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TENNIS

Bears tired of waiting

for Hernando match

Central girls coach Joe Nicolai would love to play his scheduled match against Hernando, and after two abortive tries, he's getting a little frustrated.

The Bears (7-1) were to play Hernando on Feb. 20, but Leopards coach Terri Sellers asked that it be rescheduled. Then Hernando did not show up for the new date, without notice.

"I called (Sellers) about an hour before to see if they were still coming, and (Sellers) was pretty nonchalant about saying they were not coming," Nicolai said. "It didn't seem like it was any big deal for her.

"Our girls were all ready to go, and then this," Nicolai said.

Sellers was unavailable for comment.

Central is scheduled to visit Hernando on March 27.

Nicolai said he has written letters of protest to Hernando athletic director Rodney Byrd and Central AD Vic Cervizzi asking the match be forfeited to the Bears.

On the court, Central continued to roll after a loss last week to Lecanto. Nicolai still rues the 5-2 defeat.

"I feel we could have beaten Lecanto," he said. "It sounds funny to say, but the match was so close. It lasted until 9 at night. It was all deuce, deuce, deuce."

Nicolai said the match was swung when his top doubles team of juniors Jane McDonald and Jennifer Ales lost a lengthy battle.

"(McDonald/Ales) got into trouble," Nicolai said.

"In the meantime (No. 2 Shelane Etchison/Paula Nagarajan won their first set and were up in the second, and when they saw (McDonald and Ales) lost, they gave up."

McDonald, the top-seeded singles player, is 7-1, and No. 2 Ales is 8-0.

Etchison, a freshman, is 6-2, as is junior and No. 4 player Nagarajan. Sophomore Kacy Howard is 7-1. McDonald/Ales is 6-2, as is Etchison/Nagarajan.

"We're going pretty much as expected," Nicolai said. "Shelane is playing really well, and it's good to see that from a freshman, but she needs to be more consistent _ like all of us."

Hernando boys young,

but making progress

The Leopards improved to 5-3, showing plenty of progress for coach Brett Teitelman.

"We have lots of freshmen, but we're staying on the winning track," Teitelman said. "We have a real good chance to do very well."

Junior Andrew Sufficool, the team's top player, leads Hernando at 5-3. No. 2 Eric Frischette is 4-4, No. 3 Joshua Vasquez, a senior, is 3-5, No. 4 Daniel Crespo, a freshman, is 3-5 and No. 5 Brent Lowman, a freshman, is 2-5-1.

"Andrew is doing a great job," Teitelman said.

The top doubles team, Sufficool/Freschette, is 5-3, and No. 2 Vasquez/Drew Taylor is 3-5.

BOXING

Alonzo ready to punch

out another victory

SPRING HILL _ Hernando County super middleweight Jose Alonzo undertakes his seventh professional bout when he fights on the China "The Dragon' Smith undercard Saturday at the Hyatt in Tampa.

Alonzo, 23, improved to 6-0 on Feb. 2 when he scored a technical knockout over Kevin "The Underdog' Underwood at Robarts Arena in Sarasota.

Alonzo pummeled Underwood with right crosses and left hooks to win in one minute, 36 seconds into the first round.

Alonzo is scheduled to meet Clint Mack.

"I feel great," Alonzo said. "I feel better than I did the last time."

Alonzo made it through his last fight despite flu-like symptoms.

He will be without trainer Angel Rosa, who re-retired recently after schooling Alonzo for one fight. Alonzo's step-father, Nelson Saldana, has taken over training duties.

"We might stay like this for a little while and then maybe get another trainer," Saldana said. "It's fun because I am learning too."

Alonzo said he is happy to have his step-father in more of a position of control.

"My father helps me a lot. More than he was before," Alonzo said. "He takes me to the gym, he stays on my case and tells me my mistakes."

CHEERLEADING

Central program

schedules meeting

For any one interested in participating in the Central High School cheerleading program for 2001-02, there will be an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. March 27 in the school auditorium.

Any incoming freshmen or students transferring to Central or current students are invited to attend with a parent or guardian.

For more information, please call (352) 797-7020, ext. 208, or send an e-mail to centralcheeraddlebrain.com.

_ BRANT JAMES

Up next:THIS WEEK

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