Huntington Beach High girls’ tennis sophomore Cindy Huynh split her two singles sets with Edison senior Zoe Coggins last year.
Though Huynh and the Oilers enjoyed team success, winning the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title, Coggins ended up with more individual accolades. She was a Wave League singles finalist, and advanced to the second round of the CIF Individuals singles tournament.
Huynh played aggressive tennis against Coggins on Tuesday, as the Oilers hosted Edison in a Wave League match. Her serve returns were big, even on Coggins’ first serve, putting her under pressure.
Huynh said later that her 6-1 win in Tuesday’s third round was the best set she’s played all season. It was also the clinching 10th set for the Oilers, who beat the Chargers 12-6 to move into outright first place in the league.
Huntington Beach (12-4, 2-0 in league) sits in first with four matches remaining, while Edison (6-6, 1-1) and defending league champion Laguna Beach (6-6, 1-1) are tied for second. The Chargers host the Breakers on Thursday to conclude the first round of league play, while Huntington Beach plays at Marina (10-9, 0-2).
The Oilers won eight of nine singles sets against the Chargers. Junior Kaytlin Taylor swept 6-1, 6-0, 6-0, while Huynh won all three of her sets by 6-1 scores. Sophomore Solaya Han won twice, losing to Coggins 6-4 in the second round as the Edison senior picked up her team’s only singles win of the day.
“Huntington’s got a great team and a really strong singles lineup,” Edison coach Dave Lemons said. “It’s tough when you’re able to spread out your talent like that and not guarantee wins, but count on wins. We try to spread out ours, but we can only do it over a singles court and two doubles courts. It’s just tough. They’re a really good team. We’re going to have to reshuffle now and get ready for Laguna.”
The Oilers set the tone after the first round, taking a 5-1 lead. The closest set in the round came at No. 1 doubles, where Huntington Beach senior Alissa Wong and junior Haley Forth were able to edge Edison senior Shannon Stolaruk and junior Cassey Hitch 6-4.
Huntington Beach took an 8-4 sets lead after two rounds and clinched the match shortly thereafter.
Wong and Forth won twice for Huntington Beach in doubles, while the teams of Gennifer Wolfe and Sophie Jin-Ngo, as well as substitutes Lauren Le and Hailey Petteys, each won once.
Senior Daniella Chan and junior Kailee You swept 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in doubles for Edison, while Stolaruk and Hitch won twice.
Edison also has a new singles player this year in freshman Katie Kerley, who played on the No. 2 line on Tuesday. The Chargers, who are among other teams receiving votes in Division 2, will likely miss the playoffs for the second straight year if they finish in third place again in the four-team league.
“We’re a really, really good team, but we knew that we had to do well in league,” Lemons said. “I always tell our girls that you can’t really expect to fall back on stuff and things to be given to you. If you want something, you have to go out there and take it. We’re going to have to do that on Thursday and the rest of the way if they want it. But we know it’s going to be tough, because [us, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach] are right back at it this year.”
Huntington Beach, meanwhile, is enjoying its strong singles lineup, though the Wave League has players who can put up a fight. Marina has a top freshman in Mika Ikemori.
“It’s nice to have a different variety of players in this league,” Taylor said. “There’s going to be the matches that are really close and really competitive, then there’s going to be the matches where you get a chance to work on what you need to work on, so that you can play those competitive matches better. It’s a good balance ... but it’s exciting to go into matches where you know there’s going to be good competition.”
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