Sharks tennis takes CIF Championship

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The MHS girl's tennis won the Division V CIF Championship Monday by a narrow game margin.

The Sharks win a tiebreaker with a total game count of 75-72.

By Sean Lynch/Special to The Malibu Times

There were a tense few moments following the girls tennis Division V CIF Championship between the Malibu Sharks and the Fairmont Prep Huskies Monday afternoon at the Claremont Club. After nine singles and doubles matches, each team had come away with nine points, leaving the championship up to the tie breaker of games won.

In a win that was about as narrow as it can get, the Sharks were announced as the champions winning on games 75-72. With a mere three-game edge, the Sharks celebrated their second straight CIF Championship.

“I was told the numbers, but I didn’t believe we had won until it was made official,” Sharks head coach John McCampbell said.

After a tight 10-8 victory in their semifinal match-up with Sage Hill, McCampbell knew that the Sharks’ second straight championship was going to be tough to come by.

“We knew Fairmont was a very good team, they came into this match undefeated on the year,” McCampbell said. “They have two great singles players and a great doubles team; it couldn’t have been any more exciting.”

The championship truly was a team effort, as no one player or tandem for the Sharks dominated the afternoon.

Senior Kelly Stewart didn’t quite have the kind of day she has grown accustomed to in singles play for the Sharks, but after dropping her opening match 3-6, she bounced back and won the final two 6-3 and 6-2.

“My nerves were going early, but I was able get through that,” Stewart said. “I didn’t start out as well as I would have liked to today, but I got it going and took the last two games.”

Sophomore Chelsea Mosser also put in a solid singles performance for the Sharks. Mosser took her first two matches 6-4 and 6-2 before dropping her final match

1-6.

“They have some very good girls, we knew it was probably going to be close all day,” Mosser said. “I’m very happy with this win.”

Sophomore Bianca Aboubakare had a very impressive day at No. 1 singles for the Huskies, sweeping her competition 6-3, 6-3 and 6-1.

With the singles play as tight as it was, the Sharks coaching staff knew that the championship would probably be decided in the doubles matches.

The Sharks No. 2 doubles pairing of junior Casey Zweig and Lisa-Marie Kohrs set the tone for the Sharks by not only winning their first two matches, but in the end, just as importantly shutting out their opponents 6-0 and 6-0.

The Sharks other two doubles pairings of Alex Hogestyn and Brittany Saul, and Nina Farag and Allison Sarmiento each only won a match respectively, but were able to win an important 11 games in their four defeats.

“Our doubles teams didn’t play as well as they could have, but they got the games we needed,” McCampbell said.

The Huskies No. 1 doubles team of senior Jenny Chung and freshman Julie Luzar dominated doubles play, only relinquishing four games in three matches with 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2 victories.

After the receiving of the Sharks CIF Championship trophy, the realization of their accomplishment began to sink in.

“I’m very proud of this team,” McCampbell said. “Most of these girls have been with me for the last few years and this is a special victory.”

For most of the sophomore rich Sharks team, winning and championships is all they have known in their high school lives, but the lone senior (Stewart) remembers the opposite end of the spectrum and relishes this victory all the more.

“I remember when we didn’t know if we could even field a team,” Stewart said. “The team has done a complete 180 since I was a freshman, and these last two years have been amazing.”