CdM duo falls to Chinese players

NEWPORT BEACH — The opponents were speaking another language on the court.

But in tennis, a good shot is a good shot, and Yan Lo and Shiu Ma of Hong Kong had plenty of those Wednesday at The Tennis Club Newport Beach.

Yan and Shiu, part of a summer traveling delegation from China to California, got a good match from Corona del Mar High duo Alison Ishii and Ariana Naaseh. But the Chinese team had too much in the end, taking a 6-4, 6-1 victory in a girls' 16s doubles quarterfinal at the 21st annual The Tennis Club Junior Tournament.

Ishii will be a sophomore at CdM in the fall and Naaseh a junior. They were playing their first doubles tournament together, but they have plenty of game themselves. According to the Corona del Mar tennis website, Ishii went 42-10 in doubles last year for the Sea Kings. Naaseh, who played mostly junior varsity, went 21-5 in singles.

They had to give props to Yan and Shiu, however, in this match.

"They had a really steady game," Ishii said. "They kept everything in. They were obviously really, really good players."

Yan and Shiu cruised to a 5-2 lead in the opening set. Ishii and Naaseh nearly came back, getting within 5-4, but Naaseh's serve was broken in a long game that went to deuce.

Yan and Shiu then zoomed out to a 5-0 lead in the second set.

"It's always hard to come back after you're down a set, because it seems like that match is almost over," Naaseh said. "But also, they picked up their game a little bit and we got more frustrated."

Bob Ogle, the tournament director at the "War by the Shore," said international players are not uncommon in his tournament. This year, there is also a delegation from Mexico that is doing well.

"They come over quite regularly, actually," Ogle said. "We've got a nice international flair. It's just hard to know where they fit in with the rankings."

Yan and Shiu were quite good, albeit with some quirks. Yan would say the score before nearly every point, even when the CdM duo was serving. When Ishii or Naaseh would call out the score before a serve, they would usually just be repeating what Yan said.

"It was strange, because obviously that's never happened to us before," Ishii said. "It got a little frustrating in our minds, but I mean, you can't change how they play. We just had to deal with it."

Ishii and Naaseh plan to keep playing together prior to the high school season starting next month. Ishii said they could possibly play doubles together during the high school season as well.

"We're planning to practice together a lot," she said. "[The high school] season's one of the most exciting things for our whole school year. The team just kind of becomes a family."

Wednesday's local winners in the War by the Shore included CdM senior-to-be Shane Korber. Korber, the No. 2 seed and defending champion in boys' 18 singles, got into the semifinals with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kenny Gea of Irvine. He'll play No. 3-seeded Kona Luu of Irvine in a semifinal at 2 p.m. today.

Costa Mesa resident James Zillman, the No. 3 seed in boys' 16 singles, got into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Phillip Klados of Rancho Santa Margarita. Zillman plays No. 2-seeded Adam Levie of Solana Beach in a semifinal at 9:30 a.m. today.

No. 5-seeded Alastair Hurry of Corona del Mar and No. 7 Reese Stalder of Costa Mesa both moved into the boys' 14s semifinals. Hurry topped Matthew Gottleib of Oak Park, 6-2, 7-5, and plays No. 1 Cameron McDonald of Palm Desert in a semifinal at 9:30 a.m. today. Stalder upset No. 2 Garrett Vincent of Laguna Niguel, 6-0, 6-0, and faces Patricio Zarazua in a semifinal also at 9:30 a.m.

Stalder and partner Nicholas Valko are also alive in the doubles and they play in a semifinal today against Zarazua and Evan Nguyen of Huntington Beach. In boys' 18s doubles, the teams of Matt Fisher and Pierce Stemler of CdM, as well as Troy Arnold and Jason Cernius of Newport Beach, play in separate semifinals today.

Bjorn Hoffman of Newport Beach upset No. 3 Beau Pelletier of Huntington Beach in a boys' 12s doubles quarterfinal Wednesday, 7-5, 6-4. Hoffman, who is also in the semifinals in doubles with fellow Newport resident Adam Langevin today, plays No. 5 Koki Takabatake of Irvine in his semifinals semifinal at 9:30 a.m. today.

Thomas Day of Corona del Mar is in the boys' 10s semifinals against top-seeded Colter Smith of Los Alamitos at 11 a.m. today.

On the girls' side, all local doubles teams have been eliminated. But No. 3-seeded Jenna Moustafa of Newport Coast is still alive in the girls' 12s singles. Moustafa beat Newport Beach resident Baylee Bakkila, 6-2, 6-0, on Wednesday and has a semifinal match against Summer Dvorak of Park City, Utah at 11 a.m. today.

Danielle Wilson of Newport Beach has a girls' 10s singles semifinal match against No. 2-seeded Nicole Mossmer of La Jolla at 11 a.m. today.

Finals for all divisions are scheduled for Friday.

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