The division of the Sunset Conference into two four-team leagues has resulted in plenty of drama, regardless of the sport.
That has applied even in girls’ tennis, a sport where the most dominant players can dramatically influence overall match outcomes. The margins continue to be thin.
Huntington Beach High hosted Edison in a critical Wave League match on Tuesday afternoon, and yes, the drama would continue.
The Oilers defeated the Chargers 10-8, moving into a second-place tie in the league with Edison at 2-2.
A battle between the teams’ top singles players in the second round of sets played a pivotal role in the match.
Huntington Beach freshman Cindy Huynh edged Edison junior Zoe Coggins 7-6 (3) in their set. The two aces were in the late stages of their set, with the Oilers holding a 6-5 lead in the match at the time.
Coggins, serving for the set at 5-4, hit a ball near the baseline in the ad-court on a set point. It was called out. Later in the game, Coggins had a second serve called out, one that she was adamant that she saw in. The double fault resulted in a break of serve for Huynh, who went on to win the set in a tiebreaker.
“I know I was right, but because of the [spectators], they felt like I was a cheater,” Huynh said. “That’s why I wanted to confirm with coaches that I was right, but I know that I was right.”
Coggins wanted a line judge after the double fault, but the match was played out without one.
“I thought the double fault one was in, like definitely in,” Coggins said. “Even though the [baseline] one was the one where I would have won, I think I was positive that [the serve] was in, and that’s why I called the line judge on that one.”
Huntington Beach (10-6 overall) took a 7-5 lead into the third round, and it won the necessary three sets in the final round to claim the match by a score of 10-8.
Huynh’s sweep, as well as one by the No. 1 doubles team of Emily Gray and Daniella Pokorny, were instrumental in the Oilers’ victory.
“They were amazing,” Oilers coach Suzanne DeVries said of Gray and Pokorny. “They swept. I think the last time we played Edison, they did the same for us. They’re on fire. They’re a great doubles team. They had a great match today.
“It really helped out in the scoring with that sweep and then the sweep by Cindy in singles. That’s six of our 10 points.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Haley Forth and Maggie Rae Walker also won a pair of sets for the Oilers.
Although Huntington Beach won the battle, Edison (6-9) may well have won the war. The Chargers won by the same score of 10-8 when the Oilers visited their courts. When the games were totaled between the two matches, however, the Chargers came out a net-positive of 12 games better (160-148) than the Oilers.
If Edison and Huntington Beach finish with the same record in league, the Chargers will hold the tiebreaker. A lot can still happen, as both teams still have a match remaining against first-place Laguna Beach (9-9, 4-0). The Breakers defeated both teams by scores of 10-8 in the first half of league.
Kailee You and Coggins each won two singles sets for Edison. Sarah Olsen and Daniella Chan were able to do the same in doubles.
Right after Tuesday’s match, Chargers coach Dave Lemons told his team, “Thank yourselves from two weeks ago.”
“We’ve always preached that every point, every game and every set counts,” Lemons said. “Today, it shows that. It wasn’t the ones today that mattered. It was the ones two weeks ago that mattered. They didn’t know that then, but they know it now.”