PREP TENNIS ROUNDUP : Sunny Hills Suffers Doubles Trouble in Loss to Palos Verdes Peninsula

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunny Hills Coach Steve White wanted to see if his doubles teams were ready for the big time--or in this case, undefeated Palos Verdes Peninsula. So he kept them intact, rather than moving one of his top two singles players into doubles.

White learned the hard way Wednesday that his teams need a bit more seasoning. Peninsula won eight of nine doubles sets on its way to a 12 2/3-8 1/3 victory over previously undefeated Sunny Hills.

Though his team missed a chance at an undefeated season, White said afterward that he would do the same thing again.

"These doubles teams need to find out what they can do," he said. "They need to experience this type of competition. The singles players get that experience all the time. The doubles kids don't get it and they need to get better too.

"The sad thing is that we lost. The positive is that we lost to a good team."

Peninsula improved to 12-0 and has now beaten two of Orange County's top three teams, No. 1 Sunny Hills (10-1) and No. 3 University.

With doubles sets worth three more points than singles sets, Peninsula Coach Tom Cox moved his best singles player, Dennis Chang, into doubles.

"I figured they'd put (Joseph) Gilbert or (Kevin) Kim into doubles," Cox said.

White's gamble nearly paid off as his No. 3 doubles team of Jeff Hartl and Sean Harris led 4-1 in two sets, but they wound up losing each 6-4.

"I'm a little disappointed in the way the doubles reacted to the pressure," White said. "I would have never thought my No. 1 team (Juno Kuan and David Farkas) would have lost all three sets."

Sunny Hills' No. 2 team of Hiren Bhavasar and Joey Springer took the Lancers' only set. Kim swept his sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, and Gilbert won his first two, 6-0, 6-2, before defaulting his third because of bad back after learning Peninsula had clinched the match.

Sunny Hills' John Han, at No. 3 singles, won his first two sets, 7-6, 6-1, before losing 6-0.

In another nonleague match:

Mater Dei 14 1/3, Los Amigos 6 2/3--Greg Little swept at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, and Bret Hankey swept at No. 3, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, to lead visiting Mater Dei (4-5).

In the Century League:

Foothill 16 2/3, Orange 4 1/3--Jack Huang swept his singles sets, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 and Rob Claus and Ryan Thompson won in doubles, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1, for Foothill (13-1, 4-0).

In the Empire League:

Cypress 14 1/3, El Dorado 6 2/3--Tim Wing swept in singles, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, and Tony Hughes andBrent Tsuda swept in doubles, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0, for Cypress (6-3, 2-1).

Esperanza 17 2/3, Katella 3 1/3--Devin Lopez swept in singles, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, and Eric Chang and Dinesh Moorjani swept in doubles, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, to lead Esperanza (7-7, 3-1).

Los Alamitos 12 1/3, Loara 8 2/3--Franco Trani and Marco Materazzi swept at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, for Los Alamitos (9-2, 3-0).

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