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Sailors alone in third

Newport Harbor doubles teams step up in important Sunset League win at Marina.

April 10, 2014|By Matt Szabo

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Welcome to the Newport Harbor High boys' tennis season, where one of the top doubles players in Southern California can team with a football player.

It happened Thursday at Marina High. Newport junior Reese Stalder, ranked No. 4 in Southern California in boys' 18 doubles and No. 7 in singles, teamed up with tennis novice Garrett Hall, a senior running back and safety in football.

Stalder and Hall did well, sweeping for the Sailors at No. 3 doubles. Hall's mom, Cheryl, told her son that he should get something signed by Stalder that will be valuable when he's famous one day.

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"I'll probably get my shoe signed by the end of the season," Garrett Hall said. "I'll probably get his shoe signed by the end of the season, actually."

In terms of the Sunset League standings, Newport Harbor moved a step ahead of Marina after posting a 12-6 victory. Halfway through the league schedule, Newport Harbor is in third place and Marina is in fourth, which is the way the standings finished last year as well. Only the top three teams in league earn guaranteed CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff berths, though last year Marina earned an at-large entry.

"The first few [matches] of league, everyone's feeling each other out and getting used to who the top teams are," Hall said. "This is the type of [match], just like in any other sport, there's that one [match] that's kind of the defining moment of the season. You're either going to rise up and play at the level of CIF, or you're going to go down and not be able to play with these type of guys. This was a really big one for us."

Newport Harbor (10-3, 3-2 in league) was strong in doubles, winning eight of nine sets. Seniors Sean Perrier and Garrett Byers also swept at No. 1 doubles, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. Perrier and Byers, two of the Sailors' three team captains, are now 34-5 this season as a doubles team.

The other team captain, junior David Schaefer, won twice at No. 2 doubles with senior Phillip Vu. Schaefer and Vu finished the match off, posting a 7-6 (7-3) win over Marina's duo of Josh Baar and David Tran.

Newport Harbor was up 4-2 after the first round and 7-5 after two rounds. The Sailors finished strong, winning five of six sets in the third round.

Schaefer remembers how the Sailors lost on games at Marina last year, after beating the Vikings comfortably at home.

"We lost this match last year, so we wanted to come back in here and get that win," he said.

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