Despite having to battle through some injuries, the Laguna Beach High girls' tennis team showed its depth and fought its way to a pair of recent home nonleague victories.
The Breakers, which debuted Monday at No. 3 in the first CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll of the season, improved to 3-1 by defeating Cerritos, the top-ranked team in Division 4, 11-7, Tuesday.
Laguna received wins in singles play from No. 1 Kira Hamilton (6-1), No. 2 Ashley Shelton (6-1), and No. 3 Bailey Jaeger (7-6). The Breakers dominated in doubles action, winning seven of nine sets. Brooke Michaels and Madeline Loomis had one win (6-0) at No. 1 doubles, and Madeline Loomis and Olivia Morrison picked up two wins (7-6), (6-3) at No. 1. Sarah Nederlander and Natasha Keces won twice (6-2, 6-3) at No. 2 singles, as did the No. 3 team of Stephanie Tat and Ashley Fair (6-3, (6-3).
The Breakers showed their depth Sept. 12 and scored a 10-8 win over Mater Dei. Hamilton won two sets (6-4, (6-1) and Shelton (6-3) and Jaeger (6-2) each won one set in singles. In doubles, Michaels was temporarily sidelined due to injury but Morrison , a junior, stepped in admirably for Michaels. All three doubles teams, Loomis/Morrison ((6-2, 6-1), Nederlander/Tat (6-4, 6-4), and Keces/Fair (6-2), 7-5), won two sets.
"Unfortunately, we have some injuries but the girls have been doing very well despite not being at full strength," Laguna Coach Don Davis said. "I'm proud of the fact that the girls have fought through to win both matches."
Laguna took on Corona del Mar, the No. 4 team in Division 1, in a nonleague match Thursday (Sept. 19). The score wasn't available at press time.
The Breakers begin defense of their Orange Coast League title Tuesday at home against Saddleback at 3 p.m.
"I think we feel very confident heading into league, because, despite our injuries, we have done well in our nonleague matches," Davis said. "We beat a very solid Mater Dei team, and our doubles play has been improving."
The Breakers, ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 1A, are in Las Vegas for the 19th annual Durango Fall Classic. The Breakers are in a 64-team field that includes Orange County schools Edison, Newport Harbor, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita, Dana Hills, Beckman, Los Alamitos, Orange Lutheran and El Dorado.
Teams from seven states, plus three teams from British Columbia, Canada, are participating in the event, which starts Friday and runs through Saturday.
Laguna is coming off a 19th-place finish at the Dave Mohs Memorial Tournament, which wrapped Monday. The Breakers scored wins over Northwood and Newport Harbor, but lost to Sage Hill, Orange Lutheran and Chaparral.
Following the Durango Fall Classic, Laguna will play host to Dana Hills at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26.
The Laguna boys' and girls' varsity and junior varsity teams arrived in Hawaii Wednesday. The Breakers will compete Saturday at the Iolani Invitational. The 15th annual event will be held on the Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu.
The Laguna frosh/soph teams will compete Friday at the Woodbridge Invitational.
The Breakers next week will run at the Orange Coast League Cluster meet at Irvine Regional Park Wednesday.
The Breakers split matches against Sage Hill and Aliso Niguel in the past week.
Laguna notched its first win of the season Sept. 12 by defeating Sage Hill, 258-298, at Strawberry Farms Golf Course in Irvine. Both MaryKate Quellmalz and Jackie McMahon shot a team-best 49 (par 36) for the Breakers. Murphy Thompson was next with a score of 50 followed by Leslie Dwight (53), Jamie Hendrickson (57) and Audrey Curtis (64).
"This was a nice win for our team on Sage Hill's home course," Laguna Assistant Coach Sean Quigley said. "We scored 40 points lower on this course compared to last year and the girls are continuing to show improvement around the green. Overall, we are making good progress and it's great to see that all the players are improving and contributing."
Laguna took on Aliso Niguel Tuesday and dropped a 217-281 match to the Wolverines at El Niguel Country Club in Laguna Niguel. Quellmalz and Hendrickson both shot 54 (par 36) to lead the Breakers' scoring.
"El Niguel is a tough course with very challenging greens," Quigley said. "In addition, this was the first time most of our players had seen a course of this caliber. So, while our individual scores were higher than normal, this experience will serve us well once we get into league play.
"The girls got to play against a good Aliso Niguel team and one of Orange County's top players in Joo Soe. Hopefully, this match will serve as a mini 'wake-up call' that we need to continue to get better every day."
Soe took match medalist honors at two-under-par 34.
Laguna (1-2) again took on Aliso Niguel Thursday at Ben Brown Golf Course. The score wasn't available at press time. The Breakers begin league play Wednesday against Costa Mesa at Mesa Linda Golf Course in Costa Mesa.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Football: Laguna Beach (No. 5, Southern Division)
Girls' Volleyball: Laguna Beach (No. 10, Division 1A)
Girls' Tennis: Laguna Beach (No. 3, Division 2)
Boys' Cross-Country: Laguna Beach (No. 3, Division 4)
Girls' Cross-Country: Laguna Beach (No. 3, Division 4)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun