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High Schools | PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Inspired Mayfield Comes Up Short

November 20, 2002|Paul McLeod

Tony Wimberly, the second-year girls' tennis coach at Pasadena Mayfield, was not present for his team's 15-3 loss to top-seeded Brentwood in a Southern Section Division III quarterfinal Tuesday. But from a hospital bed at USC's Norris Cancer Institute in East L.A., he was there in voice and spirit -- as he has been since the playoffs began.

"He's such an inspiration to the girls," said Cub assistant David Gerletti, who has coached the team in Wimberly's absence. "Over the holidays [last Christmas] he weighed 112 pounds. He was practically on his death bed."

Not even a debilitating illness can keep him from doing what he loves -- and that's coaching. "He may not be here with us physically, but he is telephonically," Gerletti said. "We call him to ask for advice and what lineup to play. We do a cheer for him before every match."

Even without two of its top players, Brentwood advanced to a semifinal Thursday at a site to be determined against fourth-seeded Long Beach Wilson, which defeated Valencia on games, 86-77. Freshman Austin Hansen lost one game in three sets at No. 1 singles and the Eagles (16-2) won eight of nine doubles sets. Mayfield finished 17-5.

Wimberly, 43, has undergone chemotherapy for leukemia and is primarily confined to his room. Yet, he was positive and upbeat when contacted by phone during Tuesday's match.

"My blood count is low, my immune system is weak and I have to wear a face mask because I'm susceptible to a lot of germs," he said. "I've been through about five or six different cycles of chemo, though, so I'm used to this. I'm going to keep fighting."

First diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and due for another round of chemotherapy in two weeks, Wimberly said coaching took his mind off his disease. Following his team's growth has given him a lot to live for.

"Our goal was just to reach the playoffs," Wimberly said. "I figured anything after the first round would be like icing on the cake. And here we are in the quarters -- I couldn't be happier."

-- Steve Galluzzo

Los Alamitos d. Long Beach Poly, 15-8, 15-10, 15-7 -- The second-seeded Griffins took only 1 hour 20 minutes to defeat the Jackrabbits and advance to the Southern Section Division I-AA girls' volleyball finals for the second time. Los Alamitos won a section title in 1993.

It sets up a title game against top-seeded Long Beach Wilson (33-2), the No. 1 team in The Times' rankings. Wilson defeated Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula, 15-8, 15-5, 15-3.

Los Alamitos (28-7) -- No. 4 in The Times' rankings -- got 11 kills from Katie Carlson, four aces from Erin Senozan and 32 assists from setter Ashley Tarutis.

Jamie Garbisch put away the first game with a dump. Senozan buried an ace to end the second game. A couple of kills each from Alexandra Filkins and Kara Uhl proved key in the final game.

Talaya Whitfield had 14 kills for Poly (18-8), which lost to Wilson in five games this season at the Gahr tournament.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

TOP PERFORMERS

GIRLS' TENNIS

Amanda Fink, Calabasas: No. 3 singles player upset Elizabeth Exon of seventh-ranked Irvine Woodbridge to lead eighth-ranked Coyotes to 10-8 Division I quarterfinal victory.

Katie Ochwatt and Correy Miller, Laguna Beach: Won tiebreaker, 7-5, in last match of the day as fourth-ranked Breakers won on games, 79-77, against No. 6 Dana Point Dana Hills in Division I quarterfinal.

Kelly Chavez and Amanda Urias, Santa Maria: No. 3 doubles team swept three sets in 10-8 Division V victory over Newport Beach Sage Hill.

Anne and Rachel Yelsey, Corona del Mar: No. 3 doubles team swept its matches to lead third-ranked Sea Kings to 11-7 victory over four-time defending Division I champion Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula.

GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

Kacey Knauf, Flintridge Sacred Heart: Had 48 assists and nine blocks in a 15-10, 16-14, 15-11 Division IV-AA semifinal win over L.A. Marlborough.

Blair Soccey and Shay Duguay, Santa Margarita: Each had 16 kills as third-seeded Eagles beat second-seeded Atascadero, 5-15, 15-9, 11-15, 15-13, 15-6, in Division III-AA semifinal.

Nancy Marin, South Torrance: Had 37 kills in 2-15, 15-13, 15-13, 15-17, 15-11 Division II-A defeat of Cerritos Gahr.

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For more scores and highlights:

www.latimes.com/sports/preps

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