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CdM bound for CIF tennis title match

Boys' Tennis

Sea Kings finish strong to outlast Harvard-Westlake, advancing to CIF championship match for first time in nine years.

May 22, 2012|By Matt Szabo

VALLEY GLEN — The night before the biggest match of his high school career, Corona del Mar High senior tennis player Zach Williams couldn't sleep.

It wasn't because he was nervous. It was because had a very raspy throat and felt nauseous.

Players on CdM sometimes call Williams "Sausage" because of his tall, thin frame. For breakfast on Tuesday, Williams did not eat sausage. Instead, he said he swallowed eight Advil.

"Probably not good for me, but I toughed it out," Williams said.

Williams was not the only one. "Tough" was probably a good adjective for the Sea Kings, who put together a huge team performance when they needed it the most.

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Every starter won at least one set as No. 2-seeded Corona del Mar topped No. 3 Harvard-Westlake, 12-6, in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal match at Los Angeles Valley College. The Sea Kings advance to the finals for the first time since 2003.

Corona del Mar will play University in the Division 1 title match May 30 at The Claremont Club. The Trojans beat Palos Verdes, 13-5. Uni, seeking its third straight CIF Division 1 title, swept CdM in the Pacific Coast League this season, 13-5 and 12-6.

The Sea Kings, who had lost on the road at Harvard-Westlake, 10-8, in last year's quarterfinals, move on this year because of a balanced effort.

"Last year was a team loss," CdM Coach Brian Ricker said. "Every single person lost a set that they thought they could have won. This year was a team win. I think everybody won a set that they could have lost."

The Sea Kings (21-3) started strong and finished strong against the Wolverines (20-3), taking five of six sets in both the first round and third round. They also got a big performance at No. 1 singles from junior Alec Adamson, who swept his Harvard-Westlake opponents Jackson Frons (7-6), Jeffrey Bu (6-4) and Michael Genender (6-3).

"I beat some good players," Adamson said. "I knew it was going to be tough. I wanted to really rise to the occasion, because I knew it was going to be a close match and I really wanted my team to do well. Getting to the finals is really cool."

It was Ricker's first win in four trips to Los Angeles Valley College with CdM's boys and girls over the last two years. Last year, CdM lost to Harvard-Westlake in the quarterfinals at the same venue.

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