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Mustangs prevail again

Costa Mesa edges rival Eagles for second straight league match, locking up at least second place in Orange Coast League.

April 25, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
  • Costa Mesa High's Alex Adams swings into a forehand volley on his way to sweeping three sets at No. 1 singles in the Mustangs' league crucial win over Estancia Monday.
Costa Mesa High's Alex Adams swings into a forehand… (Don Leach, unknown )

COSTA MESA — Michael Chantos won his last set of the day.

Then, he braced himself.

His Costa Mesa High boys' tennis teammates sprinted onto the court and piled on top of Chantos.

For the first time in a while, the Mustangs are near the top of the heap.

Costa Mesa edged cross-town rival Estancia, 10-8, in the Orange Coast League match Monday at Costa Mesa High. The Mustangs clinched at least second place in league and their first CIF Southern Section Division IV playoff appearance since 2006.

They weren't done after the mass celebration on court, either. After finding a bucket of ice water to pour on top of Coach Jan Migaki, they found another one and did the same to Chantos. Mesa's No. 3 singles player earned it after edging Estancia's Jared Payzant, 7-5, in the final set on court, although Mesa also had enough games should the final score have been deadlocked at nine sets apiece.

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"[The set] came down to five-all," said Chantos, a junior who was all smiles after the match. "We had to focus and I pulled through. This is the greatest win ever."

Costa Mesa (7-3, 6-1 in league) could actually pull ahead of Laguna Beach (5-0 in league) by winning the Mustangs' league finale Tuesday at Laguna, though the three-time defending champion Breakers are heavy favorites.

Estancia Coach Carlos Beltran said the Eagles (6-11, 4-4), who are done with their league schedule, have third place all locked up. Beltran said they also will advance to CIF for the eighth straight year. However, this will be the first time since the league was formed five years ago that the Mustangs finish ahead of the Eagles.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Costa Mesa senior Justin Dang, who won two of three sets at No. 2 singles Monday. "Our freshman year we fell behind Estancia, and the same thing sophomore year. This victory for us, especially as seniors, is a huge one. It's a great way to close out our high school tennis careers."

Senior Alex Adams swept at No. 1 singles for Mesa, which was ahead, 4-2, after one round and 7-5 after two rounds.

The match ended with an identical 10-8 score as the teams' first meeting, but this one felt closer. That was especially true after Estancia No. 1 singles player Robert Marrone defeated Dang, 6-3, to pull the Eagles within 9-8.

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