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Another Sea Kings' triumph is all too easy

TENNIS: Corona del Mar continues its winning ways by dominating the Hawks, 17-1, in a Pacific Coast League match.

September 29, 2006|By Matt Szabo

LAGUNA HILLS — Coach Brian Ricker said the Corona del Mar High girls' tennis team broke the "french fry" rule on Thursday at Laguna Hills.

When the Sea Kings are leading by a wide margin, Ricker has traditionally said a lone loser — producing a team score of 17-1 — would have to buy french fries for the rest of the team.

"We've never won by a 17-1 score in the three years I've been here," Ricker said with a grin.

But the rule, just a joke, was one of many things to smile about for unbeaten Corona del Mar, which won the Pacific Coast League match handily.

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Even the only loss was something to be proud of for the Sea Kings (10-0, 2-0 in league). Freshman Melissa Matsuoka battled Laguna Hills No. 1 singles player Brittany Rosen before losing in a tiebreaker.

"It's tough to get games off of her, but I just tried my hardest and did well," Matsuoka said. "I was kind of tired, because I had three tough matches [against Peninsula on Wednesday], but I just went out there and played."

CdM defeated Peninsula, 11-7. But CdM, currently ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division I, had a far easier time against Laguna Hills, which is a newcomer to the Pacific Coast League.

After the first go-round, Corona del Mar was up, 6-0. That included Jill Damion's tough 6-4 win over Rosen. Damion was up, 5-2, and hung on, breaking Rosen's serve at, 5-4.

The two players have a history. They faced each other multiple times in tournaments over the last several years.

"She's someone who I go back and forth with," Damion said. "I was ready for her and started off well. I was warmed up, which is always a big plus for me. That was key."

Damion and freshmen Hailey Hogan swept in singles and Matsuoka won two of three.

In doubles, Corona del Mar easily won every set. The teams of Hayley and Miranda Young, Danielle Kaiden and Lindsay Zotovich, as well as Karen Ishii and Kelly McKitterick got things going.

This is the third week in a row that the Sea Kings have had three matches, but that's part of Ricker's plan.

"I do that on purpose," he said. "In the beginning of the season, school hasn't heated up so much, and they don't have as much homework. We can build up some character in these first few weeks."

What the Sea Kings have apparently built up is a talent gold mine. When Ricker subbed in seniors Katie Kittrell and Michelle Atkins in doubles for Kaiden and Ishii, respectively, the Sea Kings kept rolling.

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