Boys' Tennis: CdM too much for Dons

CORONA DEL MAR — Two of Corona del Mar High's talented players showed up to campus to play more tennis on Saturday. Alec Adamson and Pedro Fernandez spent the morning in San Diego and Santa Monica competing in different United States Tennis Assn. junior tournaments.

They made it back into town in time for an afternoon high school match between the Sea Kings, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, and No. 6 Santa Barbara.

The Dons also had two standouts at separate tennis events, but they didn't expect them back.

With or without them, Santa Barbara wasn't going to pull off an upset at CdM. The Sea Kings proved to be too much and won, 13-5.

Jamie Gresh, who's in his first year in charge of the Sea Kings, was glad the schedules worked out for Adamson and Fernandez. Both players said they wanted to be there for the 12:30 match against Santa Barbara.

Adamson got through his under-18 singles match at the 79th Annual Harper Ink Junior Open Tournament in San Diego in a hurry, winning 6-2, 6-1. The second-seeded player had to because he had a 90-minute drive ahead of him.

"At least they were probably warmed up," Gresh said with a grin.

Adamson said he relaxed on the drive back as his father, Michael, drove.

The UC Davis-bound senior looked well rested against Santa Barbara. Adamson easily prevailed, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, and recorded almost half of the Sea Kings' victories in singles action.

"I just went out there and took care of business and got our team three wins today," said Adamson, who helped CdM to its sixth straight victory.

The last time CdM (12-1) lost was the last time Adamson, the team's top singles player, lost a set. He hasn't forgotten about March 19, the day he dropped all three of his sets against University in a Pacific Coast League match at CdM.

Adamson, who has won 34 of 37 sets this year, and the Sea Kings get another shot at the top-ranked Trojans on Thursday. The question is whether CdM can knock off host University. The Trojans have been unbeatable.

"Is it possible?" Gresh said of getting past University, which also beat CdM in last year's CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match and claimed its third straight section title. "All I want is [for] my guys to go in there and compete their hardest, play their best and we'll play well that day, regardless of the score.

"I look at it as the most fun match of the year for them, to go play [the Trojans]. There's no pressure on my guys at all. They love playing them, too."

The Sea Kings also enjoy facing Santa Barbara (6-3), another quality team. The two programs met for the second straight year in nonleague play and Gresh and Santa Barbara Coach Greg Tebbe said they would continue to do so on an annual basis.

Tebbe saw his Dons fall to CdM again. He wasn't so sure if he had Morgan Hale, a No. 2 singles player, and Avery Chernin, who plays No. 2 doubles, around that it would've made a difference in the result.

"Honestly, I was expecting worse," Tebbe said. "We knew this was going to be a strong team. We're coming down here to play good tennis and just to make sure we get the most out of it by just playing hard every point, which our guys did. There were a couple of great results."

The Dons' top doubles team of Jordan Rodnick and Mitchell Kuhn won two of three sets, but it was their No. 3 doubles team that pulled out a tough win against CdM's No. 1 team.

Austin Trevillian and Jake Sutton beat Carson Williams and Josh Kliger, 7-6, handing the duo its only setback.

The Sea Kings' other two doubles teams of Fernandez and Tyler Gaede, and Jonathan Rhone and Samee Aboubakare also took two of three.

Gresh said he was impressed with the results by Rhone and Aboubakare because they haven't played as much. Ryan Andrews, CdM's No. 3 singles player, also turned in a solid performance, claiming two sets, one against Santa Barbara's No. 1, Graham Maassen, 6-2.

The Dons were without their No. 2 guy and lost each time without him. Hale competed at the same tournament Adamson was at in San Diego, but Adamson said Hale had to play twice, unlike him down south.

"It worked out well because I had a bye in my first round," said Adamson, who advanced to Sunday's Round of 16. "I was able to work it out with the tournament director and play in the morning, instead of the afternoon, so I could play the match [against Santa Barbara], too."

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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