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CITY SECTION TENNIS FINALS

Granada Hills Girls End Carson's Win Streak

November 23, 2002|Lauren Peterson | Times Staff Writer

Canna Furuta, Yuka Otaka and Ramya Sreepathi each picked up singles victories for Granada Hills and the top-seeded Highlanders defeated third-seeded and two-time defending champion Carson, 4-3, to claim the City Section girls' tennis championship Friday at Balboa Sports Complex in Encino.

The victory gave the Highlanders (16-0) their second title in girls' tennis and ended a 48-match winning streak by Carson (15-1), which was undefeated in winning the 2001 and 2000 titles. Granada Hills handed the Colts their last loss, 4-3, in the 1999 championship.

Granada Hills won one of three doubles matches to clinch the victory. The Highlanders' dominance in singles was not unexpected, thanks to some lineup changes by Carson.

The Colts had their usual No. 2 singles player, defending City individual champion Judith De Vera, at No. 1 doubles and their No. 3 singles player, Genelyn Ramos, at No. 3 doubles in an effort to offset Granada Hills' doubles depth.

Ramos teamed with Sheila Pacleb in hopes that the Colts could sweep doubles and rely on Dianne Matias to win her No. 1 singles match.

While Matias did her part by rallying to defeat Christine Dao, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, Carson's third doubles team fell short against Randi Levine and Alexandra Margolin, 6-0, 6-2.

"That was going to be our fourth point, we hoped," Carson Coach Gordon Emi said. "I was surprised at how good [Granada Hills'] No. 3 doubles team was."

Otherwise, there were few surprises.

Each of the four finals between Granada Hills and Carson have been decided by 4-3 scores. Granada Hills was making its fifth consecutive appearance in a final. The Highlanders lost in 1998 to Palisades.

"We were very nervous," said Otaka, the Highlanders' No. 3 singles player. "We really wanted it bad. We worked toward this together and we did it."

In the City Invitational final, Monica Lee defeated Zenina Rashed, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1, at No. 2 singles to lift Eagle Rock to a 4-3 victory over Woodland Hills Taft.

Eagle Rock (10-5) won all three doubles matches. Taft (7-8), which lost all 13 matches last season, won three of four singles matches.

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