CdM reclaims Back Bay

Girls' Tennis

Sea Kings, who lost to Newport Harbor last year, get sweeps from Thaxter and No. 2 doubles team to win rivalry match.

August 29, 2012|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — Sophia Chen spent roughly half of the season on varsity last year for the Corona del Mar High girls' tennis team, alternating between that and JV.

Chen said she did not play when the Sea Kings got blown out last year by Newport Harbor. It might not be a stretch to say the loss, CdM's first in the Battle of the Bay since 1999, sent shockwaves through the entire program.

"Even though I wasn't on varsity, I was pretty upset that they lost," Chen said.

This year, the senior was able to do something about it.

Chen and sophomore partner Shelby Anderson swept in doubles, helping Corona del Mar take back Back Bay supremacy by defeating Newport Harbor, 11-7, on Wednesday at CdM.


"It feels good to win," Chen said. "It's my last year, so obviously I want to win as many matches as possible and hopefully get to CIF."

Last year the Sea Kings didn't make it there, either, after finishing fourth in league. It was another shock to a program that had previously made the CIF semifinals for 12 straight years.

But Corona del Mar (1-0) is improved. Having Lauren Thaxter back helped against the Sailors (1-1).

Thaxter, a junior who was not able to play last year in the Battle of the Bay as she battled her atypical migraine headaches, swept at No. 1 singles Tuesday for the Sea Kings by scores of 6-2, 6-0 and 6-0.

She said she is slowly progressing in her fight against the migraines.

"It felt great to participate," said Thaxter, who had to watch CdM lose to Newport Harbor, 15-3, last year from the sidelines. "That was horrible. I just had to watch my team, and watch it happen right in front of me. We tried our best last year. I think that gave us more fire to come back this year and win."

Senior Olivia Dajee won twice at No. 2 singles for CdM. Junior Kenzie Purcifull and sophomore Riley Gerdau won twice at No. 1 doubles, and sophomore Taylor Fogarty and junior Kimmia Naaseh earned an important 6-3 win in the first round at No. 3 doubles.

Corona del Mar led, 4-2, after the first round.

"Taylor Fogarty last year was No. 4 doubles on JV," CdM Coach Brian Ricker said. "She's made a gigantic jump. For her to come out against Newport Harbor in the first set and get a win there, that was very big for us. I thought that was a crucial set."

Chen and Anderson's second win also was key. They defeated Newport Harbor's No. 1 team of seniors Megan Bathen and Kaitlyn Cosenza, 6-4. That helped CdM earn a 7-5 lead headed into the final round.

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