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Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar make CIF Southern Section Open Division for girls’ tennis

Cindy Huynh, shown playing tennis against Corona del Mar on April 27.
Cindy Huynh, shown playing against Corona del Mar on April 27, is a key player for the Huntington Beach High School girls’ tennis team.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Huntington Beach High School girls’ tennis team already earned its status as the top squad in the area after winning the Surf League title.

Now the Oilers will hit the road to play one of the other best teams that the CIF Southern Section has to offer.

Huntington Beach made the eight-team Open Division for the first time in program history, it discovered when the section released playoff brackets on Monday. Corona del Mar is also in the Open Division, and also faces a tough task in the first round.

Among other local girls’ tennis playoff teams, Laguna Beach made the postseason in Division 1, while Fountain Valley and Sage Hill are seeded Nos. 2 and 3 respectively in Division 3. Estancia and Costa Mesa each made the playoffs in Division 5.

All matches before the finals are scheduled for 3 p.m.

Huntington Beach (14-0) travels to play No. 2 seeded Marmonte League champion Thousand Oaks Westlake (13-0) in the first round of the Open Division on Friday. Surf League singles champion Kaytlin Taylor paces the Oilers, who also boast the league doubles champions in sisters Cindy and Yen Nhi Huynh.

Corona del Mar (12-2) plays at top-seeded Palos Verdes Peninsula (5-1) in another Open Division first-round match Friday. The Sea Kings’ top doubles team of Reece Kenerson and Jane Paulson, Surf League finalists, has lost just once this year. Corona del Mar freshman Sienna Brooks has been surging at the end of the season and made the league finals in singles.

Peninsula was the Bay League co-champion and also won last year’s Open Division crown.

Jane Paulson, left, and Reece Kenerson are a top doubles team for Corona del Mar High girls' tennis.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach (9-5), the Wave League runner-up, plays at Coastal Canyon League champion Camarillo (6-0) in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs on Wednesday. The Breakers have a strong singles lineup, including Wave League singles champion Sarah MacCallum, her younger sister Jessica as well as Kaitlyn Smith.

Fountain Valley (13-4) hosts either Long Beach Millikan or Oxnard in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs Wednesday. The No. 2-seeded Barons, the Wave League champions, used a team approach and strong doubles play to win their first league title since 1991 this year.

Coach Harshul Patel said that his top player, Veronica Trinh, will be fine for the playoffs after missing much of the season with an ankle injury. Trinh and Skylar Ngo were Wave League doubles finalists for the Barons.

No. 3-seeded Sage Hill (15-1), the San Joaquin League champion, could be headed for a CIF semifinal showdown with Fountain Valley. The Lightning open at home Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s wild-card match between Xavier Prep and Eastvale Roosevelt.

“We’ve worked really hard,” Sage Hill coach Whit Kenerson said. “We’ve done a lot of Saturday practices, and our top girls are playing with the boys a lot. They’re getting used to pace and movement and reacting a lot better.”

Sage Hill’s Kana Byrd and Ava Herin beat teammates Courtney Davis and Eva Ro in the San Joaquin League doubles title match.

In Division 5, Estancia (7-3) hosts Chino (7-4) in a first-round match Wednesday. Both teams finished runner-up in their respective leagues, the Eagles in the Orange Coast League and Chino in the Mt. Baldy League.

Costa Mesa, which finished third in the Orange Coast League, travels to play La Puente Nogales in a Division 5 wild-card match Tuesday.

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