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Corona del Mar girls’ tennis edges Huntington Beach in Surf League showdown

Corona del Mar's Jane Paulsen competes against Huntington Beach in a Surf League match on Tuesday.
Corona del Mar’s Jane Paulsen competes against Huntington Beach in a Surf League match on Tuesday. The Sea Kings (9-2, 2-0 in league) are now in outright first place in league.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Sea Kings want their crown back.

The Corona del Mar High girls’ tennis team took a first step toward regaining the Surf League title on Tuesday at Huntington Beach.

No singles player or doubles team swept their three sets, but it was a team effort that lifted CdM to a close 9-9 (72-68 on games) victory.

Corona del Mar, which won the Surf League in 2018 and 2019, finished second to Huntington Beach in last spring’s coronavirus-postponed season. But the Sea Kings (9-2, 2-0 in league) are now in outright first place in league.

The teams meet again at CdM’s courts on Oct. 21. Huntington Beach (10-1, 1-1), which suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday, will be looking for a win to likely share the league title.

Huntington Beach No. 1 doubles partners Cindy Huynh, center, and Sophie Jin-Ngo, right, compete against Corona del Mar.
Huntington Beach No. 1 doubles partners Cindy Huynh, center, and Sophie Jin-Ngo, right, compete against Corona del Mar in a Surf League match on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Senior Jane Paulsen won twice in singles for CdM against Huntington Beach, while the doubles teams of juniors Lauren Jones and Cate Montgomery, as well as seniors Sydnee Spirlin and Sara Miller, also won twice.

Sienna Brooks and Shea Tomac earned one singles win each. Katie Barnes and Lena Pham won once in doubles, so every starting Sea King contributed to the victory.

“We knew they were a good team coming in, for sure,” Spirlin said. “Especially their singles lineup, I remember from last year that they were really good. But I think that [Miller and I] just tried to keep an open mind and stay optimistic. Just do what we know how to do — that was our mentality going into today.”

CdM opened a 4-2 lead after the first round. The host Oilers battled, but with the Sea Kings ahead on games, CdM clinched the match in the final round when No. 1 singles player Brooks earned a 6-3 victory over Huntington Beach’s Sophia Straub.

Corona del Mar's Sienna Brooks competes against Huntington Beach in a Surf League match on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Yen Nhi Huynh swept 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles for Huntington Beach, and Solaya Han also earned a pair of singles wins. Cindy Huynh and Sophie Jin-Ngo swept at No. 1 doubles, bringing them to a perfect 25-0 this season as a duo.

But the Oilers only got one other set win, from Kayla Friedland and Jackie Vo in doubles. Coach Patrick Wright said that both members of another usual starting doubles team, Le Nhi Huynh (leg) and Ella Weisman (sickness), were out of action Tuesday.

“We knew that they had two players out,” Spirlin said. “We knew that their No. 1 teams were going to be good, so we really wanted to focus on our twos and threes today and really get the job done when it came to those, for sure … It’s definitely a really good win today. We definitely needed this one.”

CdM plays at rival Newport Harbor in the first Battle of the Bay match on Thursday.

Huntington Beach's Solaya Han slices a shot against Corona del Mar on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Huntington Beach, which plays at Los Alamitos on Thursday, will try to rebound for the second league meeting with the Sea Kings.

“I’m very happy,” Wright said. “I think my team really performed well under pressure today.”

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