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CdM's Korber leads team past Northwood
Fresh from playing some of the nation's top competition over the weekend, Corona del Mar's boys tennis team opened Pacific Coast League play Tuesday with hopes of keeping its momentum alive.
Behind strong play from senior captain Shane Korber, the Sea Kings dominated the league match, defeating Northwood, 14-4.
Korber, playing No. 1 singles, rolled to a 6-1 victory over the No. 1 singles player for Northwood (7-1, 0-1), and Corona del Mar's No. 1 doubles team, Alex Murray and Carter Wheatley, beat the Timberwolves' No. 1 doubles team by the same score.
Corona del Mar coach Brian Ricker said Korber has been setting the tone for the Sea Kings (7-1, 1-0), who competed this past weekend in the All-American National Invitational. Tuesday, Korber lost just one game.
"He leads by example. He works the hardest," Ricker said. "He puts the most time in. He plays the most tournaments. He has the best conduct; he never throws his racket and never curses. He just gets better each year.
"We need him. We're doubles strong, and we have to have a singles player that can win some points. He's definitely leading the way."
Northwood coach Eric Keith said the challenge his team faced Tuesday was clear.
In their first season as a member of the Pacific Coast League, Keith said he and his players expected there to be some rough afternoons.
"We kind of knew it was coming," Keith said. "We know the league we're in, and this is our first year in it. We've played CdM and University in the preseason before. We knew this was coming, but it doesn't affect our ultimate goal – to make the CIF playoffs.
"We knew we'd take some lumps."
After falling 6-1 to Korber, Northwood junior Julian Ruffin, the team's No. 1 singles player, scored a pair of points for his team. Junior Calvin Ngo (No. 2 singles) and sophomores Jasper Lee and Austin Do (No. 1 doubles) each won a set for the Timberwolves.
Even though it's just the first league match of the season, both coaches said days like Tuesday prepare their teams for the postseason.
"Our league is exceptionally hard, which is something I view as a positive," Ricker said. "We go into the playoffs having played these tough matches. I feel like we're on an upward trend right now."
- Reporting from Newport Beach
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