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University takes PCL title outright

TENNIS: Shorthanded CdM puts a scare into Trojans before falling, 12-6, at home on Tuesday.

May 02, 2007|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — The mood was different, even if the score was the same.

The Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team lost to University, 12-6, for the second time in a week at CdM on Tuesday. For the Trojans, the win means an outright Pacific Coast League team title, while CdM finishes in second place.

But Sea Kings Coach Tim Mang wasn't too upset. He encouraged his players throughout the match, like No. 3 singles player Ryan Peyton. The freshman didn't win a set, but took three games in his first match, against Uni No. 3 John Huang.

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"That's what I like to hear," Mang said when Peyton told him the score.

Corona del Mar (15-3, 6-2 in league), which was dealt a blow when senior Ryan Caughren quit the team on Monday night, had to scramble quickly to replace him. Mang didn't elaborate on why Caughren, a four-year varsity player, had decided to quit the team.

"We could have used him today," said senior Dustin Hladek, Caughren's usual partner.

Hladek instead teamed up with fellow senior Josh Kim to win two of three sets on Tuesday.

"Dustin and Josh played well," Mang said. "They had only played together once before and they almost swept."

The Sea Kings, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division I, were tied with No. 3 University, 3-3, after the first go-round.

But the Trojans (17-2, 8-0) won five of six matches in the second go-round to take an 8-4 lead.

All three of the doubles matches at the time were close, but the Sea Kings lost two of them, 7-5, offsetting a 7-6 win by Hladek and Kim over the Trojans' Richard Sun and Kevin Tran.

Despite the 12-6 team tally, CdM also lost three other sets by the same 7-5 score.

"We had them nervous, we really did," Mang said.

One of the 7-5 losses was by No. 1 singles player Fabian Matthews, to Huang. With the Trojans not having much trouble against CdM's other two singles players, each Uni player could save his effort for Matthews.

"I just got tired playing against all three of them," he said.

But Matthews did bounce back for a match-ending, 7-5 win over Jason Lin.

"Fabian had three quality players he had to play," Mang said. "He did show me something coming back [in the last match] the way he did."

Chris Damion and Parker Rhodes also finished strong. The pair of sophomores, playing at No. 2 doubles for the Sea Kings, rallied from a 5-2 deficit to win their last set by another score of 7-5.

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