A year ago, the Laguna Beach High girls' tennis team continued its streak of winning the Orange Coast League championship, dominated the league's tournament finals, then made a run to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs. With several returning all-league players back in the lineup, the 2013 season could mirror last year's performance.
Laguna welcomes back eight starters, including its top three singles players, and 11 players, overall, from a team that went 19-6 overall and 10-0 in league competition last fall. The Breakers scored CIF playoff wins against Oxford Academy, Santa Monica and Valencia Valencia before their season ended in a semifinal loss to eventual division runner-up and No. 2-seed Arcadia.
The Breakers have begun preparations for the 2013 season, which started with "optional" practices Monday, Coach Don Davis said. Team tryouts are this Monday.
With a solid singles group and doubles players back in the fold, the only missing piece of the puzzle from last year's league championship team is Laguna's top doubles team and another doubles player who all achieved all-league honors.
"Our singles players should give us a balanced lineup with girls who have a lot of tournament experience," Davis said.
Senior Brooke Michaels leads the doubles trio. The reigning OCL singles champion plays at No. 1 singles followed by junior Kira Hamilton at No. 2 and Bailey Jaeger at No. 3. Jaeger was runner-up to the league singles title and Hamilton was third but had the best overall record in singles play for the Breakers, Davis said. In addition, senior Nicole Doiron posted a 19-0 record during the regular season and was named second-team all-league.
The Breakers also are strong in doubles. Seniors Sarah Nederlander and Stephanie Tat, junior Madeline Loomis and sophomores Ashley Shelton and Natasha Keces, each all-league performers last year, return. Nederlander teamed with then-senior Katelyn Bo in last year's league tournament and finished second behind league champions and then-seniors Chloe Mansour and Dominque Willette. Loomis teamed with Shelton a year ago and placed third in the league tournament.
Another Laguna doubles team, senior Shawna Yang and junior Olivia Morrison, were named honorable mention all-league and also return.
Mansour and Willette led the doubles charge last year. The duo was named the team's MVPs and went 42-5 overall. Mansour received Laguna Beach High's female Athlete of Character Award for the 2012-13 school year said Davis, who was named the school's Coach of the Year for the school year.
Mansour will attend Boston College and Willette will play women's tennis at Saddleback College, he said.
Despite the absence of three graduated doubles players, Davis still has plenty of talent to manage in 2013.
"I believe our team will possess a lot of depth, which gives us different possibilities for fielding a variety of lineups," he said.
Head Coach: Don Davis (third year)
2012 records: 19-6 overall; 10-0 league (champion)
CIF results: Semifinals, CIF-SS Division 2
Returning players: Brooke Michaels (singles, Sr.); Kira Hamilton (singles, Jr.); Bailey Jaeger (singles, Jr.); Nicole Doiron (singles, Sr); Ashley Shelton (doubles, Soph.); Sarah Nederlander (doubles, Sr.); Stephanie Tat (doubles, Sr.); Madeline Loomis (doubles, Jr.); Natasha Keces (doubles, Soph.); Shawna Young (doubles, Sr.); Olivia Morrison (doubles, Jr.).
Key losses: Chloe Mansour/Dominique Willette (doubles).
The slate: Formidable. The Breakers take on several of the top teams in CIF Southern Section Division 1 in addition to their Orange Coast League foes. They start with a nonleague match at Mission Viejo Sept. 5 and play at home against Northwood and Mater Dei within the first week of the season.