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Troy Finally Seals a Championship


After consecutive runner-up finishes in Southern Section Division II championship matches, Fullerton Troy got over the hump on Monday.

Two doubles teams won their last-round sets in tiebreakers to give the top-seeded Warriors their final points in an 11-7 victory over second-seeded Newport Harbor at the Claremont Club.

"Third time's a charm," said Veronica Fermin, who teamed with Calina Ciobanu to sweep three sets at No. 3 doubles for Troy.

Fermin and Ciobanu, who usually team at No. 1 or No. 2 doubles, rallied from a 3-5 deficit to take a 7-6 (1) victory over Newport Harbor's top team of Kelly Nelson and Krista McIntosh. The No. 3 doubles team's victory gave the Warriors a 10-7 lead and clinched the title. The No. 2 team of Michelle Dinh and Karen Eitan gave the Warriors their final margin of victory with a 7-6 (3) decision over the Sailors' third team of Bonnie Adams and Vanessa Dunlap.

Clare Fermin, Troy's No. 3 singles player, also recorded a 7-6 (3) tiebreaker victory over Newport Harbor No. 2 Megan Hawkins in the second round.

"We really had to pull ourselves up," said Fermin, one of five seniors on the Troy roster. "Everyone contributed."

Unlike many top teams, Troy (23-3) has no individual standouts. Instead, the Warriors relied on solid play throughout the lineup. Often, their matches have come down to doubles.

Things were no different against Newport Harbor (16-7), which also was appearing in its third consecutive section final and received a three-set sweep from its No. 1 player, Natalie Braverman. The Sailors were Division III runners-up last season and lost in the Division I final in 1999.

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