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Boys' Tennis: Uni still on top

CdM stacks doubles lineup, but Trojans too strong as they win their fourth straight Division 1 title.

May 17, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(SCOTT SMELTZER…)

CLAREMONT — The Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team enjoyed its experience Friday at the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match.

The Sea Kings showed up to The Claremont Club ready for battle, with blue-colored face paint under their eyes. When they and rival University did their pre-match routines, the Trojans' contingent was noticeably bigger. So the Sea Kings recruited players from San Luis Obispo High, which was there playing in the Division 3 final, to add to their posse.

In terms of just the tennis, however, the Trojans showed that they continue to stand alone. Their special senior class was leaving with nothing less than its fourth straight Division 1 title.

University got it, beating CdM in the final for the second straight year. The final score was also the same, as Uni won eight of nine singles sets in a 13-5 victory.

That Uni senior class never lost a high school dual match. University's streak now stands at 86 straight dual matches since losing to Thousand Oaks in the Division 1 final in 2009.

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"I don't know if you're going to see a group like that come again," University Coach John Kessler said. "It's a big senior class, you have three All-Americans [UCLA-bound Gage Brymer, Yale-bound Tyler Lu and Pepperdine-bound Stefan Menichella]. I just don't know if you're going to see something like that again, see a high school team this deep and this consistent for four years. It's not normal. It's just not normal. It's been an incredible ride with this group of seniors, just amazing.

"We've had two other very good groups at Uni. One won two [CIF titles], and the other one won three times. For this group, they made history today by winning four times."

Corona del Mar (22-3) lost for the third time this season to heavily favored University (21-0). After playing the Trojans straight-up in two league losses, first-year CdM Coach Jamie Gresh elected to stack his doubles lineup Friday.

Gresh moved sophomore Chaz Downing and freshman Bjorn Hoffmann to doubles. Downing and freshman Pedro Fernandez won in the first round, and UC Davis-bound senior Alec Adamson took out Lu in a singles tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-3).

Lu served for the set two times, but Adamson forced the tiebreaker and prevailed. This brought CdM within 4-2 after the first round, but two doubles losses in the round already put the Sea Kings in a big hole.

"Basically we would have needed Alec to sweep and get seven of nine doubles, which is a brutal task," Gresh said.

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