Girls' Tennis: CdM shows improvement in loss to Uni

Sea Kings push University, but Trojans win to clinch fourth straight league crown.

October 22, 2013|By Matt Szabo

To a casual observer, it would seem that not much changed between the first and second Pacific Coast League meetings of rivals University High and Corona del Mar.

The Trojans beat CdM, 14-4, in the second league meeting Tuesday on the Sea Kings' courts, the same score as the first meeting. And, just like before, Uni won eight singles sets and six doubles sets.

But, in terms of competitive sets, the Sea Kings showed just how much they have improved.

Seven of their 14 lost sets were by scores of 6-3 or closer. Uni Coach John Kessler's nervousness he said he felt before the match was ultimately justified.


In the end, however, it wasn't enough to deny University (13-1, 8-0 in league) at least a share of its fourth straight league title. CdM (14-3, 6-2) will more than likely finish second for the second straight year.

"They have more depth and they have more tournament-tough girls," CdM Coach Brian Ricker said. "It's just too much talent for us, but yes, absolutely we competed better today than last time. I think the improvement is 50% [that] we're just getting better, and 50% [that] we got to talk about it and practice some down-the-line returns with people playing that format ... We showed that we improved today."

CdM's senior No. 1 singles player Lauren Thaxter missed Tuesday's match due to sickness. Yet CdM, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, still had a chance for a 3-3 tie after the first round against the No. 2 Trojans.

Siena Sharf and Jasie Dunk won, 6-3, at No. 2 doubles, handing Uni's Kyla Scott and Marissa Williams their first loss in league. And CdM's Taylor Fogarty and Erica Chen easily beat Uni's No. 3 team of Sarah Mae Garcia and Kyara Sutton, 6-1.

CdM sophomore Elena Fish, playing at No. 1 singles in Thaxter's absence, battled before falling to Uni's Alyssa Rudin, 7-5.

"I know that they were in a different mental place," Kessler said. "This time, I thought they were going to come out and challenge us. That first round, give the girl Fish a lot of credit. She played Rudin really hard. That easily could have gone 3-3, and I thought their No. 2 and 3 doubles stepped up and played well. Even though the score's the same score, I thought CdM played really well. I could tell that Brian had a day [Monday] to practice for us, because I thought they played us differently today ... Brian's just a great coach. You give him a day, and you see a different result."

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