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Falcons fall from league perch

October 01, 2004

Grant Gordon

For 50 straight matches, Crescenta Valley High's girls' tennis team

had no peer in the Pacific League.

On Thursday, that all changed when Arcadia High ended CV's league

stranglehold with an emphatic 16-2 victory.

"We got beat every which way," Falcon Coach Tom Gossard said.

"They're a much better team and they wanted it more."

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The Falcons have won five consecutive league titles and hadn't

lost a league match since September, 1999, when they fell to Arcadia.

"The last three years, [CV] completely dominated," said Arcadia

Coach Jerry Dohling, whose team shared a league title with CV in

1999. "This is sweet because we were able to beat them and stop the

streak.

"This is a big day for us."

Still, the Falcons (5-4, 1-1 in league) do have a shot at a

sixth-straight league crown, but Gossard isn't ready to look that far

ahead.

"The rematch isn't even in our mind," said Gossard, whose team

will travel to Arcadia on Oct. 19. "We got Glendale Tuesday."

Only the Falcons' No. 1 singles player, Alina Karpetian, and the

team's No. 3 tandem of Luana Choi and Kisa Ito garnered set wins,

both by 6-2 margins.

Despite the lopsided loss, Gossard said his team can regroup.

But the Falcons will need to learn more before they start thinking

about the Apaches.

"We didn't choke," he said. "They just flat out taught us how to

play tennis."

Experience proved to be the biggest difference between the teams.

Arcadia (9-0, 2-0) returned six players from last year's

second-place squad, while none of the Falcons had played in pressure

situations. It showed as CV dropped five sets by two games or less.

In doubles, CV's Estelle Kim and Hannah Whang lost a marathon 7-6

(10-8). Karpetian took Arcadia's Anna Heigane, who won her other two

sets 6-0, to a tiebreaker before falling, 7-6 (7-2). CV No. 2 singles

player Tiffany Mann was upended by LeAnne Tran 7-6 (7-5) in a set

that, consequently, was Arcadia's 10th, and clinched the match.

"We lost all the close sets," said Gossard, whose team also had

two 6-4 defeats. "We're scared to lose. We should be scared not to

play to win."

They're all defeats Gossard thinks his team can learn from, and

defeats his team will need to learn from should they hope to slay the

Apaches next time.

"Not one of them played a pressure match until today," Gossard

said. "So we'll fight back, these girls have heart.

"They got to learn from it."

Dohling's counting on it.

"They're not going to give this up easily," he said. "Hopefully

we'll continue to improve for when they come back."

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