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Xepoleas into semis

Corona del Mar senior two matches away from CIF Individuals crown. Sage Hill team falls in round of 16.

December 02, 2010|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com

"Santamaria's tough," he said. "She's mentally tough. She has a really good forehand, similar to Lynda's, and she slices her backhand almost all the time. It's a very effective shot, and it forces girls into the court, then she rips her forehand."

Ricker said he'd give Xepoleas a good shot, though, if she can again bring her all-around game.

"It's two great players," he said. "One's going to USC, one's going to Purdue. It's who shows up and plays outstanding tennis. Lynda's going to have to make some big shots, which she does, and Santamaria's going to have to defend like crazy.

"Today was the best I've seen [Xepoleas'] backhand look. She was hitting through it, hitting some winners and not making errors. If she can continue that tomorrow, I like her chances."

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Bick and Billingsley were the first Sage Hill doubles team in program history to make it to the round of 16. Despite their 6-2, 6-3 loss, the Academy League champions were in each set. The first set was knotted at 2-2, and the second set was as close as 4-3 before the Uni team pulled away.

Fateri twisted her ankle in the first set and took an injury timeout. She was in obvious pain for a game or two but gutted it out.

"They just hit really well," Bick said. "It was their good shots that made us not play well. They were good."

Billingsley said she and her teammate could look back and see how much they accomplished, in a year they also helped Sage Hill make the Division III title match and finish as runner-up.

"We're really proud," Billingsley said. "We have next year to go farther."

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