Sea Kings finish eighth at All-American

CdM finishes off prestigious tournament with losses to Bellarmine Prep, Los Alamitos.

March 15, 2014|By Matt Szabo

In some ways, the second day of the 15th annual Corona del Mar All-American Invitational tournament Saturday was tough for the host school.

Corona del Mar finished eighth after suffering a pair of losses at The Tennis Club Newport Beach. The Sea Kings fell to Bellarmine Prep of San Jose, 6-2, before losing to Los Alamitos, 5-3, in the seventh-place match.

Despite the tough finish, there were individual highlights for CdM. One was provided by CdM sophomore Bjorn Hoffmann, who won his only singles set of the weekend in the final one he played. He rallied to top Los Al's top player, Riley Smith, 6-4. The sophomores will likely face off again Tuesday, as CdM plays at Los Al in a key nonleague match.


Smith, an all-tournament selection, yelled at himself throughout the match. Hoffmann was his usual stoic self, and he got the job done.

"Just winning that last match gave him a big boost going into the rest of the season," CdM Coach Jamie Gresh said. "It's tough to come in here and go 0-4 on the weekend. To beat Riley, he played really well … I felt like his intensity and effort were a lot better against the Los Al guy than the three previous matches. I want him to get a little bit of emotion when things are going well and he's doing the right things."

Senior captain Carson Williams provided CdM's other singles win against Los Al. He beat George Cooper, 6-4, so the Sea Kings trailed just 3-2 headed into the doubles sets.

But the Sea Kings were short-handed in doubles without their other senior captain, Josh Kliger, who iced his left knee on the sidelines. The Griffins won two of the three doubles matches to complete the victory, and Smith got his revenge as he and partner Cooper topped Hoffmann and Ryan Andrews, 6-2. Samee Aboubakare and Tyler Gaede provided CdM's lone doubles win, topping Los Al freshmen Narra Shin and Ethan Kolsky, 6-3.

Aboubakare and Gaede were solid in doubles for the tournament, going 2-2. But overall the Sea Kings were hurt by the tournament rule that the No. 1 singles player also has to play No. 1 doubles. Hoffmann is unquestionably the Sea Kings' top singles player, but CdM wasn't allowed to play its top doubles team, Williams and Kliger, at the top spot.

"That's a reason that this tournament's kind of bad for us," Williams said. "Our lineup's kind of weird like that. Most teams, their No. 1 singles [player] plays No. 1 doubles as well."

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