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University boys tennis evens season-series by knocking off No. 1 Corona del Mar

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A potential six-point deficit in singles again loomed as a challenge for University’s boys tennis team on Wednesday.

So did Corona del Mar’s No. 1 ranking in the CIF Southern Section and the Sea Kings’ history-making win last month.

The Trojans overcame all the obstacles to ramp up the race for the section title.

University won eight of nine matches in doubles and found enough success at singles to collect an 11-7 victory in the teams’ second nonleague match of the spring.

Corona del Mar beat University, ranked No. 2 in the section, 89-79 on games last month for its first dual meet victory in the series since 2006.

“It was nice,” University coach John Kessler said, “to get a little redemption.”

“Our doubles came out on fire,” the coach added. “We were up 3-0 on every court pretty quickly. I thought that start set the tone.”

University’s doubles swept the first two rounds and took 2 of 3 sets in the third round.

The team of sophomore Langston Walter-Wu and junior Mimo Alajeely, and the duo of seniors SangHyuk Im and Bradley Yung, posted the sweeps in doubles for the Trojans (12-1). Juniors Cedric Lichtsteiner and Joseph Chan won 2 of 3.

Dominant seniors Niels Hoffmann (USC commit) and Jack Cross (Cal Poly SLO) swept at singles to lead Sea Kings (12-1). Hoffmann won 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

But University received one set apiece at singles from freshmen JiHyuk Im and Rishvanth Krishna and junior Arystarkh Len.

“It was a total team effort,” Kessler said. “It’s not easy going into a match down 0-6 (because of Hoffmann and Cross).”

Last season, University defeated Corona del Mar four times, including in the Open Division and SoCal regional finals.

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