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University falls short in bid to win Div. 1 crown
CLAREMONT -- On its way to reaching the girls tennis CIF-SS Division 1 championship match last season, University upended top-seeded Campbell Hall by sweeping all nine doubles sets in the semifinals match.
Trojans coach John Kessler decided to try for another crucial doubles sweep Friday, and it nearly worked.
Despite loading its doubles teams, University (20-3) fell to top-seeded Campbell Hall, 10-8, in the Division 1 final at The Claremont Club.
"It was very difficult because there's such a disparity in our singles lineups," Kessler said. "We had to do something, and we knew the window was narrow. ... That was the strategy: Could (No. 2 singles player) Yuki (Asami) squeak out one (set) somewhere and could we take the nine in doubles.
"We came close. ... I'm proud of the girls. What can you say, Campbell Hall was the better team."
Playing in the doubles lineup for the first time this postseason, Kaiulani Boyer -- along with Shayna Becker -- swept at No. 2 doubles, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The Trojans' No. 3 team of Kyla Scott and Celine Gruaz also swept, 6-4, 7-6, 6-1.
However, a 6-4 defeat in the first round at the hands of Campbell Hall's top team of Alexis Pereira and Joy Kim proved too much for University to overcome.
"Playing them before told me that we were going to have a real hard road," said Kessler, whose team lost to Campbell Hall, 14-4, in mid-September. "In this match we wanted to try it (stacking its doubles lineup). ... I think it worked out well. The girls played great. There just might have been some nerves in that first set."
In their nine-set singles sweep, the Vikings (22-0) took five sets 6-0, two 6-1 and two 6-2.
"I think the program has been on the rise, and we've been in the thick of things," Kessler said. "It's been 40 years without ever coming here, and now we've been here the last two years. It's great for the girls, I'm really happy for them."