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Calabasas Coach Leaves in Style

November 26, 2002|Mike Bresnahan | From Staff Reports

It was quite an ending -- to a match, a season and a coaching career.

No. 1 singles player Kristen McVitty and the No. 1 doubles team of Celia Durkin and Helen Kolpakov won crucial third-round sets for the Calabasas High girls' tennis team, which upset top-seeded and previously unbeaten Beverly Hills on games, 69-65, after the teams tied, 9-9, in sets in the Southern Section Division I championship match Monday at the Claremont Club in Claremont.

The victory sent veteran Calabasas Coach Bill Bellatty out a winner. With his 14th season at the Coyotes' helm concluded, Bellatty, 61, announced his retirement after the match. Calabasas last won a title in 1999 in Division IV.

"What a way to go out," he said. "It's just so much fun. It's just so great for the girls. I've still got all the team pictures from over the years, and I can name them all."

Bellatty's last victory was certainly memorable and avenged a 10-8 loss to the Normans in Calabasas' second match of the season.

The second-seeded Coyotes (22-2) weren't assured of the victory on games until Durkin and Kolpakov defeated the No. 3 team of Vivian Yoon and Jade Sherman, 6-1, to pull Calabasas into an 8-8 tie and then McVitty defeated No. 3 singles player, Irina Shef, 6-2, in the second-to-last set to be completed.

"I knew it was going to be close, that every game was going to matter," McVitty said. "It was exciting. I just tried to focus on my match and do the best I could."

Junior standout Riza Zalameda won her three sets, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2, for Beverly Hills (21-1), ranked No. 2 by The Times. Beverly Hills was not helped by the absence of regular No. 2 doubles player Liana Babich, who left Sunday night on a family vacation to Mexico.

Without Babich, the Normans' No. 2 singles player, Tessa Tran, was moved into doubles and Emily Peterson was thrust into the No. 2 singles spot. Tran and Stephanie Ellis won two of three sets, but Peterson lost all of hers, by what turned out to be costly 6-0 scores. Shef, an experienced senior, also struggled with only one victory in three sets.

Brentwood 10, North Hollywood Campbell Hall 8 -- The No. 1 team of Alexandra Rogers and Stephanie Marlis won three sets and the Eagles won seven of nine sets in doubles to win the Division III title.

The pair's 6-3 victory over Christine Chang and Christina Cunningham gave Brentwood (20-2) its 10th point and clinched the victory.

Campbell Hall (14-5-1), making its first appearance in a final, won six singles sets, including two each by Alli Krasnopolsky and Daron Moore.

Ventura St. Bonaventure 11, Riverside King 7 -- No. 1 singles player Katie Callaghan did not lose a game while winning three sets and Raine Mitchell also swept at No. 2 singles for the Seraphs, who claimed the Division IV championship in a match between teams making their first appearances in a final. St. Bonaventure (24-0) took a 5-1 advantage after the first round and never looked back, winning seven of nine singles sets.

The top Seraph doubles team of Allie Haus and Megan Molinski won three sets.

King (22-1) got two victories in three sets from its top two doubles teams.

-- Lauren Peterson

San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret's 14, Santa Maria 4 -- The Tartans won all nine singles matches on the way to winning the Division V championship, their first tennis title in school history.

Freshman Lauren Imre did not lose a game in three sets at No. 1 singles and finished with a 46-1 record for the top-seeded Tartans (18-0).

Unseeded Santa Maria (17-8) advanced to the championship with consecutive 10-8 victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

-- Mike Bresnahan

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