CORONA DEL MAR — Some people seemed to forget that the Corona del Mar High boys’ tennis team started its CIF Southern California Regional first-round match Tuesday an hour earlier than normal.
The match started at 2 p.m. Anyone who got there an hour later didn’t really get to see much tennis at all.
Eighty minutes in, the match was already over. CdM quickly disposed of Woodland Hills El Camino Real, 7-0.
Part of the match’s quickness was due to the format. There are four singles sets and three doubles sets.
Each matchup is best two of three sets, with a 10-point tiebreaker in the third set if necessary. They use no-advantage scoring and, unlike the National High School All-American Tournament for example, players aren’t allowed to play both singles and doubles.
That format seems to suit the Sea Kings, seeded No. 5 in the 16-team field at the inaugural Southern California Regional Championships, rather well.
“I like the format,” CdM Coach Jamie Gresh said. “I think it kind of showcases some premiere matchups when you have two strong teams. It gets them to play against the same opponent for a longer time; it’s not just one set then flip [the matchups]. It’s something different, and it showcases a team’s depth. Here, everything’s worth one; third doubles is just as important as first singles.”
The Sea Kings treated El Camino Real’s players to grilled hamburgers after the match. But during the match, they showed that depth against the Los Angeles City Section finalists, not dropping a set.
CdM senior Alec Adamson had the closest match, but he downed El Camino Real’s Jaime Barajas, 6-2, 6-4. CdM’s Chaz Downing beat E.J. Loredo, 6-1, 6-2, Bjorn Hoffmann dispatched Julius Loredo, 6-2, 6-1, and Ryan Andrews blanked Alexander Ivanov, 6-0, 6-0.
The Sea Kings also were dominant in doubles. Carson Williams and Josh Kliger took out Dominik Barillas and Ezra Soriano, 6-1, 6-1. Andrew Nguyen and Paul Kacik beat Nick Koretsky and Gabriel Joseph, 6-1, 6-0, and Pedro Fernandez and Samee Aboubakare took care of Albert Weng and Micah Soriano, 6-0, 6-2.
After the match, Gresh announced to his players that they would have no practice the next two days.
“Trying to keep the guys motivated and fresh,” said Gresh, whose team plays No. 4-seeded La Jolla in a regional quarterfinal at 11:30 a.m. Friday at The Claremont Club. La Jolla beat Arroyo Grande, 5-2, in another first-round match Tuesday.
A semifinal match, most likely against top-seeded University, could follow Friday at 2:30 p.m.
CdM was placed on the same side of the draw as University, as it was unable to get the Southern Section’s No. 2 designation. That went to Division 2 champion San Marino, the No. 3 overall seed in the tournament.
“San Marino beat Palm Desert 13-5 [in the Division 2 title match] and we beat them 10-8 [in a nonleague match], so it’s accurate,” Gresh said. “That’s what I said to the guys. Is it the best draw? No, but it’s the draw they gave us and the draw we’ll play, and that’s fine. I feel like we were fortunate to have a home match [today] and not have to travel.”
The Sea Kings should meet La Jolla for the third time. They have split, losing the most recent encounter, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the National High School All-American Tournament on March 15. However, CdM was without Downing and Kacik in that match.