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Losses Help Sunny Hills Win This Time

TIMES STAFF WRITER

With last year’s loss in the team finals and last week’s loss in the individual singles quarterfinals fresh in his mind, Sunny Hills senior Chris Chung was not about to go out a loser.

So Chung set the tone early, blanking his first opponent, Cody Shedd, and then announcing it to the rest of his teammates. The rest was easy for Chung and the Lancers as they defeated Santa Margarita, 11-7, Wednesday at Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club to win the Southern Section Division II boys’ tennis championship.

The Division II title was Sunny Hills’ fourth in the last seven years, but first since 1994 and Chung’s first as a Lancer.

“Winning a team competition in an individual sport is one of the best feelings in the world,” Chung said. “What more can you ask for but to win for yourself and all your friends. This was a team effort. We didn’t win because of one guy. Everybody had a role and they played it.”

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Sunny Hills (18-3) won six doubles sets and five singles sets. The No. 1 team of John Choi and Tuji Chong swept, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Chung, who lost a three-set match in the individual quarterfinals Friday, surrendered only three games over three sets.

“He’s awesome,” Santa Margarita’s Andy Tsu said of Chung. “He didn’t crack at all. He took care of all of us.”

Chung’s victory over Shedd and three doubles victories gave Sunny Hills a 4-2 lead after one round.

“I was focused today,” said Chung, who is considering attending UC Irvine and California. “Everyone came out pretty pumped up. Coach [Steve White] knows how to prepare his team for a big match. He reminded us of last year and we knew we didn’t want to feel that feeling again.”

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Even though top-seeded Sunny Hills was on the road, its crowd outnumbered and out-cheered Santa Margarita’s.

“We thought they’d have a lot more people, but we pretty much told everyone we knew,” Choi said.

Second-seeded Santa Margarita (21-4), which got two victories from Tsu and two from its No. 1 doubles team of Andy Larson and Garrick Gaffney, had never played in a section final.

“We’ve played enough big matches; we know how to handle pressure,” Tsu said. “They were just a better team today.”


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