Korber finishes fourth

Boys' Tennis

CdM senior battles but drops PCL semifinal match to Menichella.

May 05, 2011|By Matt Szabo,

IRVINE — Corona del Mar High senior Shane Korber never has played well against University sophomore Stefan Menichella.

Korber said he has also been sick with a sinus infection. But if there's one thing Korber has proven during his four-year varsity career at CdM, it's that he's a fighter.

There he was Thursday afternoon in the Pacific Coast League singles semifinals at University High, two points away from taking the opening set against Menichella.


No. 3-seeded Korber never did give up, but he had a rough first-set tiebreaker against No. 2 Menichella. Soon, the University player was surging to a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 victory.

Korber finished fourth in the league after dropping the third-place match, 8-4, to Woodbridge senior Patrick Lipscomb. Only the top two singles and doubles players advance to CIF Individuals, the downside in playing in a "super-league" like the Pacific Coast League has become.

"There's even some great players who ended up having to play doubles because the singles are so deep," Korber said. "And even some of them didn't make it through the draw. It's just too bad when better players don't get to make it into CIF, but that's the nature of the league. Everybody's going to have to play everybody at some point."

The Georgetown-bound Korber was broken in the third game against Menichella, but stayed in the set. He earned three break points with Menichella serving at 5-4, converting the third one with the help of a fortuitous net-cord shot.

After Korber held to go up 6-5, he had Menichella at 30-all on his serve and was two points away. But Menichella battled to force a tiebreaker, where he went ahead 6-0 and converted his third set point.

"I've been trying to do something different every time to mix it up against him," said Korber, who has just seven singles losses this year including Ojai and the National All-American Tournament. Three of those losses have been to Menichella.

"I've never had success against him," Korber said. "I started trying to come in more, since he stands so far back and hits such a loopy ball … I played the points the way I wanted to, I got the short balls I wanted to. I just didn't execute when I got the short ball."

Menichella broke Korber's serve early in the second set after a lengthy deuce game, taking a 2-0 lead and cruising from there.

CdM Coach Brian Ricker said he liked the way Korber battled, despite his sickness.

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