University Has No. 1 Ranking Lined Up After Easy Victory
There will be a new No. 1 boys’ tennis team in Orange County for the first time in more than a year. Second-ranked University will take over the top spot after its surprisingly easy 12-6 victory over top-ranked Corona del Mar in a Pacific Coast League match Tuesday.
How long University remains No. 1 depends on how well it plays in the rematch at Corona del Mar (12-4, 2-1) two weeks from today. University (8-0, 3-0) had no stars in its victory Tuesday, simply a balanced effort. All three singles players and all three doubles teams won two sets.
The biggest surprise came at No. 3 doubles, where senior Mike Frank and freshman Mike Haier saved five set points to upset Corona’s best team of Randy Myers and Michael Bean, 7-6 (9-7). Frank and Haier’s victory tied the match at three after one round.
“I certainly didn’t think our strength would be at No. 3 doubles,” University Coach Jeff Hammond said. “That first win they had relaxed everybody so we could loosen up and just play.”
Corona del Mar Coach Tim Mang said Bean and Myers were never able to relax. Myers and Bean, who were strategically placed at No. 3 doubles, lost all three sets, two in tiebreakers.
“It’s a matter of not knowing how to win big points,” Mang said. “Their guys weren’t as good, but they were more aggressive than our guys. We were tentative in all three sets at the end.”
Corona del Mar, last year’s Southern Section Division I champion, received all its points from Brian Morton at No. 1 singles and Peter Kulmaticki and Robert Kennedy at No. 1 doubles.
Henry Mak, who lost to Morton, 6-4, said he had a feeling his team was ready to become the county’s top-ranked team.
“We were all focused,” he said. “I thought if we all played our best we would win.”
But Mak realizes the Trojans’ stay at the top could be short-lived.
“We just have to stay tough,” Mak said. “We can’t act arrogant. But this is definitely a big confidence boost for us.”