CdM duo advances

Daily Pilot

NEWPORT BEACH — During ski week at Corona del Mar High this year, senior Ryan Peyton and junior Shane Korber did the furthest thing from hitting the slopes.

They went to Hawaii that week in February and played doubles together at a United States Tennis Assn. National Open tournament. They did well at the tournament in Honolulu, getting to the round of 16 before losing to the second-seeded team.

Now, Peyton and Korber can say "aloha" to another important round of 16 — that of the CIF Southern Section Individuals tournament. They earned their spot among the final 16 on Friday at The Tennis Club, winning a pair of matches after a first-round bye.

Peyton and Korber move on to Seal Beach Tennis Center on May 28. They've never made it this far; Peyton lost in the third round in singles last year and Korber never even got to CIF Individuals before this year.

Yet the Pacific Coast League runners-up made it look easy Friday. They got past Ali Amirvand and Andy Nguyen of Troy, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round before topping a very solid El Dorado pairing of Damin Boorah and Jack Ventura-Cruess in the third round, 6-3, 6-2.

"We've had a lot of time to work with each other," Korber said. "We complement each other really well. Our communication's getting a lot better. We can predict what the other's going to do, the more experience we have with each other."

Coach Brian Ricker was impressed by his pairing, who played singles during the year but will be the third-seeded doubles team in Seal Beach behind duos from University and Mira Costa.

"As a coach, it's difficult for me, because I've never coached them in doubles," he said. "Some of the things they want to do or they're comfortable with, maybe they're not some of the things I work on with our regular doubles kids. I can't say, 'You're going to do it this way.' It's a different situation, but I'm excited for them. Making it to Seal Beach is exciting.

"The singles kids work the hardest. They do all the national tournaments all year long. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, they're at tournaments. I look at Ojai and this [tournament] as a reward for those boys and girls. That's why they get to play doubles over our doubles players."

Newport Harbor also had a strong showing. Junior Jason Cernius and sophomore Troy Arnold nearly made it to the third round before Will McKinney and Matt LaBarre of Dana Hills beat them, 6-4, 6-7 (2) and 10-8 in the 10-point super-tiebreaker.

Cernius and Arnold, the Sunset League champions, had outlasted Justin Chen and Alex Torok of St. Margaret's, 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 in the opening round. They saved two match points in the second set of their match with Dana Hills, but were unable to hold an 8-6 lead in the super-tiebreaker.

"They were very mentally tough in both matches," Sailors Coach Kristen Case said. "Both teams played great tennis, and it comes down to a matter of a couple of points. We just got a little unlucky in the end ... Our team fights hard. We never give up. I think they did a great job."

Arnold said he was proud of the team's resolve as well.

"We served amazing, and we executed well too," he said. "It just didn't work out in the end."

Newport Harbor's Craig McKennon and Greg Brostek lost a tight opening-round match as they were edged by Chetan Monugala and Charles Moya of Troy, 6-4, 3-6, 10-8.

Sage Hill's Andrew Kurzweil and Alex Manolakas, the Academy League champions, fell to Boorah and Ventura-Cruess in the opening round, 6-4, 6-3.

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