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Palm Desert Moves Up, Wins Another Title

November 26, 2002|Mike Bresnahan

The gales that ripped through the Claremont Club on Monday were strong, but not as powerful as the winds of change that swept Palm Desert High from its cozy perch in Southern Section Division IV to the more difficult Division II before the girls' tennis season began.

Consider Palm Desert's performance in the Division II championship as the ultimate windbreaker -- a 12-6 victory over defending champion Fullerton Troy that won the school its second Southern Section tennis title in three years.

Top-seeded Palm Desert (21-0) entered with a torrid playoff run and continued to roll by gradually taking apart No. 2-seeded Troy (20-4). The Aztecs took a 4-2 lead after the first round of play and an 8-4 lead after the second round.

Division IV, Division II, Division MCMLXVII? Didn't matter to the Aztecs.

"You take what is given to you," Palm Desert Coach Randy Blalock said. "The girls understood that there was a full-on reorganization going on [with several playoff divisions]."

Said Robyn Baker, Palm Desert's No. 1 singles player: "We never looked at it as moving up to Division II. We looked at it as winning a [Southern Section] championship."

Palm Desert's No. 1 doubles team of Caroline Houston and Brittany Blalock, the coach's daughter, won all three of their sets as the Aztecs won seven of nine sets in doubles play.

Freshman Cosmina Ciobanu was a bright spot for Troy, winning all three of her singles sets.

-- Mike Bresnahan

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