of Arizona State in the afternoon, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Moore will play top-seeded and defending NCAA singles champ Alex Kim of Stanford at 8 a.m. today.

USC sophomore Parker Collins (Corona del Mar) lost to Arizona's Steven Capriati, Jennifer's brother, 7-6, 7-6, in the first round.

In Pac-10 women's singles, Arizona State senior Faye DeVera (Villa Park) fell to Racquel Kops-Jones, 6-3, 6-1, in the first round. In the Pac-10 women's invitational, USC freshman Melissa Esmero (Mater Dei) posted three-set victories over Cal's Sekita Grant and Arizona's Perrine Pernin.

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All the highly ranked Orange County juniors survived the first day. In the girls' 18 division, top-seeded Kim-Ahn Nguyen of Saddleback defeated Laguna Beach's Lindsey Butterwick, 6-1, 6-0. Second-seeded Anne Yelsey of Corona del Mar, Natalie Braverman of Newport Harbor, Amberly Tantee of Dana Point, Veronica Fermin of Troy, Samantha Waller of Cypress, Tracy Lin of Canyon and Joanna Kao of Sunny Hills advanced to the second round.

Lin and Kao will meet at 9:30 a.m. Kao figures Lin can't be any better than Jamea Jackson of Bradenton, Fla. Kao took only one game from Jackson at last week's Easter Bowl.

Megan Biorkman of University was scheduled to play Braverman today, but she lost her first-round match to Monica Wiesener of Woodland Hills, 6-2, 7-6 (6).

In the boys' interscholastic singles, Cameron Ball of Corona del Mar and Aaron Yovan of University won twice to set up a rematch of last year's Pacific Coast League final. Patrick Buchanan of Servite and Sergiu Modoc of El Dorado also reached the round of 16. In interscholastic doubles, top-seeded Brian Morton and Garrett Snyder of Corona del Mar advanced to the round of 16 along with Robbie Lamour and Logan Johnson of Capistrano Valley.

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