CdM finishes sixth at All-American tournament

NEWPORT BEACH — If the Corona del Mar National All-American boys' tennis tournament had a doubles-only format, the host Sea Kings wouldn't have minded.

CdM won at least two of three doubles sets in each of its matches it played this weekend.

Singling out the reason the No. 3-seeded Sea Kings finished just sixth at the prestigious tournament was easy. It was because of singles.

CdM lost four of five singles sets to Beacon School of New York on Saturday afternoon at The Tennis Club, falling, 5-3, in the fifth-place match. That came after the Sea Kings edged Brophy Jesuit Prep of Arizona, 4-4 and 41-35 and games, in the fifth-place semifinal.

"I think the guys could have stepped up a little better at certain positions, but I feel like that's because the competition was strong," CdM Coach Jamie Gresh said. "I don't think we underperformed, but I think the guys were tested and had some close ones. It just happened to go the other way in a couple of those sets."

University won the team title for the third time, defeating Menlo of Atherton in the final in a rematch of last year's final won by Menlo. The Trojans were paced by all-tournament team selections Gage Brymer, Tyler Lu, Stefan Menichella and Drew Dawson.

Senior Alec Adamson, who went 3-1 in singles as well as 3-1 in doubles with teammate Carson Williams, was an all-tournament team selection for CdM. Adamson becomes the eighth player in program history to earn all-tournament team honors at the tournament in its 14th year, the first since Shane Korber in 2011.

CdM went 9-3 in doubles on the weekend, but struggled at times in singles. This was true in the fifth-place match, which the Sea Kings led, 2-1, after doubles. Adamson and Williams defeated Justin Fields and Artemie Amari, 6-2, and senior Andrew Nguyen and freshman Bjorn Hoffmann topped Lucas Pickering and Win Smith, 6-3.

But only Adamson could win in singles for CdM, which still was missing usual No. 2 singles player Chaz Downing (calf). Adamson topped Fields, 6-2, but none of the other Sea Kings could win in singles.

"In singles, in the last couple of matches we struggled," Adamson said. "We didn't win the big ones we needed to. Especially against La Jolla [in the quarterfinals Friday], we lost a lot of close singles matches, and the same thing in the match today … but I thought our whole team competed really hard."

Williams came the closest to victory at No. 3 singles, battling back from a break of serve down. But his serve was broken again serving at 5-6. His opponent, Pickering, finished off the set with an effective drop shot, one of many the junior utilized in the set.

Gresh said he was happy with the fight his players showed, despite some of the results.

"Alec was rock solid throughout the whole weekend," Gresh said. "And it was a good weekend for Bjorn's development, playing at the No. 2 position and seeing a lot of upperclassmen that the level that they're at."

CdM edged Brophy on Saturday morning on games. Adamson and Ryan Andrews won singles sets, while the teams of Adamson and Williams, as well as Josh Kliger and Pedro Fernandez, won in doubles.

The Sea Kings now will prepare for a big test on Tuesday, as they play host to rival University in the Pacific Coast League opener. The Trojans are top-ranked in CIF Southern Section Division 1 and three-time defending CIF champions. CdM is ranked No. 2 in Division 1.

CdM will have senior doubles player Paul Kacik back from Alabama for that match, and Gresh said the plan is to play Downing in doubles.

"It should be a great test, just to see where our level's at," Adamson said. "I definitely think that we can go in there and compete really hard against them, just try to pull off some wins as a team and just compete as hard as we can. To do the best that we can out there, that's all we can do, and try to put ourselves in a position to win. It should be a great match."

La Jolla topped Bellarmine Prep of San Jose for third place at the All-American. Viewpoint School of Calabasas won the consolation title, and also earned the Stan Smith Team Sportsmanship Award.

Twitter: @mjszabo

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