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Breakers bounce back

World Team Tennis

Orange County brushes off loss to Sacramento the previous night, topping Capitals for much-needed win before road trip.

July 14, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

IRVINE — For the first time this year, an Orange County Breakers match went into overtime Saturday night at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center.

Overtime is a unique feature to World Team Tennis. It is not unique in the world of one of the onlookers of the women's singles match between Anna-Lena Groenefeld of the Breakers and Asia Muhammad of the Sacramento Capitals.

Asia's younger brother, Shabazz, watched the action close to the court in the southeast corner. Shabazz Muhammad, considered one of the top high school men's basketball recruits in the country, will play at UCLA this year.

Asia nearly pulled off a superstar type of comeback herself. But Groenefeld got the hold she needed in the second game of overtime and helped the Breakers earn a 23-20 victory.

"It's a big confidence-builder for the team," said the Breakers' John-Patrick Smith, who opened the match with a big tiebreaker victory in men's doubles with Travis Parrott. "Anna-Lena competed great tonight. Great team effort."

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It was a victory that Coach Trevor Kronemann's Breakers (2-2) needed, as they moved within a half-match of Western Conference-leading Sacramento (3-2). Orange County is tied for second with Kansas City. The Breakers are away for their next five matches, before returning to the Bren on July 23 against Springfield.

Sam Querrey, ranked No. 55 in the world in singles, was announced as a last-minute addition to the Capitals' lineup earlier Saturday. Smith and Parrott still pulled off the big men's doubles victory over Querrey and the longtime doubles standout Mark Knowles.

"It's really fun playing with J.P.," Parrott said. "He's got a lot of energy. He played at Tennessee and I played at Georgia, so we should not like each other, but we get along pretty well. We really have fun out on the court. We enjoy playing first, and it's helped our team get the two wins we have. We've been able to keep that momentum going throughout the match.

"Team Tennis is so much about getting off to a good start. You really have to start quick, and that's what we did tonight. J.P. and I really started off well, and that's not what we did [Friday] night. We lost in mixed doubles, 5-0, and that kind of set the tone for the whole match. It felt like it was the opposite tonight."

The Breakers had lost at Sacramento, 24-14, on Friday night. But, after Groenefeld and Breakers marquee player Lindsay Davenport earned a 5-3 victory over Muhammad and Yasmin Schnack in women's doubles Saturday, the hosts had a 10-7 lead.

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