IRVINE — Where oh where have you gone, Coco Vandeweghe?
The Orange County Breakers actually know the whereabouts of Vandeweghe, who is leading Mylan World Team Tennis in women's singles. She's been missing the last three matches because she's at the Bank of the West Classic in Palo Alto, where she is in the final round of qualifying on Monday.
And the Breakers' recent opponents have known that, too.
"To be quite honest, they were excited not to see Coco," Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann said. "I think that's exactly what it comes down to."
Orange County has lost the women's singles set, 5-0, in each of its last two matches. On Sunday night at Bren Events Center, it was Sacramento's Taylor Townsend who came out on fire against Orange County's Maria Elena Camerin.
The Breakers never quite got all the way back, suffering a 21-16 loss to the Capitals and marquee player Sam Querrey that damaged their playoff hopes. Orange County (6-6), which has lost three straight matches, is behind Springfield (7-4) and Texas (7-5) in the World Team Tennis Western Conference. Only the top two teams advance to the Western Conference Finals, which are Thursday.
The Breakers have two more regular-season matches, at Sacramento on Monday and their home finale against Springfield on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"We've got to figure out a way to get this done," Kronemann said. "We were too far ahead to let it slip away … It's like anything in sports, you don't want to rely on somebody else. We want to rely on ourselves, and it's in our hands."
Sunday's match got off to a promising start, as Treat Huey and Lija Dekmeijere defeated Mark Knowles and Megan Moulton-Levy in a tiebreaker. But there was Townsend, 17, who is one of the top junior girls' singles players in the world. She blanked Camerin in women's singles to give Sacramento (4-7) a 9-5 edge.
"To take a little of heat off of Maria, she played great the two nights she played," Kronemann said. "I mean, I don't think that was an awful set. I think last night she ran into a buzzsaw and tonight she ran into a buzzsaw. Taylor played really, really well. We could have probably slowed it down and made some more balls, but everything we were giving her, she was hitting a winner on.
"I think we won three points last night and we won three points tonight, but I wouldn't walk away from either of those sets going, 'Maria played awful.' I just think she's got overpowered, and those two girls were absolutely hot … I really think those two girls played as good as they can possibly play."
Texas' Eugenie Bouchard had blanked Orange County in women's singles on Saturday.
The Breakers' Johnson and Huey did get a 5-2 men's doubles win over Querrey and Knowles, narrowing their deficit to 11-10. But Sacramento's Townsend and Moulton-Levy came back with a 5-3 victory in women's doubles, setting up the final men's singles set between Querrey and Johnson.
Querrey, who at No. 20 is the top-ranked American male in the world, won the final set by a 5-3 score. He broke Johnson's serve in the third game of the set, on a three-all point.
Sacramento won four of the six three-all points in the match.
"We can't buy one," said Kronemann of the three-all points, hoping his team can buy a couple of more regular-season victories.