Mustang Netters Edge Redondo Without KC And The Sunshine Band

Mustang netters edge Redondo without KC

by Stephanie Manasssie

Redondo’s Nathan Stadler won the first match against the Mustang’s Scott Whitehead. But Whitehead came back to upset John Vlasach.

The Mira Costa boy's tennis team traveled to Redondo Union High School Thursday without their top player, senior KC Corkery. Not only is he the Mustang's number one, he's the state's number 1 player and the top-ranked high school player in the nation.

Corkery's presence normally means an automatic three wins for the Mustangs. Without him, the team would have to come in focused and ready for a dangerous Redondo team

In a tense match-up, Mira Costa pulled out an 82-80 victory in games after the score was tied, 9-9 in sets. The match was marked by a flurry of lead changes, with no clear winner emerging until the very end.

Nathan Stadler of Redondo started off strong with a 6-1 victory over Mira Costa's Scott Whitehead, playing number one singles in place of Corkery. Stadler won easily, smashing winners off Whitehead's well placed topspin forehands.

"He was just really good." Whitehead said. "There was not much I could do."

At the end of the first round, the score was tied at 3-3. In the second round, the surprise was Redondo's Logan Bailey, with a 7-5 win over powerful number two singles Ryan Pfeifle. Bailey was brimming with confidence, and was much more consistent than he has been in the past.

"I am really disappointed with the way I played. But I'm happy my teammates covered up for me," Pfeifle said.

The doubles wins for Costa in that round came from the teams of Ashton Politanoff-Tom Phan and Addison Allen-Kenny Trinh. Politanoff-Phan overpowered their opponents with consistent serving and well-placed volleys.

The Mustang's only singles win in the round came from Whitehead, with a surprising 6-2 win over his good friend John Vlasach.

"I play John a lot, and we know each other's games really well. I'm really happy to get a win," Whitehead said.

At the start of the third round, the score in sets was 6-6. After four more matches, the score was still tied, at 8-8, with two doubles matches still being played on the court. The matches were split, leaving the final set score at 9-9. When this occurs, the individual games are tallied up to determine the winner, and Mira Costa slipped by with an 82-80 victory. "This match was really important for us to win," Mustang Coach Jeff Verner said. "We needed to win it to help our chances of getting into the CIF playoffs." ER