The Laguna Beach High boys’ tennis team has already beaten the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds (Whitney and Cate) in the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs.
On Wednesday in the championship match, the Breakers will go for the trifecta "” and try to win their first boys’ tennis CIF title since 1982 in the process.
No. 6-seeded Laguna Beach (16-7) plays top-seeded defending champion Cerritos (26-0) at 3 p.m. at The Claremont Club in what looks like it may be a very close match.
The Orange Coast League champion Breakers have been on fire with their singles play, as Jake Michaels, Chris Lavery and Benito Romeo haven’t lost in their past 18 total sets. Cerritos, which was the Suburban League champion, also boasts strong singles players in sophomores Pilki Min and Ganesh Alagappan, who both swept their sets in the Dons’ 9-9 (82-67 on games) victory over Sage Hill in the semifinals.
Min is ranked No. 25 in Southern California boys’ 16 singles.
Sage Hill, however, did take six doubles sets against Cerritos. If Laguna Beach can match that feat it should stand a good chance of winning.
A common opponent is Whitney, and both teams have beaten Whitney 15-3 this season.
Laguna Beach Coach Aaron Talarico said his team will be ready.
“We’ve already beat the No. 2 and 3 teams by really healthy margins," he said. “I feel like the two best teams are in the finals right now."
Talarico, who played at Laguna Beach himself before going to Notre Dame, said he’s proud of the season the team has had.
“It’s a real big deal," he said. “I’m more excited for the kids than myself. I’ve never seen a group of kids get so excited and pumped up for a tennis match. It’s really fun to watch, really fun to coach. I’m looking forward to next week."
"” Matt Szabo