Girls' Tennis: Locals making CIF run

Newport Harbor High and Sage Hill each get a chance to see if they can make runs at CIF Southern Section girls' tennis titles in a higher division this year.

The Sailors and Lightning, along with Corona del Mar and Estancia, learned of their playoff opponents on Monday. While Newport Harbor, Sage Hill and CdM each open play in the first round in their respective divisions on Wednesday at 2 p.m., Estancia is in wild-card clash on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

The Sailors, a Division 2 finalist the past two years under Coach Kristen Case, move up to Division 1. The Sea Kings are also competing in the top division after missing the playoffs last year.

The Lightning, a Division 3 finalist the previous two seasons under Coach A.G. Longoria, are in Division 2 now. The Eagles are in Division 2 as well.

The Sailors (14-5) open at home with Louisville. This matchup features the No. 2 finishers from their respective leagues, Newport Harbor in the Sunset and Louisville in the Mission.

The Sea Kings (15-5) play host to San Marcos in another match pitting two second-place teams against each other. Corona del Mar is from the Pacific Coast League and San Marcos from the Channel League.

Sage Hill (8-8), the Academy League champion, is at home at The Tennis Club in Newport Beach, where it awaits the winner of the Sunny Hills-Villa Park wild-card match.

Estancia (8-10) plays at home against Cypress, the No. 3 team from the Empire League. The Eagles finished third in the Orange Coast League.

The Sailors have two returning starters from last year's Division 2 finalist in seniors Megan Bathen and Kaitlyn Cosenza, who play No. 1 doubles. If Newport Harbor can get past Louisville, it faces second-seeded Dana Hills in the second round.

Dana Hills has reached the Division 1 final in each of the last five years, winning it in 2011, 2008 and 2007.

The Sea Kings, who are led by singles player Lauren Thaxter, look to get out of the first round. If they do, they will most likely face Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates in the second round. The two programs met earlier in the year with Peninsula easily winning, 14-4, at home.

Liana Korber, a No. 1 singles player, leads Sage Hill. The Lightning, who have played for three section titles in the past four years, losing each final to rival St. Margaret's, finally beat the Tartans. Sage knocked off its Academy League rival twice this year to claim its first league title in five years.

The two may meet again, if they can each advance to the Division 2 final.

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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