Not even a new points system could keep the Palisades High girls’ tennis team from winning its third straight City Section Open Division championship Thursday at Balboa Sports Center in Encino.
For the first time in City history, round-robin scoring was used for the girls’ playoffs and the top-seeded Dolphins edged No. 2 Granada Hills 15½ to 14 in the finals for their fifth title in six years since the four-team Open Division was added in 2017.
Palisades’ No. 2 singles player Anaya Ayanbadejo dropped one game in four singles sets and the doubles teams of Nicole Nguyen and Anne Kelly and Anais Israels and Ella Engel both won two of three sets (each worth 1½ points) to lead the Dolphins to their 29th section title since 1973.
Georgia Brown and Priscilla Grinner swept at No. 1 doubles and Sayuri Parandian and Breanna Nguyen each won three of four singles sets, but it was not quite enough for the Highlanders, who were taking on Palisades in the finals for the 11th time in 12 seasons.
Palisades beat Granada Hills 5-2 under the straight-up (head-to-head) best-of-seven format last fall.
The schools have combined to win the last 21 upper division titles. Granada Hills last won in 2019.