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Dolphins stun Sea Kings

TENNIS: Dana Hills dominates singles play, handing Sea Kings a surprisingly lopsided loss.

October 04, 2007|By Matt Szabo

DANA POINT — As Corona del Mar High sophomore tennis player Melissa Matsuoka walked by, teammate Azadeh Nazemi tried to cheer her up.

“Melissa, good job,” Nazemi said after the 6-2 loss. “You got some games!”

Matsuoka gave Nazemi a quizzical look, but Nazemi wasn’t fooling around.

“No, I’m serious!” Nazemi said.

Games were hard to get off the Dana Hills girls’ tennis team Wednesday, especially in singles. That was where the Dolphins won eight of nine sets, helping them to a 13-5 nonleague victory at Dana Hills High.

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CdM Coach Brian Ricker might not have been overly surprised by the loss. Ricker said he thought that his team, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I coaches’ poll, was a slight underdog on paper against the No. 3-ranked Dolphins. But the margin of victory was sure to raise some eyebrows.

Dana Hills singles players Brynn Boren, Kristina Smith and Joanna Smith won all eight of their sets. Boren is ranked No. 51 in the USTA Southern California girls’ 18s rankings, while Kristina Smith is No. 36 in the girls’ 16s. Joanna Smith is ranked No. 3 in the girls’ 14s.

Hailey Hogan (No. 23 in girls’ 16s) and Matsuoka (No. 35) are also highly ranked. On Wednesday, though, it didn’t seem to matter. Five of Dana Hills’ eight singles wins were by a 6-0 score.

The Dolphins handed CdM its second-worst loss in Ricker’s four-year tenure as coach. The Sea Kings lost to Peninsula, 14-4, during the 2005 season.

“Their singles played well,” Ricker said. “That was the story today...that’s the reality of sports. Some days, the steamroller gets going in the wrong direction and you can’t turn it around.”

Playing at No. 1 doubles, juniors Lindsay Zotovich and Danielle Kaiden had the longest match of the day for CdM (8-2). But, in their first set, they couldn’t convert match points in two different games and eventually lost in a tiebreaker to Dana Hills’ No. 1 team of Leyla Simmons and Victoria Wing.

The big win for the Dolphins (8-0) gave them a 5-1 lead after the first go-round, and they cruised from there.

“We had some really good opportunities there to make it 4-2,” Ricker said.

Zotovich and Kaiden did come back to win a set, as did Karen Ishii and Paige Polizois. But the best doubles team for the Sea Kings was the No. 3 pairing of Kelli Feeley and Elizabeth Nguyen.

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