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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | OJAI TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK

A Stern Test Gives City a Champion

April 29, 2001|LAUREN PETERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

OJAI — Lori Stern became the first Ojai resident to win the girls' 16-and-under division title of the Ojai tennis tournament with a 7-5, 7-6 (8), victory over Robyn Baker of Palm Desert on Saturday at Libbey Park.

"I was so nervous," she said. "This is my hometown and I really wanted to win it."

Stern, who lost in the second round of the girls' 18 competition last year, stepped down a division to enhance her title chances.

The Cate School junior is the No. 3-ranked girls' 16 player in Southern California by the U.S. Tennis Assn.

She had the crowd behind her during the two-hour match against Baker. Stern defeated Elizabeth Exon of Irvine, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, in a semifinal Saturday morning.

"I'm like, dead," Stern said. "I haven't played this much tennis in one day in, like, a month."

The effort paid off.

"I wanted to win this," she said. "This is my tournament. I wanted to win this."

*

Samuel Tadevosian showed why he is the No. 1-ranked boys' 14-and-under player in Southern California by the U.S. Tennis Assn.

Tadevosian, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Glendale, took command of the third set and defeated Lee Singer of Laguna Niguel, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, in the championship match of the boys' 14-and-under division.

Tadevosian routed another Glendale resident, Sergy Vagramian, 6-1, 6-1, in a semifinal in the morning. It was only his second victory over Vagramian in 16 meetings.

"He was playing pretty well in this match," Vagramian said. "He played very well against me, though."

The championship made up for a defeat Tadevosian suffered against Singer earlier this year.

"Physically, I was much better this time," Tadevosian said. "I moved better."

*

Stephen Amritraj of Crespi High, who won the boys' 18s doubles title with cousin Prakash Amritraj at the Easter Bowl Super National Championships two weeks ago, proved himself a capable singles player at Ojai.

He advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Interscholastic division before losing to Aaron Yovan of Irvine University, 6-3, 6-4.

"It was a pretty good tournament," Amritraj said. "I played a couple good matches."

At 3-3 in the first set, two line calls went against Amritraj and swung momentum to Yovan.

*

Monica Wiesener, The Times' 2000 Valley/Ventura County girls' player of the year, lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Kim Nguyen of Orange, 6-3, 6-2.

"She's really tough," said Wiesener, a freshman at Calabasas High.

"We had some hard, long rallies, but I just couldn't finish the points."

Wiesener is just overcoming a cold that kept her out of school for several days.

"I'm getting batter now, but I just wish I'd felt better beforehand so I could have practiced more," Wiesener said.

Wiesener lost in the first round last year.

*

Mark Ellis of Ventura, defending men's open division champion, lost in the semifinals to last year's runner-up Peter Jeschke of Montecito, 6-3, 6-4.

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