NEWPORT BEACH — After pulling out two close doubles sets late Friday afternoon at The Tennis Club, the Corona del Mar High boys' tennis team seemed to have momentum.
But La Jolla quickly squashed that momentum.
CdM was swept in five singles sets and was upset, 6-2, by La Jolla in the quarterfinals of the Corona del Mar National All-American Tournament.
The No. 3-seeded Sea Kings fell in the quarters for the seventh straight year. As a result, they can finish no better than fifth. They play Brophy Jesuit Prep of Arizona in a fifth-place semifinal at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at The Tennis Club.
It was a quick turn of events for CdM, in the format of five singles sets and three doubles sets. The Sea Kings took a 2-1 lead over La Jolla after doubles, even after La Jolla's No. 1 team of seniors Addison Appleby and Jake Roberts routed CdM senior Alec Adamson and junior Carson Williams, 8-1.
CdM's No. 2 team of senior Andrew Nguyen and freshman Bjorn Hoffmann won in a tiebreaker over La Jolla's Lawrence Rand and Colton Kellogg. And CdM's No. 3 team of junior Josh Kliger and freshman Pedro Fernandez also won, 8-6.
Corona del Mar, playing without two starters in sophomore Chaz Downing (calf) and senior Paul Kacik (in Alabama), appeared to have an edge. But the lead was short-lived as the match turned to singles.
"We had some good momentum going into the singles, but just hats off to La Jolla," CdM Coach Jamie Gresh said. "They played really well in singles. They had good, fast starts on all of their courts. I felt like I looked up, and every one of our matches we were down in early."
Adamson fell in a tiebreaker to the William & Mary-bound Appleby, 8-7 (9-7), at No. 1 singles. It was the first singles loss of the season in any format for the UC Davis-bound Adamson.
"We just lost some close sets," Adamson said. "[Appleby] just came up with a couple of really good shots in the tiebreaker. It was tough."
Gresh said Hoffmann and Kliger each lost 8-6 pro-sets at No. 2 and No. 4 singles, respectively.
Earlier Friday, the Sea Kings blanked Jesuit High of Carmichael, 8-0, in the first round of the tournament at CdM. That match also started with doubles, and the teams of Adamson-Williams, Nguyen-Hoffman and Kliger-Fernandez each won with pro-set scores ranging from 8-1 to 8-4.
Adamson, Hoffmann, Williams, Kliger and Fernandez all won in singles, with set scores from 8-0 to 8-3. Adamson was impressive as he beat Jesuit's top player, Anatoliy Beynars, 8-0.
CdM now has to regroup. If they beat Brophy, the Sea Kings would play in the fifth-place match at 3 p.m. at The Tennis Club.
"Even though we lost [to La Jolla], I felt like playing a match of that caliber was good for our development," Gresh said ."Now we're shooting for fifth place in this tournament."
Semifinal matches are top-seeded University against No. 4 Bellarmine Prep, while La Jolla plays No. 2 Menlo, the defending champion, at 11 a.m. at The Tennis Club. The championship match is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Palisades Tennis Club.