Zoe Coggins quickly ran over to Madysen Ratsek on Thursday afternoon. She needed to ask a very important question.
“Did you guys win?” Coggins blurted out.
Ratsek nodded, confirming that she and Edison High girls’ tennis partner Lainey Johnson had indeed substituted in to earn a doubles win in the third round of a Wave League opener against Huntington Beach.
Coggins, the Chargers’ No. 1 singles player, gave the doubles substitute Ratsek a big hug.
“Yeah,” Ratsek said with a smile. “[Edison girls’ tennis coach Dave] Lemons was almost crying.”
Those would have been tears of joy. Lemons knew how much it meant to win the opening match of league play.
The Chargers got it done, beating Huntington Beach 10-8 at home. Edison has visions of winning its first league title since 2002, and the first in Lemons’ 11 years at the helm. Laguna Beach and Marina are the other teams in the new four-team Wave League, the lower one in the Sunset Conference.
Lower league or not, Edison (6-7 overall) wants to bring home the title. Beating a dangerous Huntington Beach (8-5) squad, which had topped Fountain Valley, Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos in conference crossover matches, was a good first step.
The Chargers got at least one set win at every singles and doubles position. Coggins, a junior who was Sunset League singles runner-up and advanced to the third round of the CIF Southern Section Individuals tournament last season, easily swept, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0. Freshman Kailee You and junior Shannon Stolaruk each won one singles set for the hosts.
Coggins said that You, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Huntington Beach’s Haley Forth 6-3 in the first round, reminds her of herself when she played for the Chargers as a freshman.
“I just feel like Kailee is like a copy of me,” Coggins said. “I like coaching her on the changeovers. [She plays] exactly like me, just a little more emotional.”
Singles standouts aside, one change that Lemons noted is that the Chargers are deeper in doubles this season. Senior captain Cassie Oakes and sophomore Cassey Hitch won twice at No. 1 doubles, including a 7-5 victory over Huntington Beach’s No. 3 pairing of Ashley Bui and Alissa Wong in the second round. That gave Edison a 7-5 sets advantage headed into the final round.
Senior Sarah Olsen and junior Daniella Chan won twice for Edison at No. 2 doubles, including the clinching 6-2 win over Bui and Wong. And Ratsek and Johnson indeed did sub in for an important third-round win, over Huntington Beach substitutes Maggie Rae Walker and Sidney Steiner.
“I was overjoyed,” Coggins said. “I’m so proud. Even if we lost, we all played really well, you know what I mean? … I’m just super-proud of everyone. I wasn’t worried about the score, just everyone playing their best.”
Freshmen Cindy Huynh and Solaya Han each won twice in singles for Huntington Beach, which got a doubles sweep from senior Emily Gray and freshman Daniella Pokorny. Bui and Wong also won a doubles set.
“It was a great match,” Oilers coach Suzanne DeVries said. “I look forward to playing them again, for sure, on our home courts. I think that on any given day, it would go either way, for sure… We’re feeling really good. This is just a little bump in the road.”
The rematch will be at Huntington Beach on Oct. 16 to open the second half of league play.
Edison can take early position as the league’s outright leader with a win at Laguna Beach on Tuesday. The Breakers also won their Wave League opener, 12-6 at Marina on Thursday.
Lemons feels better going into that match with a win against Huntington Beach under his belt.
“We’ve circled this one since we played Mater Dei [in our season opener Aug. 21],” Lemons said. “We got whooped [13-5] by Mater Dei, and I told them it didn’t matter, we would get better before we played Huntington Beach … We were just concerned about how we could get our best team ready to go by today, and they stepped up. I would nervous that they would, because our girls are kind of hard to motivate, but it worked out well.”