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TENNIS REPORT: CITY SECTION NEW-LEAGUE COMPETITION STARTS TODAY.

Byline: Anel Laj Staff Writer

The time has come when every match counts.

After experimenting with lineups and finalizing rosters during the preseason, City Section high schools open league play today.

The realignment of leagues in the City Section has changed the look of this year's season. Kennedy, San Fernando and Van Nuys are the teams to beat in the new Valley Mission League, and Granada Hills and Cleveland are the top schools in the West Valley League.

``It's not like before,'' said San Fernando coach Park Cockerill, who thought eliminating conferences and concentrating only on league play was a better system. ``It's more focused and all the matches count for league and playoffs and it's better that way.''

But preseason matches remain important for preparing teams for league play. On Tuesday, Granada Hills beat Van Nuys 7-1 with the Wolves' only win from Diana Friedland's 8-6 upset of heavily favored Jasmine Dao. San Fernando's Gladys Preciado continued to impress coach Cockerill, winning 8-1 over Chatsworth's Avina to lead the Tigers over the Chancellors 5-2. Key matchups today include Granada Hills at Cleveland and Kennedy at San Fernando. It's early, but the outcomes could indicate the favorites to win league titles.

A helping forehand: Before they began coaching the Notre Dame girls' tennis program this year, Bill and Ruth Kolarik donated a lot of time, money and energy maintaining the Warner Center Tennis Club. After management changes, the Kolariks rebuilt the club's programs with help from numerous tennis professionals.

Roberto (Bobby) Rodriguez is a Davis Cup Player from Cuba who is ranked on the ATP Tour. Rodriguez, who is also ranked No. 2 in Southern California open rankings, is the new junior tennis professional. Davis Cup player Alberto Martinez, originally from Venezuela, held the No. 1 position at Memphis State and is the Macabee junior coach. The director of the Pierce College tennis camps and captain of the men's team, Dan Mabe, is the club's motivational instructor for juniors.

Also joining the Warner Center staff is Dr. Bill McLain, who has 19 years of collegiate experience and is the only coach to win NCAA Division I championships in three different conferences.

``There's not a day that goes by that I don't get a call telling me how lucky I am for having them at the club,'' said Bill Kolarik. ``I am very fortunate. They bring a lot to the club. It's been a lot of work and taken a whole lot of time to rebuild and bring the club up to scale - but it's been fun.''

The Kolariks and their staff increased the junior membership to 70 in just four months. Bill Kolarik said the staff wants to expose youth and underprivileged students in the San Fernando Valley to the game. Flexible financial options, carpooling and other accommodations are available to players with special circumstances.

Program information: (818) 884-3524 or the Warner Center Tennis Club, 6336 Canoga Avenue in Woodland Hills.

Not once, but twice: This past weekend, Palmdale hosted its annual tournament and Lancaster's freshman sensation Sonya Reynolds won her second high school tournament in two weeks. Reynolds defeated Quartz Hill's Lannette Richadson 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals and downed Patti Young 6-2, 6-2 for the singles championship. The weekend before, Reynolds edged Granada Hills' Jasmine Dao 10-8 to win the Valencia tournament.

``It was actually easier than the Valencia tournament because Jasmine (Dao) wasn't in this one,'' said Reynolds ``I did get to see everyone in league and (gain) knowledge of who was playing and what type of game they had.''

Hart High's No. 1 doubles team of Jamie Ladd and Heidi Gragg (16-1) won their event at the Palmdale tournament.

In Hart's 13-5 league-opening loss to Burroughs, Ladd and Gragg swept their set 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-3.

New guidance: The Burbank girls' team underwent several changes before the season began. The Bulldogs needed a coach after Clyde Richards resigned. Burbank also lost its No. 1 singles player - Georgette Wright - who decided to focus on improving her USTA ranking. But with the help of a new coach, former 1994 Burbank tennis standout Vazghen Zaghiyan, the Bulldogs overcame a rough preseason to win their Foothill League opener 14-4 over Valencia on Tuesday.

Even without Wright, Burbank singles remain solid with Olga Yepremian and Veronica Irinco at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The Bulldogs' real test is today when they face crosstown rival Burroughs at 3 p.m.

Daily News Top 10

1. Calabasas (6-0) - Survived tough preseason, including win over Brentwood behind solid play of doubles Kathy Habuki and Andrea Leewong

2. Harvard-Westlake (3-0) - Breezed through preseason, but should be tested by Penninsula on Monday before Mission League starts

3. Chaminade (3-1) - No. 1 singles Kinsley Carnahan's sweep against Westlake helped the Eagles beat the Warriors. Decisive Mission League matchup against the Wolverines next Thursday

4. Westlake (4-2) - Warriors had key win against Agoura in games (80-79) to get noticed in Marmonte

5. Agoura (3-2) - Tough matches early in season against Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Westlake should make for a stronger finish in Marmonte with Brooke Borisoff leading the way.

6. Granada Hills - (3-0) Strength in singles with Jasmine Dao, Caryn Linder, Yuka Otaka and Takeshita sisters helps Highlanders dominate City. Big match against Cleveland today.

7. La Reina (4-3) - Despite dropping three games, the Regents remain one of the best Division V teams in the Valley behind Miester sisters and Stephanie Matthews

8. Burroughs (5-0) - Without Ognenovska the Indians looked solid in preseason. With her, Burroughs looks even more dangerous. Key matchup against Burbank today.

9. Quartz Hill (5-1) - Won Palmdale tournament with 12 victories and remains the Golden League's strongest team.

t10. Campbell Hall (5-1) - Wins over Mission League teams and Division I Crescenta Valley early in season

t10. Simi Valley (7-1) - Surprise of the Marmonte, showing promise and depth before big matchup against Agoura today.

Records through Tuesday

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BOX: Daily News Top 10 (see text)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 30, 1999
Words:993
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