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Goal-oriented Breakers

August 27, 2004

Mike Sciacca

For much of this century, the Laguna Beach High girls' tennis team

has been one of the strongest programs in the CIF-Southern Section.

Consistently battling for the Pacific Coast League championship

and going far into the CIF playoffs has make Laguna a feared program.

Last year, the Breakers defeated defending Division I champion

Calabasas en route to a final four appearance, where they were

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eliminated from title contention in a semifinal loss to.

Laguna's undoing in 2002 also was a semifinal loss to Beverly

Hills.

In 2004, the Breakers will be under the direction of first-year

coach Greg Weiss.

He began his first year as head coach of the boys' tennis program

in spring 2004 and inherits a girls' team a team that has its top two

singles players returning in junior Claire Rietsch and Lorren

Butterwick.

Rietsch was the 2002 PCL singles champion.

"Our strengths definitely are our singles players and great depth,

moving from No. 1 singles, all the way down," Weiss said. "I am

hoping to win the league and the girls told me yesterday that they

want to make it to CIF finals,"

Battling it out for the third singles slot are returners Kellie

Ammerman, a junior, Katie Ochwat, another junior, and sophomore

Lauren Thigpen.

"Thigpen is definitely the most improved player this year," Weiss

said.

Playing doubles will be seniors Correy Miller, Kindell Arrington

and Kim Ochwat. Some top players from the junior varsity team

figuring to be in a fight for a doubles spot include juniors Gabby

Robinson, Kristen Drury, Jessica Sganga and Jenna Douglas.

Butterwick and Katie Ochwat teamed to win the 2003 Pacific Coast

League doubles crown.

The duo defeated Laguna teammates Ammerman and Jackie Reed in the

league final.

Having gone 21-2 last year and expected to be ranked at or near

the top when the first Division I poll is released, Laguna is a solid

pick as one of the Pacific Coast League preseason favorites.

Laguna and Corona del Mar, which tied for the 2003 championship,

figure to battle it out again for supremacy in 2004.

"We are considered the favorite because we have a lot of returning

players from last year, and we have Claire back," Weiss said. "I

would say either us, or Corona del Mar, as the favorite for the

title."

Although Weiss is new to the Laguna program, he has seen is plenty

form his players in years past.

"I have been coaching youth tennis in Laguna the last 12 years,

and some of the girls on the team, I have been coaching since they

could walk," he said."

Laguna opens its season Sept. 10 against Sage Hill at Park

Newport.

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