Boys' Tennis: CdM back in final

Sea Kings dominate late to beat Harvard-Westlake, setting up D1 title rematch against rival University.

May 15, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — To be the best, you have to beat the best.

But first, you have to put yourself in a position to play the best.

The Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team gave itself that opportunity Wednesday afternoon in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal match. The No. 2-seeded Sea Kings topped No. 3 Harvard-Westlake at home, 12-6, earning a trip back to the Division 1 final for the second straight year.

CdM will play its rival, three-time defending Division 1 champion University, for the title at 11:30 a.m. Friday at The Claremont Club.

University beat Santa Barbara, 15-3, in the other semifinal. The Trojans won their two meetings with CdM in league, 15-3 at CdM on March 19 and 13-5 at Uni on April 11.

"We'll have to come out really strong in the beginning," CdM senior captain Alec Adamson said. "They're really good when they play ahead, so everyone needs to get a fast start. We just need to go out there and play hard. We have nothing to lose, so we just have to be positive and really go for our shots. All the pressure's on them. It should be a really fun atmosphere. Our whole team's really excited for Friday."


The Sea Kings (22-2) were excited to play Harvard-Westlake again as well. It was the Wolverines (21-6) who eliminated CdM from the playoffs in a 2011 quarterfinal match. Last year, CdM also beat Harvard-Westlake in the semis.

Harvard-Westlake came into Wednesday's match with an interesting lineup. Coach Chris Simpson put his best singles player, sophomore Michael Genender, at No. 3 singles. And he put his best two doubles teams, Harrison Kalt and Dylan Eisner, as well as Max Rothman and Sam Hummel, at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.

He hoped for a 4-2 lead after the first round. Instead, the match was tied 3-3. CdM sophomore Chaz Downing won the last big set at No. 2 singles, outlasting Jaird Meyer, 6-4.

"The first round was huge," said CdM junior Carson Williams, who again swept at No. 1 doubles with Josh Kliger. "They stacked, and we still kept it at three-all. That was huge. That was basically like going up 4-2 with a regular lineup. I think from that first round, we just built off that."

Downing and Bjorn Hoffmann each won a pair of singles sets for CdM, which seemed to get stronger as the match went on. The hosts won five sets in the second round to build an 8-4 advantage.

The Sea Kings built the lead to 12-4, before Harvard-Westlake won the match's final two sets.

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