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Duo from Costa Mesa has right stuff

TENNIS: Alvarado, Freeman take out top two seeds to win CIF doubles. CdM’s Kaiden, Polizois also win; Matthews falls.

April 26, 2008|By Matt SzaboDaily Pilot

OJAI — For Charlie Alvarado and Chris Freeman, the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament has been about constant improvement.

The Mater Dei High juniors, who are both Costa Mesa residents, made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF doubles division two years ago as freshmen. Last year, they advanced to the semifinals before losing in a tough three-set match to a Santa Barbara team.

But this year, there was no denying third-seeded Alvarado and Freeman. They came up huge in the big points Saturday, winning the CIF doubles title at the 108th annual tournament by topping top-seeded Tyler Bowman and Jon Kazarian of Peninsula High, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

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“It’s a little surreal, but this is what we worked for,” Alvarado said. “We set our minds to reaching the finals or winning it, and that’s what we did.”

Danielle Kaiden and Paige Polizois were also winners Saturday at Libbey Park. In the girls’ 18 doubles division, the top-seeded Corona del Mar High juniors topped two Sea Kings teammates, Karen Ishii and Kelli Feeley, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

“It was more tension [playing teammates in the final], but hey, it happens,” Kaiden said. “At least we all made it to the finals. That was the best part of it.”

Three other players or teams with local connections will also play for a title today. Corona del Mar resident Cierra Gaytan-Leach, playing in women’s open doubles with Pamela Montez of La Quinta, advanced to the finals. Gaytan-Leach and Montez upset No. 2-seeded Page Bartelt of Mission Viejo and Logan Hansen of Santa Monica in the semis, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. They also defeated Mauren Diaz of Glendale and Anita Loyola of Hermosa Beach, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.

Gaytan-Leach and Montez will play top-seeded Judith Devera of Carson and Dianne Matias of Torrance in the final, today at 2 p.m. at Libbey Park.

Former CdM boys’ standout Wes Miller, now a junior for Arizona State, will also be playing for a title today. Miller, seeded No. 4 in the Pac-10 invitational singles draw, defeated David Chu of Washington, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals Saturday morning.

Miller will face No. 2-seeded Bozhidar Katsarov of Cal in the Pac-10 invitational championship match today at 9:30 a.m., also at Libbey Park.

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