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CdM edges Northwood

Boys' Tennis

'Tired' Sea Kings win key doubles sets at end of match to open league with win.

March 19, 2014|By Matt Szabo

It is rare that the Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team faces doubles teams that are playing better and more aggressively than the Sea Kings.

It is even more rare that the Sea Kings lose a Pacific Coast League match to Northwood.

The first rarity nearly led to the second on Wednesday afternoon at CdM. But the Sea Kings came up big in the end.

Senior captain Carson Williams and junior Jonny Rhone won the decisive doubles set as the Sea Kings edged the Timberwolves, 10-8, in the league opener for both schools.

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Northwood Coach Eric Keith said it has been at least 10 years since his program has beaten CdM. The Timberwolves (6-2) came very close against the Sea Kings (6-1), who were missing their other senior captain, Josh Kliger (knee) for the second straight match.

Keith said he stacked his doubles, moving usual singles players Adrian Nilsson-Redman and Matt Prokop into doubles. It worked, as the visitors won six of nine doubles sets.

"There's always this kind of hierarchy in our league, and we know where we are usually," said Keith, whose team is always third place at best behind University and CdM. "But we knew we had a good combination this year. It played out the way we thought it was going to play out, we just needed a couple of other sets to go our way. Give credit to CdM."

The match definitely could have gone either way. It was tied 3-3 after the first round, as CdM sophomore Bjorn Hoffmann and juniors Ryan Andrews and Dan LaBruna all won in singles but Northwood won all three doubles sets.

The score was still 6-6 after the second round. But Hoffmann and Andrews, who both easily swept in singles, gave the Sea Kings eight total sets after winning in the third round.

Attention turned to doubles, where Northwood had early leads in each of the sets. As much as battling the Timberwolves, the Sea Kings seemed to be battling fatigue after a tough week of matches that included last week's win over Mira Costa and the National High School American Tournament, plus Tuesday's slight upset win at Los Alamitos.

The Sea Kings, ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, edged No. 4 Los Al by the same 10-8 score.

Northwood is ranked No. 8 in Division 1. CdM again found a way to win in those final doubles matches Wednesday, even after Northwood's No. 1 team of Nathan Nguyen and Kevin Wong edged CdM sophomores Oliver Kim and Ari Coskinas, 6-4, to tie the match score at 8-8. Nguyen and Wong swept on the day.

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