Pali High Girls Tennis Dethroned in Open Finals by Granada Hills
For the 12th time in the last 13 years Palisades and Granada Hills high schools met for the City Section girls tennis championship October 25 at Balboa Sports Center in Encino.
Palisades was the top seed and defending champion, but this time the second-seeded Highlanders (14-0) prevailed 16 to 11.5 to claim their first City title since 2019 and 13th overall. The schools have combined to win the last 22 upper division crowns. The last time neither Palisades nor Granada Hills won was in 2001 when Carson claimed its second of back-to-back titles.
The Dolphins (15-3-1) saw their three-year title winning streak ended and were denied a 30th City crown.
Palisades had notched the last four points in the new round robin format to pull out a 15.5 to 14 victory one year earlier but on Oct. 25 the Highlanders prevailed in three tiebreakers to build an early lead that the Dolphins could not overcome.
Granada Hills’ top two doubles teams swept and the No. 2 tandem of America Fragoso and Amy Nghiem won a crucial tiebreak 7-5 versus Palisades’ No. 2 duo of Penelope Michal and Simone McClary.
Breanna Nguyen won all three of her sets at No. 2 singles before being subbed out in the last rotation. Her first set against Palisades’ Anais Israels produced the best rallies of the day before Nguyen prevailed 7-3 in a tiebreaker and the Highlanders’ No. 4 singles player Elen Zargaryan got an unexpected point by beating Palisades’ top player Sophie Szeder.
Nicole Nguyen won two of her three sets, including a 7-5 upset of Granada Hills’ No. 1 Sayuri Parandian and Ella Engel took two of three sets at No. 4 singles.
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