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Girls' Tennis: CdM's big season ends

Feisty Sea Kings are edged by Torrey Pines at regionals, but reflect on positives of big year.

November 22, 2013|By Matt Szabo

CLAREMONT — A successful season is most often measured by wins and losses, but that doesn't explain why the Corona del Mar High girls' tennis team seemed so happy after losing to Torrey Pines on Friday afternoon in a CIF USTA Southern Regional Championship quarterfinal match.

The CdM players hung around The Claremont Club, laughing and making jokes and taking plenty of pictures. Coach Brian Ricker gave them 20 minutes after the match ended until they had to board the bus back toward Orange County, and they used every second of it.

Maybe this camaraderie explains how a team that featured just one tournament player, whose status often was day-to-day, was able to accomplish things like winning the California Girls' Tennis Classic tournament in Clovis, finishing a strong second in the Pacific Coast League and advancing to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

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The Sea Kings' most successful season in years ended with a close regional quarterfinals loss to Torrey Pines, 4-3. But it was one that none of the players will soon forget.

"I think it says a lot about our team," senior Kenzie Purcifull said of CdM's accomplishments this year. "It's not just about a bunch of individual tournament players on one team. I think we all just worked really well together; it says a lot about our team dynamic."

As it has all year, No. 7-seeded CdM competed against No. 2 Torrey Pines, which recently won its 24th straight CIF San Diego Section title. In the format of four singles matches and three doubles matches, best two out of three sets, Torrey Pines did win the first two completed sets.

The Falcons' Alexa Meyer beat CdM's Riley Gerdau, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 2 singles. And Torrey Pines' Jasmine Rich got past CdM's Shelby Anderson, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3 singles.

But CdM battled back in doubles. Purcifull and her partner Kimmia Naaseh got past C.C. Schwab and Michelle Hao, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles. And CdM junior Taylor Fogarty and sophomore Erica Chen edged Nicole Beachboard and Sheyda Khonji, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 3 doubles.

After surging CdM sophomore Elena Fish beat Torrey Pines' Jessica Walker, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1, at No. 4 singles, the Sea Kings owned a 3-2 advantage. They needed to win just one more set to clinch the match.

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