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Reigning Finalists Return After Lopsided Victories


The Granada Hills and Carson girls' tennis teams will meet in the City Championship finals for the second consecutive year after each won its semifinal match Wednesday afternoon at Balboa Sports Center in Encino.

Top-seeded Granada Hills routed fourth-seeded North Hollywood, 7-0, in one semifinal and second-seeded Carson dispatched third-seeded Palisades, 5-2, in the other.

The Highlanders (15-0), who have lost only two matches in the last four years, dropped just three games in eight singles sets. Jessica Nguyen remained undefeated this season by beating Marsha Clever, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 singles. Christine Dao beat Angela Jekal of North Hollywood, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 2 singles.

In doubles, Granada Hills' top tandem of Tracey Takeshita and Ramya Sreepathi won, 6-0, 6-1, and Robin Meselson and Randi Levine won, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles.

The Colts (15-0) were led by No. 1 player Judith DeVera, who beat Palisades' Marissa Lin, 6-0, 6-1. Carson's Rana Noa defeated Jennifer Lin, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 singles, and Kim Espiritu beat Jasmine Reed, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.

The Colts' No. 3 doubles team of Andrea Pasquarello and Nikki Sutphin clinched the win by overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the second set to defeat Palisades' Lindsay Zweibel and Jenny Han, 6-4, 7-5.

Carson defeated Granada Hills, 4-3, last season, but Highlander Coach Ron Wood is confident his team can turn the tables Friday.

"I felt all along that we were the two best teams," Wood said. "Now it's up to them to prove they can beat us. We haven't been tested up until now, but Carson is a deep team. I see this being very close. One match could decide it either way."

The City Championship final will start at 1 p.m. Friday at Balboa Sports Center. The City Invitational final, between top-seeded Venice and third-seeded Narbonne, will take place at the same time.

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