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Menlo too tough for Corona del Mar

Sea Kings beat Rancho Bernardo, but fall in quarterfinals of All-American Tournament for eighth straight year.

March 14, 2014|By Matt Szabo

Corona del Mar High seniors Josh Kliger and Carson Williams played high-quality doubles Friday afternoon at CdM.

That's nothing new for the Sea Kings' team captains and No. 1 doubles team, but they definitely were playing well against David Ball and Vikram Chari of the Menlo School of Atherton.

In the end, it wasn't quite enough. Ball and Chari rallied from a break of serve down to win the set 8-7 in a tiebreaker.

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The set seemed indicative of the match. CdM battled, but Menlo was just too good.

The No. 2-seeded Knights blanked the Sea Kings, 8-0, in a quarterfinal of the 15th annual Corona del Mar All-American Invitational tournament.

CdM lost in the quarterfinals of the prestigious 16-team tournament it hosts for the eighth straight year. The Sea Kings now will play Bellarmine Prep of San Jose in a fifth-place semifinal on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at The Tennis Club.

Menlo, meanwhile, is a match away from making the tournament final for the fifth straight year. The Knights will play No. 3-seeded The Beacon School of New York in a semifinal at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Tennis Club. Top-seeded University, the defending champion, plays San Marino in the other semifinal.

The tournament championship match is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Palisades Tennis Club.

CdM is out of contention to make it there, but Coach Jamie Gresh liked what he saw from his squad Friday. The Sea King edged Rancho Bernardo on games, 46-41, in a first-round match Friday morning after each team won four sets.

"I feel like my guys are OK losing, as long as it's to a better team," Gresh said. "They understand, it's part of the process. They got better today just by playing Menlo. I feel like they're going to rebound [Saturday] and play well, or at least give it everything they have. There's a lot of fight in this team. They're constantly trying to prove themselves. With the departures that we had last year, I think other teams are thinking we're a little bit weaker than we are. I think we're a little bit better than we are [perceived], regardless of the departures that we had."

Kliger had a standout day. He won the deciding singles set in the first-round win over Rancho Bernardo, 8-4 over Gao.

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