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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

At the time her daughter left the team, Stalder's mother Diane said Samantha still wanted to play for Newport Harbor. But the time commitment was too great, as she also wanted to play more tournaments in the summer and spend time with her private coach.

Radeva is currently ranked No. 91 in the Southern California girls' 16s. Stalder is No. 70 in the 18s.

Zimmerman said he has no issue with Case's policies.

"She's teaching these girls, and boys for that matter, discipline and life lessons that they can take with them beyond the tennis court," Zimmerman said. "I think that some people are just not willing to make the commitment. You know, it's tough, especially when you have talented kids who choose not to play. It's hard, but it's like a good teacher not wanting to drop their standards and having the students rise to their level. Kristen is certainly the same way. I only can say great things about her. She's a motivator, she's a self-starter and she gets the most out of the people she coaches.

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"If parents feel that she's a little too strict, I hate to say it but maybe this is not that the program for them. The success that they've had is self-evident."

Other local high school teams have typically done things differently than Newport Harbor. In the fall of 2010, Corona del Mar Coach Brian Ricker simply gave nationally ranked transfer Lynda Xepoleas a list of important matches she needed to attend. Xepoleas now plays at Purdue and was recently named the Ohio Valley Region Rookie of the Year by the ITA.

Ricker said he has changed his policies on in-season attendance and now requires all players to be present at practices and matches. However, his off-season summer camps, like those run by Sage Hill head man A.G. Longoria, remain strictly optional. Ricker said most of the top singles players do not attend them.

"Summer camp is different things to different people," Zimmerman said. "[The Sailors] come back off of dead week and they get excited to try out, and they're trying to get their team set for next year. She's going to be demanding and ask a lot of the girls ... She's fair, and the rules are the same for everybody, whether you're the best player or you're the last player on the team. She expects maximum effort, and as a coach I don't think that's too much to ask anyone, to make a commitment and be part of it."

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