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Breakers end with win

Mylan World Team Tennis

Orange County finishes season at .500, after defeating Springfield in super-tiebreaker.

July 24, 2013|By Matt Szabo

IRVINE — In terms of Mylan World Team Tennis playoff positioning, Wednesday night's regular-season finale between the Orange County Breakers and Springfield Lasers meant absolutely nothing.

The Lasers had already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, while the Breakers had already been eliminated from playoff contention.

But the Breakers still gave fans their money's worth in the season finale at Bren Events Center.

Steve Johnson and Treat Huey won the final set of men's doubles as well as the ensuing super-tiebreaker, as Orange County captured a 20-19 victory to end its season.

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The Breakers, who snapped a four-match losing streak, finished the year 7-7. Johnson, the former Orange High and USC star, said he really enjoyed his first season of World Team Tennis.

"It was fun," Johnson said. "The travel was definitely a grind, but the teammates, all the people involved were awesome. It was a great experience for me to play at home again. It was definitely a fun experience, and I'll definitely look back with fond memories of this year."

Springfield (9-5) will play host to Texas in the Western Conference Championship on Thursday, while two-time defending league champion Washington plays host to Boston in the Eastern Conference Championship. The winners play in the WTT Finals on Sunday.

The Breakers, who miss the playoffs for the third time in four years, played in front of sometimes sparse crowds this season. But Coach Trevor Kronemann said he hopes the team stays at UC Irvine "for many more years to come."

"It was a tough season," Kronemann said. "We had our chances, and we let it slip away a little bit. We had a couple of matches where we could have made the playoffs, and it didn't happen for us. But we finished .500. It's good for the fans that we won our last match.

"It's great to see this many people out when we're not in contention for a playoff spot. Tonight was a pretty good crowd, actually. I'm hoping that will carry over into next season, and people will start coming into the Bren Center and seeing some great tennis … It's a great atmosphere for kids and for families. Maybe we just need to win a little bit more. You know, L.A. crowds are fickle, they're tough. You're not winning, people aren't going to come out. So, you know, fair enough."

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