May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

University boys tennis team celebrates third consecutive CIF open division title

University players celebrate after winning the CIF championship Friday. (Photo courtesy University tennis).

University High School’s boys tennis team did it again.

The Trojans, coached by John Kessler, defeated Corona del Mar 11-7 Friday at University of Redlands to capture the program’s third straight CIF open division title. The open division is the highest in the CIF.

University and CdM, two Pacific Coast League rivals, have met in the final the last three years. The Trojans won the previous two by scores of 12-6.

The teams were tied at three after the first round. University then recorded victories from captains SangHyuk Im (MIT) and Bradley Yung at first doubles, Mimo Alajeely and Langston Walter-Wu at second doubles and JiHyuk Im at third singles, Kessler said.

In the second round Uni captured four of six sets led by freshmen Rishvanth Krishna, who defeated CdM’s Jack Cross 6-2 at first singles.

Uni also swept the three doubles sets including a win by Cedric Lichtsteiner and Joseph Chan at second doubles to open a 7-5 lead, according to Kessler.

In the final round the Trojans again swept doubles and Krishna recorded another win at singles.

It was the 15th time Uni has captured a CIF title. The Trojans have won the crown four of the last five years.

“I’ve kind of been reflecting on the win all weekend long to be honest,” Kessler said Monday.  “You never want to get to a point where you don’t appreciate each time you win; you want to honor each group of players and take something special from each experience. I am privileged to have such an incredible group of young men.

“They come to practice ready to work hard on a consistent basis.  They allow coach (John) Mano and myself to push and help develop their game while holding them to a pretty high standard.  This team has a unique chemistry that emanates from our captains. SangHyuk, Bradley and Cedric have led by example in every phase of our program.”

Both University and CdM move on to the So Cal Regionals at the Claremont club on Friday and Saturday.