CORONA DEL MAR — The lineup has been pretty stable for the Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team early in the season.
Coach Brian Ricker has had to make relatively few changes. On Wednesday, he did move junior Alec Adamson from singles to doubles due to a sore right shoulder.
The move worked out fine. Nobody had to shoulder too much of the load as the Sea Kings earned a big nonleague victory.
Everyone won two sets as CdM, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 coaches' poll, earned a 12-6 home victory over No. 5 Palos Verdes.
Sophomore Jake Douglas swept at No. 1 singles, accounting for half of the set wins for Palos Verdes (3-1). But CdM (6-1) had freshmen Henry Gordon and Chaz Downing, as well as sophomore Carson Williams, all win their other two singles sets easily to help the hosts win the battle of the Sea Kings.
Ricker said the versatile Williams, who has played singles and doubles this year for CdM, improved to 20-1 overall.
"He's our big surprise of the year," Ricker said. "He didn't really have an opportunity to play over the summer, up in Idaho at his dad's house, [but] he's just playing great."
So are the doubles teams. Palos Verdes did have momentum early, after Brett Landon and Dylan Holt edged CdM's Alex Murray and Zach Williams, 7-5, at No. 1 doubles. And Palos Verdes' No. 2 team of Kent Mukai and Tony Dellovade also beat Adamson and Josh Kliger, 6-4, in the first round.
The match was tied at 3-3 after the round. But CdM swept in doubles in the second round, taking a commanding 8-4 lead.
The No. 3 team of juniors Paul Kacik and Andrew Nguyen nearly swept, finally succumbing to Landon and Holt, 7-6 (8-6), in the last set on court. By then, CdM was chowing down on hamburgers after clinching the win.
"I feel like the team has meshed really well together," said Kliger, a transfer from Marina. "In doubles, we have three solid teams that all have good chemistry. I feel like we can sweep in doubles."
CdM continues to play well. The only match CdM lost was Saturday against Harvard-Westlake, ranked No. 2 in Division 1, out in Palm Desert. But the result was relatively meaningless. Ricker said the Wolverines had five players out, three due to SAT testing. And CdM also had six players out; Ricker said they were suspended for the match.
"Our boys were getting a little too rowdy in the hotel," Ricker said.
Corona del Mar definitely will need its full team as it prepares for the CdM All-American Invitational, which begins Friday. The Sea Kings begin against Sage Hill, which is making its first appearance in the prestigious tournament, at 11 a.m. Friday at The Tennis Club Newport Beach.
A victory over the Lightning would likely mean a tough quarterfinal matchup against No. 3-seeded Torrey Pines, at 3 p.m. at CdM.