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Boys' Tennis: CdM into quarters

Sea Kings breeze after first round, but coach says doubles needs to be area of improvement as team advances in playoffs.

May 10, 2013|By Matt Szabo

LOS ANGELES — The UCLA men's tennis head coach watched the start of Friday's CIF Southern Section Division 1 second-round match, and it had nothing to do with recruiting.

Billy Martin has his Bruins top-seeded in the NCAA Tournament. But he took time out Friday to watch his son, Travis, a senior doubles player for Los Angeles Loyola.

"He's such a talented leader and athlete," Loyola Coach Brian Held said of Travis Martin, his team's only senior starter. "He also plays hockey."

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Perhaps fittingly, CdM Coach Jamie Gresh issued a bit of a verbal cross-check to his team after the Sea Kings beat Loyola, 13-5, at UCLA's Sycamore tennis courts.

No. 2-seeded Corona del Mar (20-2), which will play at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa in Monday's quarterfinals, won just five of nine sets in doubles Friday. The No. 1 team of Carson Williams and Josh Kliger swept, but the No. 2 and 3 teams each won just one set.

"For the most part, doubles wasn't where it needed to be today," Gresh said. "They kind of came out and had more intensity than us, and that's a big part of doubles, intensity."

Gresh refused to use a long trip up the 405 Freeway as an excuse.

"If anything, [playing on the road] heightens your senses, because you're at a different place, you're at nice courts on the UCLA campus," he said. "If anything, you should be more geared up and ready to play, because it's something out of the ordinary … Our doubles is definitely going to have to play better."

CdM played without sophomore Chaz Downing, normally the Sea Kings' No. 2 singles player. Gresh said Downing is playing at a tournament in Surprise, Ariz.

"It depends on how he does [in the tournament]," Gresh said when asked if Downing would be available for CdM going forward. "I'll know Sunday what his status is."

CdM led Loyola (10-8), which tied for second place in the Mission League, just 3-2 in the first round. But then Williams and Kliger won a crucial set at No. 1 doubles, 6-4, over the Cubs' Martin and Mike Karamardian.

The Sea Kings then swept in the second round to clinch the match.

Held elected not to stack his team in doubles, but the Cubs still played well with their normal doubles teams. He said his team fed off the energy from a close first-round match, as the Cubs won at Santa Margarita, 10-8, on Wednesday. Anthony Bonvino and Ryan Verbiest won a pair of doubles sets against CdM.

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