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Laguna Beach boys’ tennis beats Edison in must-win league finale

Laguna Beach's Ian MacLaughlin runs down a forehand in his match against Edison on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

As matches finished in the late afternoon, the players involved scurried over to adjacent courts to take in the remaining action.

The Laguna Beach High School boys’ tennis team played host to Edison Monday, a spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs on the line.

In winning four sets in the third and final rotation, Laguna Beach defeated Edison 11-7, avenging an earlier loss to the Chargers and clinching a playoff berth by laying claim to second place in the Wave League.

Senior Ian MacLaughlin did not drop a game in boosting the Breakers at the top of their singles lineup. Senior Peter Durand also won twice in singles, including a third-round win that left Laguna Beach (8-8, 3-3 in the Wave League) one set shy of ending the match in its favor.

Laguna Beach's Peter Durand slams a volley winner against Edison on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“We talked to each other, just communicated and gave each other some advice on the players,” Durand said. “We knew that we could do it. There wasn’t ever a doubt about that. I’ve had faith in this team all year.”

Senior Thomas Cook and sophomore Lucas Silverman, the No. 2 doubles team for Laguna Beach, staged a comeback from down a break at 4-1 against Isaac Miller and David Le to seal the deal for the Breakers, rattling off the final five games.

“Coach [Rick Conkey] came in and told us during the switch at 4-1 that we were down three games, and we needed to win at least one to beat Edison,” Cook said. “I tried my best. I kept my serve. I motivated Lucas. … It was a very satisfying win.”

With a 10-8 win over the Breakers in the first half of league, the Chargers understood they needed to take nine sets on Monday to win the series on aggregate scoring.

Edison's Dylan Trinh hits a backhand in his match against Laguna Beach on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach opened with a 5-1 lead after the first round of play, but Edison (6-12, 3-3) responded by winning four sets in the ensuing rotation, including a tiebreaker victory recorded by Adam Vo and Nicolas Vu against Christian Barriga and Luke Bo.

“After the second round, getting a big win by Clinton [Cox] in singles and a tiebreak win in doubles, it kind of threw us back into it,” Edison coach Dave Lemons remarked of the fight his team showed. “We knew going into the last round we had to win all three doubles, and Dylan [Trinh] had to beat their singles [substitute], and up until about 20 minutes ago, it was possible. We were ahead in the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.”

Lemons added the Chargers’ lineup was impacted by injury, including a foot injury to No. 2 singles player Trevor Dodge.

Trinh won twice in singles. Lemons said the freshman opted to compete in doubles with senior Jacob Nguyen for the Wave League finals, which provide the qualifying path into the CIF Individuals.

Edison's Clinton Cox hits a forehand in his match against Laguna Beach's Peter Durand on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Chargers also saw the doubles pairings of Mitchell Dang and Nguyen, as well as Vo and Vu win two sets apiece.

MacLaughlin was happy to see his teammates come through when the match got tight heading into the third round.

“It got pretty close, but it felt good to watch them stay strong and push through and close it out for us, and we’re really proud of them,” MacLaughlin said. “They worked hard. They deserve this win.”

Laguna Beach doubles player Chris Herkins leans into a serve against Edison on Monday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

BOYS’ TENNIS

Wave League

Laguna Beach 11, Edison 7

Singles: Ian MacLaughlin (LB) def. Dylan Trinh (E) 6-0, def. Clinton Cox (E) 6-0, def. Tyler Tran (E-sub) 6-0; Peter Durand (LB) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; Diego Pinera (LB-sub) 1-6; Brad Aryeh (LB) 0-6, 6-1.

Doubles: Jeff Herkins/Chris Herkins (LB) def. Mitchell Dang/Jacob Nguyen (E) 6-2, def. Adam Vo/Nicolas Vu (E) 7-6 (4), def. Isaac Miller/David Le (E) 6-4; Thomas Cook/Lucas Silverman (LB) 4-6, 2-6, 6-4; Christian Barriga/Luke Bo (LB) 4-6, 6-7 (7), 6-4.

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