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Laguna Beach girls' tennis beats Edison to clinch outright Wave League title

Sarah MacCallum was losing her grip on a singles set that the Laguna Beach High girls’ tennis team had to win Thursday afternoon.

The Breakers had already tallied nine sets in the final round of their Wave League match at Edison. They needed their freshman MacCallum to beat Edison’s top player, junior Zoe Coggins, for the clinching 10th set.

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MacCallum zoomed out to a 5-0 lead in the set. Coggins fought back to 5-3.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” MacCallum said. “I just decided that I was going to take a breath, calm down a little bit and pretend like no one was watching me.”

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MacCallum broke Coggins’ serve to deliver a 6-3 victory. Laguna Beach had secured a 10-8 win that clinched the Wave League title outright with one league match remaining.

The Breakers didn’t take a break from winning in a new league. It’s the 14th straight league title for Laguna Beach, which won the Pacific Coast League title in 2005 and Orange Coast League crowns from 2006-17. The Breakers added to a 125-match league winning streak; their last league loss was on Sept. 25, 2005 against Corona del Mar.

“It feels great,” MacCallum said. “We’re stepping it up.”

Junior Ella Pachl swept 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles for Laguna Beach (10-9, 5-0 in league). MacCallum swept 6-0, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 singles.

Edison (7-10, 2-3) fell to third place in the four-team league after Huntington Beach (11-6, 3-2) beat last-place Marina 12-6 on Thursday. The Chargers have to hope that the Oilers win at Laguna Beach in the teams’ league finale on Monday, while Edison wins at Marina.

That would put Edison and Huntington Beach in a tie for second. The Chargers have the tiebreaker, but they would otherwise not make the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs as the third-place team with a sub-.500 overall record.

“We’re asking for a little bit of help,” Edison coach Dave Lemons said.

The Breakers started strong Thursday, taking a 5-1 sets lead after the first round which included several close wins. Pachl outlasted Coggins 6-4 at No. 1 singles, while at No. 1 doubles, Laguna Beach’s Megan Mindte and Vanessa Gee pulled away for a 6-4 win against Edison’s Cassie Oakes and Cassey Hitch. The Breakers’ No. 2 doubles team, Hana Berri and Camille Deckey, earned yet another 6-4 win against Edison’s Sarah Olsen and Daniella Chan.

Edison won four sets in the second round to pull within 7-5, but it was unable to win three sets in the third round to take the match to games. Despite the 10-8 loss, Edison finished with a 70-68 games advantage.

Pachl has lost just once in the league, to Makenna Livingston of Marina. A young junior who doesn’t turn 16 years old until Oct. 30, Pachl said the recruiting process has been stressful. She said she has drawn interest from Army West Point.

“I haven’t been playing my best the last couple of weeks, but it’s starting to get better,” Pachl said. “I’m kind of stressed out right now, but I’m getting used to it.”

Mindte and Gee won twice in doubles for Laguna Beach, while Berri and Deckey won once. No. 3 singles player Ainsley Beresford also won once.

Each of Edison’s three doubles teams — Oakes and Hitch, Olsen and Chan, as well as Shannon Stolaruk and Annjolie Griswold — each won twice. Coggins and freshman Kailee You won one singles set each.

It wasn’t enough to beat Laguna Beach, which earned its second straight 10-8 win over Edison in league play.

“There was a momentum change [after the second round], and I just had to talk to the girls,” Breakers coach Rick Conkey said. “I said, ‘This is what it’s all about.’ You have to embrace these moments. It’s the aggressive team that normally comes out on top, so just leave it on the court. You can’t try not to lose, you have to go out and take it. [Mindte and Gee], I thought they played their hearts out.”

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