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    CIF-SS girls tennis finals: Mater Dei falls to Westlake in ‘heartbreaker;’ Aliso Niguel wins D1 title
    • November 11, 2023

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    CLAREMONT — Mater Dei girls tennis coach Debbie Shaffer predicted a close match with Westlake in the CIF-SS Open Division final on Friday.

    Shaffer was right, but the Monarchs and Warriors pushed their duel into the extremely close category.

    Westlake knocked off No. 1-seeded Mater Dei on the games tiebreaker after the teams ended a nearly 3 1/2-hour clash locked at 9-9 sets at Pomona Pitzer College’s Pauley Tennis Complex. Westlake edged Mater Dei in games won, 82-80.

    “It is a heartbreaker,” Shaffer said. “That’s what we tell the girls before they go out on the court — it’s all about games. You got to just try to get every single game. It’s hard. I’m sure all these girls are looking back at a set where they could have got one game or could have done maybe a little bit more.”

    “(But) it’s not over,” the coach added. “It’s definitely not over. We will be coming back.”

    Mater Dei (20-2) aims to continue its postseason as the defending CIF SoCal Regional champion. The Monarchs lost to San Marino in the Open Division final last season and came back to win the regional title.

    This year, the SoCal regional champion advances to the inaugural state championship.

    No. 2 seeded Westlake (26-2) rallied from a 4-2 deficit after the first round to win two tiebreakers in the second round to take a 7-5 lead. Mater Dei responded in the third round but the outcome remained in doubt even after the teams finished tied 9-9.

    Officials and coaches counted games for several minutes as the anticipation built. Westlake finally broke into a wild celebration.

    “You guys are ballers,” Westlake coach Scott Yasgoor told his players. “Three seniors won all those singles matches. … They just showed up big. They won matches today and my doubles got (the) games.”

    Westlake’s trio of Allison Lian, Ariana Liu and Megan Sun racked up seven points in singles.

    Mater Dei collected seven of its points in doubles, including a sweep from the senior duo of Athena Wardy and Chloe Wu.

    The drama of the third round included Mater Dei’s Haley Tran being evaluated by a trainer before playing her singles match.

    In other CIF-SS tennis finals Friday:

    Division 1: Aliso Niguel def. Los Osos, 9-9, 71-64: Aliso Niguel edged No. 1 seed Los Osos in the games tiebreaker, 71-64, to win the CIF-SS championship.

    Division 2: Laguna Beach def. Calabasas 10-8: Jessica and Rebecca MacCallum swept in singles to lead the Breakers to the title at The Claremont Club. It was Laguna Beach’s first section crown since 2005.

    Division 4: Crean Lutheran 11, Oxford Academy 7: Top-seeded Crean Lutheran defeated No. 3 seed Oxford Academy in the CIF-SS finals.

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    ​ Orange County Register