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No. 7 Tesoro wins battle with CdM
LAS FLORES - At full strength, Tesoro is hands down one of the best girls tennis teams in the county; only problem is, the Titans haven't been at full strength very much this season.
With two of its top three singles players – senior Mayci Jones and sophomore Justine Huang – inserted into a lineup that has changed regularly all year, No. 7 Tesoro (4-2) edged visiting Corona del Mar, 9-9 (76-71 in games), in a nonleague match on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's a bittersweet win," Titans coach Tim DiLeo said. "The girls aren't satisfied, even though they won, and that's great. They're bummed that it was only games, which is very comforting."
Playing in just her second match of the season, Jones (the defending South Coast League singles champion) swept 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 for three of Tesoro's four singles sets.
"When six courts are going on at once, I know I only have to talk to four," DiLeo said of his two singles players. "I don't have to coach Mayci and Justine during their matches, which makes me more centered and focused; it makes coaching a lot easier."
In doubles, the freshman duo of Layla Rodriguez and Kaitlyn Nguyen took three 6-1 sets as part of the hosts' 5-4 advantage over the No. 4 Sea Kings (4-2).
However, it was the Titans' fifth and final doubles set that secured the victory.
After letting a 4-1 lead slip away, Amy Huang and Brenda Romo eventually took a 6-all tiebreaker to pull Tesoro even in overall sets, thus providing the decision on games.
"The way I look at it, with Mayci playing singles, you have to get six in doubles," DiLeo said. "When you don't, then it gets stressful like today. They (Huang and Romo) knew the situation and realized that the pressure was on them.
"As a junior and sophomore, it's good that they feel that pressure."
Corona del Mar's Lauren Thaxter, Olivia Dajee and No. 2 doubles team, Sophie Chen and Siena Sharf, each claimed two sets.
"We played better than I thought we would," Sea Kings coach Brian Ricker said. "I don't think there's such thing as a good loss, but our girls played well.
"We're getting better each day and that's all I can ask for."