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Laguna girls' tennis team is primed for big year

With a strong nucleus returning to the court this fall, the 2014 season could bring big things to the Laguna Beach High girls' tennis team.

The Breakers are about to embark on the start to that season by holding preseason practices, each leading up to their Sept. 5 season opener.

Don Davis enters his fourth year as head coach with a squad that appears poised for another strong year.

In his three previous years at the helm, his Laguna teams have gone a combined 30-0 in Orange Coast League play and won three league championships.

The Breakers again should be the favorite for the league crown.

Davis likes his team's chances of nabbing it, once again.

"We have a mature team of players who have a great deal of competitive experience," he said. "So, we will be drawing upon their experience to carry us along."

Back to the fold is last year's Orange Coast League singles champion and league MVP, senior Kira Hamilton. The Breakers also return top singles players in junior Ashley Shelton, the league singles runner-up, and second-team all-leaguer, junior Ashley Fair.

Laguna also dominated in doubles play last year during the league season.

Senior Madeline Loomis, who teamed last year with the graduated Sarah Nederlander to win the OCL doubles title, returns as does the doubles tandem of senior Bailey Jaeger and junior Natasha Keces, the runner-up team to the league doubles title, and second-team all-league doubles players in senior Olivia Morrison, junior Iman Berri and sophomore Kathleen Kimball.

The Breakers begin preseason practice Monday at the school courts.

Last year, Laguna won 18 games and reached the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

2014 Laguna Beach Girls' Tennis

League: Orange Coast

CIF Division: Division 2

2013 record: 18-6 overall; 10-0 league (champion)

2013 CIF results: Reached quarterfinal round, Division 2 playoffs

Returning starters: 3 singles; 4 doubles

Returning lettermen: 12

Returning players: Iman Berri, Jr.; Summer Clawson, Soph.; Ashley Fair, Jr.; Kira Hamilton, Sr.; Malia Helms, Jr.; Bailey Jaeger, Sr.; Natasha Keces, Jr.; Kathleen Kimball, Soph.; Madeline Loomis, Sr.; Olivia Morrison, Sr.; Ashley Shelton, Jr.; Brigette Thomas, Jr.

Returning with honors: Kira Hamilton (OCL singles champ, OCL MVP); Ashley Shelton (singles, first-team all-league); Ashley Fair (singles, second-team all-league); Madeline Loomis (OCL doubles champ); Bailey Jaeger (doubles, first-team all-league); Natasha Keces (doubles, first-team all-league); Malia Helms (doubles, first-team all-league); Olivia Morrison (doubles, second-team all-league); Iman Berri (doubles, second-team all-league); Kathleen Kimball (doubles, second-team all-league).

The schedule: "It's a very challenging nonleague schedule, with league being our easier matches," Davis said.

Girls' Tennis Schedule

Sept. 5: San Juan Hills, 3 p.m.

Sept. 9: Mission Viejo, 3 p.m.

Sept. 11: Mater Dei, 3 p.m.

Sept. 16: at Aliso Niguel, 3 p.m.

Sept. 18: Corona del Mar, 3 p.m.

Sept. 22: at El Toro, 3 p.m.

Sept. 23: at *Costa Mesa, 3 p.m.

Sept. 25: *Godinez, 3 p.m.

Sept. 29: at San Clemente, 3 p.m.

Sept. 30: *Calvary Chapel, 3 p.m.

Oct. 2: at *Estancia, 3 p.m.

Oct. 6: Beckman, 3 p.m.

Oct. 7: at *Saddleback, 3 p.m.

Oct. 9: *Costa Mesa, 3 p.m.

Oct. 13: Santa Margarita, 3 p.m.

Oct. 14: at *Godinez, 3 p.m.

Oct. 16: at *Calvary Chapel, 3 p.m.

Oct. 20: Sage Hill, 3 p.m.

Oct. 21: *Estancia, 3 p.m.

Oct. 23: *Saddleback, 3 p.m.

Oct. 29: *League prelims, 2 p.m.

Oct. 30: *League finals, 3 p.m.

(*denotes Orange Coast League game)


Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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