May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Uni boys tennis team completes the mission and tops CdM for CIF open division title

University players and Coach John Kessler brought home the CIF Open Division title Friday. (Photo courtesy University athletics).

Top seeded University High School boys tennis team defeated Pacific Coast League rival Corona del Mar 12-6 Friday in the Open Division final at the Claremont Tennis Club.

It’s the 10th CIF title for Coach John Kessler and the 13th overall for the program.

Captain Conrad Brown recorded the opening point with a 6-1 win at first singles on center court, according to Trojans Coach John Kessler.

Freshmen Winner Okey won 6-0 at third singles and SangHyuk Im and Konrad Walter-Wu won their doubles set to put University up 3-1.

The next two sets turned a tight match into a big Uni lead, Kessler added.

“Omar Khayat and Champion Okey fought back from a 1-5 deficit to win 7-5 at first doubles,” he said. “Junior Ani Gupta also came back from a 4-5 deficit to win 7-6 to give Uni a 5-1 lead. The Trojans never looked back winning 12-6.”

Im, Walter-Wu and Khayat – Champion Okey swept their doubles sets, Kessler added.

It was also the first time that Kessler returned to the Claremont Club after he suffered a brain hemorrhage while coaching the girls tennis team. He took some time off from coaching and teaching and has fully recovered.

“This the first time I had been back to the Claremont Club since that fateful day two years ago,” he said. “The ride up and walking into the club actually felt a little surreal.  It was nice to take a bad memory and turn that into a happy day.

“For me personally, obviously winning the 10th title is extremely rewarding. Given everything that has transpired with me personally and the team losing last year on our courts, made this victory meaningful.”

University, 26-0, advances into the So Cal Regional next week.