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Laguna Beach’s Ella Pachl and Sarah MacCallum win CIF Individuals girls’ tennis doubles title

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Laguna Beach’s Sarah MacCallum, left, returns a shot as her partner, Ella Pachl, waits at the net in the CIF Southern Section Individuals doubles title match against Beckman’s Kiki Nguyen and Victoria Aguirre on Monday at Seal Beach Tennis Center.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach High senior Ella Pachl and sophomore Sarah MacCallum missed four days of school to complete the last five rounds of the CIF Southern Section Individuals girls’ tennis doubles tournament.

Pachl said she missed a presentation in Mark Alvarez’s economics class on Monday.

“I’m probably going to get a zero [points] out of 50,” Pachl said. “It’s OK. Maybe since I won, he’ll let me do a different thing.”

The presentation was supposed to be on supply and demand. Pachl, bound for UC San Diego, knows the dedication to the tournament was still worth it because something in very short supply is a CIF Individuals championship plaque.

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She and MacCallum both got their own plaques after completing a dominant run to the title. They beat Beckman’s Victoria Aguirre and Kiki Nguyen 6-1, 6-3 to win it on Monday at Seal Beach Tennis Center.

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Laguna Beach’s Sarah MacCallum, left, and Ella Pachl pose with the CIF Southern Section Individuals doubles championship plaques on Monday at Seal Beach Tennis Center.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The title match resumed, after it was postponed due to rain on Friday with the Breakers duo up 2-0 in the first set. They kept their momentum, as neither girl had her serve broken in the match to win the title.

“I think we were playing really well,” Pachl said. “It was tough to have a two-day break, and it rained, so I didn’t play tennis over the weekend. I’m proud of us because we kept our momentum.

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“If I’m playing bad, [MacCallum] is really good at getting me to play better. Or if I’m upset, she can fix that. It’s good. It’s hard to find a partner like that.”

CIF Southern Section assistant commissioner Rainer Wulf informed Pachl and MacCallum that it was the first time a doubles team that played in the round of 32 had won the title. They were unseeded and had to play the extra round of 32 match on Dec. 3.

They became the second Laguna Beach girls’ tennis doubles team to win a CIF Individuals doubles title, joining Claire Rietsch and Lyndsay Kinstler in 2005. No Breakers girls’ tennis singles player has won the tournament.

Pachl and MacCallum took home the hardware in impressive fashion, beating the No. 1- and No. 4-seeded teams along the way and not dropping a set in seven matches.

“They felt very comfortable with each other,” Breakers coach Rick Conkey said. “If one wasn’t playing that well, the other one would pick it up, and vice versa. They supported each another and they had a positive attitude all the way through. I know both of them were nervous, and I could see that as well, but they fought through it.”

Pachl and MacCallum jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set before Aguirre could hold serve. But MacCallum did the same in a deuce game to give the Breakers duo the first set.

They broke Aguirre’s serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set and held the lead after that, though things definitely tightened up.

“I thought we played well, but they just got some really good shots back,” MacCallum said. “They definitely got lots more serves in. They had a lot of good shot variety, so they used that to their advantage.”

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With Nguyen serving, the final game was the longest of the match. It went to five deuces, but Pachl and MacCallum converted their third match point when Nguyen’s forehand floated long.

Top-seeded Anessa Lee of San Marino won the CIF Individuals singles title, beating Casie Wooten of Palos Verdes Chadwick 2-6, 6-0, 6-0 in the final.

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Laguna Beach’s Sarah MacCallum, left, and Ella Pachl hug after winning the CIF Southern Section Individuals doubles title match against Beckman’s Kiki Nguyen and Victoria Aguirre on Monday at Seal Beach Tennis Center.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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