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Radeva, Cernius moving on from Newport Harbor girls' tennis team

Newport Harbor singles players don't plan to be back next year for Sailors as they focus on other opportunities.

June 16, 2012|By Matt Szabo

In 2010, the Sailors lost incoming senior Rebecca Arnold and incoming sophomore Samantha Stalder, their top two singles players from the previous year. Stalder was at No. 1 singles for Newport Harbor in 2009-10, and Arnold played No. 2 singles. Last summer, Newport Harbor also lost one of its top doubles players, incoming senior Ricki Archie, as she left the team to focus on employment opportunities. The previous year, Archie played at No. 1 doubles with Christina Young.

The parents of both Arnold and Stalder cited rigorous training requirements as a primary reason why their daughters left the Sailors. Arnold's mother, Nancy, wrote in an email Friday that the time commitment is just too much for serious players.

"I know that Kristen has a philosophy that building teamwork creates a team of individuals that perform better than they truly are, and that to create that environment one must be entirely dedicated to the team," Nancy Arnold wrote. "However, it is difficult for most parents to go along with her level of enthusiasm and commitment because there is a difference between tennis (which is an individual sport) and other sports."

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In tennis, unlike most other team sports, players are almost always recruited for college based on their individual success at United States Tennis Assn. tournaments.

"No one is recruited from the NHHS tennis team based on their performance at NHHS to play in college," Arnold wrote. "What is looked at by colleges is not how they played on the high school team, but rather their individual ranking. The truth of the matter is that any girl who wants to play at the college level cannot afford to spend her time with the NHHS team.

"... It is an unfortunate situation, but the only solution that makes sense for many individuals that are competing to get into college is to quit the varsity tennis team. [Athletic Director Mike Zimmerman] has stated to me that it is a privilege to be on a varsity team at NHHS, not a right. The price for the privilege to be on the NHHS girls' varsity team is too high."

Christina Young, who played in the program for four years, has a different view. Young, part of the No. 1 doubles team each of the last two years, is far from a dedicated tournament player. But she plans to walk on the women's tennis team at UC Santa Barbara.

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