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Laguna Beach falls short in Div. 4 final
CLAREMONT – No tears were shed by the Laguna Beach boys tennis team when the final point was played out in the CIF-SS Division 4 championship match.
The Breakers fell to Redlands, 12-6, at Claremont Club on Friday, but the team immediately began to reminisce about the fond moments of the season.
Laguna Beach last reached the final in 2011, the year before Don Davis took over the coaching duties for the program. The young Breakers (19-4), who had just one senior on their roster, navigated through some tough matches on their way to the title game.
“I didn’t expect to make the finals,” sophomore Ethan Gee said. “(We faced) really good teams the past few days. I’m really happy. I really didn’t think we would make it.”
Among those memorable contests was a match with Garden Grove, which knocked Laguna Beach out of last year’s playoffs, and a semifinal against Rowland. The Breakers dispatched the Argonauts, 11-7, in the quarterfinals before beating Rowland, 10-8, to advance to the championship.
The win against Rowland was engineered by Laguna Beach’s strength in doubles. The Breakers, who won the Orange Coast League title, swept all nine of the doubles sets against Rowland to set up Friday’s tilt.
Adrian Azera and Gee posted two doubles wins against Redlands (22-2). Zack Washer and Sterling Dudley-Bowen picked up a first-round win, but the Breakers’ 4-2 deficit at the end of the first rotation would only grow from there.
Redlands’ Patrick Cachapero, Brysl Libao and Bon Louie Angeles did not drop a set in singles.
“It was a great accomplishment,” Davis said of making the finals. “The team had two great wins in the quarterfinals and the semifinals to get here. They were very excited to be here, and they gave it their all.”
Breakers freshman and top singles player Charles Keller enjoyed the postseason run.
“It was fun,” he said. “We all played pretty great. It was a good experience.”