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BILL ALKOFER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Newport Harbor's doubles team Anna Burke and Kendall Cosenza celebrate making a point in their match against Fountain Valley on Tuesday.

Newport Harbor continues charge toward Sunset title

STAFF WRITER

Newport Harbor’s girls tennis team cruised through the first round of its Sunset League schedule, never playing a match closer than 12-6 in the past three weeks.

Looking to capture their first league crown since the 2011 season, the third-ranked Sailors remained perfect in league Tuesday afternoon, fending off host Fountain Valley, 10-8, to open their second go-round of Sunset League play.

Newport Harbor improved to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in league, with its only loss of the season coming against No. 1 Corona del Mar in mid-September. The Sailors have reeled off eight victories since, and are now an overwhelming favorite to finish with a perfect 10-0 league clip.

“I’m very proud of the girls,” Newport Harbor coach Kristen Case said. “They’re really on track to go after what they set out to accomplish. All of our matches, everybody’s stepping up at different times. It’s really been about the teamwork aspect.”

The Sailors recevied at least one point from every player in its lineup. Jenn Kingsley, Lily Walkow and Hannah Blower all went 2-1 in singles play, each dropping their set against defending league champ, Hanh Pham.

The Kendall Cosenza-Anna Burke duo also went 2-1 and set the tone early with a a 6-3 win over Fountain Valley’s top pair of Katie Ho and Clarissa Htay.

With Walkow earning a crucial point on a 7-6 tiebreaker and the team of Eva Newsom-Taryn Anderson earning a 7-5 win, the Sailor held a 4-2 lead after the first round.

“It couldn’t get any closer than that,” Barons coach Harshul Patel said of the opening round. “Playing a team as good as Newport – amazing players – they fight no matter what the score line is. So you go into the second round and everyone is a bit down.”

The Sailors also went 4-2 in the second round, taking an 8-4 lead into the final series of sets.

Pham won all three of her matches.

In the Pacific Coast League:

No. 1 Corona del Mar 17, Woodbridge 1: Danielle Willson, Jasie Dunk and Siena Sharf each swept their singles sets as the Sea Kings eased past the Warriors to stay atop the league standings.

No. 8 Northwood 18, Irvine 0: Timberwolves star junior Kerisa Lin was close to perfect, posting three 6-0 sets en route to the team’s sweep of the visiting Vaqueros.

In the South Coast League:

No. 4 San Clemente 18, Capistrano Valley: Sophomore Lindsay Hung did not drop a game and her singles sweep highlighted the Tritons’ dominant showing over the Cougars.

In the Freeway League:

Troy 13, Fullerton 5: The Warriors remained perfect in league (7-0), while the Indians’ No. 1 singles player, Mikayla Shipley-Rinker, went 3-0 and extended her regular-season winning streak to 86 sets, dating back to the start of last season.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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