CITY SECTION TENNIS: GRANADA HILLS RETURNS TO CITY FINALS.
Jasmin and Christine Dao were saved in case of emergency. Such a situation never arrived, though.
By the time the Dao sisters, who are the top two singles players for the Granada Hills girls' tennis team, took the court Monday at the Balboa Sports Center, the Highlanders had already clinched a berth in Friday's City Section championship against Carson. The Daos completed the 7-0 semifinal sweep of fourth-seeded Westchester to put defending champion Granada Hills in its third consecutive final.
Because only five courts were available, two matches had to be played after the others. Highlanders coach Ron Wood opted to have the Daos, who are both seeded in the top four for the City individual tournament, play last in case Westchester kept the match close. If wins were needed from the last two players, Wood wanted his most experienced players in the pressure situation.
Instead, Granada Hills cruised through each set without losing more than two games. The No. 1 Highlanders (16-0) have not lost a set all season. In Woods' seven years as coach, they have never gone an entire season without losing a set.
``I guess it wasn't so close after all,'' Wood said. ``But that's what you do when you don't know anything about a team.''
Jasmin Dao defeated Jennifer Bermudez 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 1 singles match and freshman Christine Dao won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.
The closest the Western League champion Comets (13-3) came to a win was in No. 3 doubles where Granada Hills' Robin Meselan and Jessica Lee defeated Alicia DeLeaon and Charilyn Watkins 6-2, 6-2.
Caryn Linder and Shannon Slotnick teamed to give the Highlanders a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kelly Chain and Christina Avery at No. 1 doubles. The No. 2 doubles team of Andrea Blieden and Tracy Takeshmata and No. 3 singles player Canna Furuta lost just one game each for Granada Hills.
``This is definitely the most dominant team we've had since I've been here,'' Wood said.
Photo: Jasmin Dao is one of the key players for Granada Hills, which will face Carson in the City Section championship Friday.
John Lazar/Staff Photographer