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Trojans too strong for CdM

Girls' Tennis

Sea Kings, missing Thaxter, fall in league opener as Uni appears ready for third straight league title.

September 20, 2012|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — A familiar face visited the tennis courts at Corona del Mar High on Thursday afternoon.

It was CdM alumna Melissa Matsuoka, who is about to begin her junior year at Dartmouth. Matsuoka had key wins against rival University as a CdM senior three years ago, helping the Sea Kings win two close matches to clinch their 11th straight Pacific Coast League title.

Times have changed.

The Matsuoka student-athlete on the CdM campus is freshman phenom golfer Amy Matsuoka, Melissa's little sister. It wouldn't have really mattered if Melissa had laced up her tennis shoes Thursday.

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Nobody has been able to touch the Trojans in league since 2009. That trend continued, as University eased to a 16-2 victory in the league opener for both schools.

University (5-1), ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, is going for its third straight league title. The Trojans, who were coming off a 13-5 loss on the road against No. 4 Campbell Hall on Tuesday, did not encounter much resistance against the Sea Kings.

"It was a tough match, and it should have been closer score-wise," University Coach John Kessler said of the loss to Campbell Hall. "I was curious to see how we rebounded today. I thought it was fair energy. We just played fair today."

That was more than enough against Corona del Mar (5-3), which has improved from a year ago but not to the level of Uni. The Sea Kings were also missing their top player, junior Lauren Thaxter, who was out sick.

University sophomore Yuki Asami, junior Danielle Pham and freshman Alyssa Rudin combined to sweep their nine singles matches. Every set was 6-0 or 6-1.

Shannon Theisen and Celine Gruaz also swept in doubles for the Trojans, who realistically could have won 18-0 before Kessler put in substitutes.

CdM subs Shea O Hill and Maddie Hayward, both seniors, combined to beat a Uni sub doubles team in a tiebreaker. The other CdM victory came from Taylor Fogarty and Kimmia Naaseh, who edged another sub doubles team, 6-3.

The Sea Kings' No. 1 doubles team of senior Sophia Chen and freshman Siena Sharf also nearly got on the board, but Uni's No. 3 team of Sarah Mae Garcia and Alisa Takatori rallied for a 7-5 victory.

"We're getting better," CdM Coach Brian Ricker said. "All our kids are getting better. In a match like this, you see our kids still have a positive attitude. They have to understand that a match like this can help us to then beat Northwood and Woodbridge, which would get us into the playoffs."

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