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Girls' Tennis: Sailors top Chargers

Knight and two doubles teams sweep for Newport Harbor, which wins spirited match at home, looks toward Los Al.

October 08, 2013|By Matt Szabo

It is difficult to show more team spirit than the Newport Harbor High girls' tennis team.

"Our team has always been very spirited," Coach Kristen Case said. "I mean, even when I played here, we were ridiculously spirited. I guess you would say it's one of our trademarks."

Visiting Edison tried to match the Sailors on Tuesday afternoon. Players from both squads were constantly yelling out to teammates in support.

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On the court, however, Newport Harbor was just a little bit better in the key Sunset League match.

Senior co-captain Kate Knight swept at No. 1 singles, a highlight in the Sailors' 11-7 victory at home.

The Sailors (9-7) and Chargers are now tied for second place at 3-1 in league. However, Edison has yet to play first-place Los Alamitos, so the Chargers could drop to third place on Thursday.

Sophomores Kendall Cosenza and Anna Burke swept at No. 1 doubles in Tuesday's match, winning 18 of 19 games. Senior co-captain Reagan Rutter and junior Annie LaGrandeur also swept at No. 2 doubles.

"The big thing with Edison was that we knew they were definitely a strong team," Burke said. "They had a lot of spirit. It was just [about] staying collected, not getting too ahead of ourselves if we were up. We were just trying to keep moving forward, keep progressing, keep getting better with every point."

Edison led 3-2 late in the first round, before Knight came through with a 7-5 victory at No. 1 singles over Edison sophomore Libby Jubas. The Sailors kept the momentum in the second round, taking a 7-5 sets lead as Knight again prevailed, 7-5, over Edison No. 3 Emily Read.

Knight was yet again the last player on court in the third round, and she won 6-3 to earn the sweep. But, by then, the match already had been decided.

"Edison always comes out strong, they're always going to try to match our spirit," Knight said. "I have a lot of respect for their team. They're a really strong team. They always fight as hard as they can. It definitely wasn't a walkover, and it's going to be tough playing them again in league. They're ready to go every time they come out, so today we had to bring it.

"For me it's just all about bringing in the point for the team. My matches are no more important than anybody else's, so if I can bring in a point for the team, that's my ultimate goal."

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