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Girls' Tennis: Uni stays ahead of CdM

Trojans strong in doubles, defeating Corona del Mar in battle for first place in Pacific Coast League.

October 03, 2013|By Matt Szabo

IRVINE — Before the week started, Corona del Mar High girls' tennis coach Brian Ricker leveled with his team.

The Sea Kings, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, had a tough trio of matches. They played at Woodbridge on Tuesday, played host to No. 5 Mira Costa on Wednesday and played at No. 2 University on Thursday.

Ricker told his girls the Mira Costa match was most important, followed by Woodbridge then rival University.

"Mira Costa is important for the seeding in the playoffs, and if we didn't beat Woodbridge then we're not going to the playoffs," Ricker said. "Uni, I knew we were going to have our hands full."

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CdM won the two most important matches, but the Trojans also lived up to their part of the bargain at their courts on Thursday. They routed CdM, 14-4, in a showdown for first place in the Pacific Coast League.

University (8-0, 3-0 in league) appears headed to its fourth straight league title. The Sea Kings have another chance to spring an upset, as the rivals play again on Oct. 22 at CdM.

Doubles play has been a definite strength for the Sea Kings (8-2, 2-1) this season, but on Thursday the Trojans turned the tables. Their No. 1 team (senior Danielle Pham and sophomore Judy Kam) and No. 2 team (seniors Kyla Scott and Marissa Williams) both swept easily, with scores ranging from 6-0 to 6-2.

Ricker said the "I" formation the Trojans' doubles teams used gave CdM problems.

"They're just good tennis players," Ricker said. "I thought their [Nos.] 1 and 2 [doubles teams] were very good. Solid strategy, lots of talent … It kind of took us out of our rhythm, always having to play down the line. But I think their talent more took us out of our rhythm than their formation. Those are some good tennis players who would be singles players on every team in Orange County, except Uni.

"I didn't feel like that was our best day for our doubles teams, but I felt like they had a lot to do with that."

University also got singles sweeps from No. 2 player Celine Gruaz and No. 3 Yuki Asami. No. 1 player Alyssa Rudin won two of three sets. In the first round, she was defeated by CdM senior Lauren Thaxter, 6-2.

CdM's Taylor Fogarty and Erica Chen also won at No. 3 doubles in the first round, so CdM trailed the match just 4-2. But University won five of six sets in the second round to seize control.

University provided just a little bit too much pace for CdM, which does not have a player ranked in the top 100 in Southern California.

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