Second-ranked Dana Hills won five of six sets at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to defeat University, 10-8, Tuesday in a first-round Division I boys' tennis match that neither coach was too happy about playing. The Southern Section's new regional playoff format set up a match that normally would have been played in the second round or quarterfinals.
"Everybody in the other two regions must be foaming," University Coach Josh Davis said. "They don't have to play an Orange County team until the finals."
Dana Hills (18-2) was ranked fifth in the section's final poll and University (14-6) was in the top 10 all season before dropping out the last week.
"This is ridiculous for all teams having to play these type of first-round matches," Stephens said. "There's no winners here."
But because somebody had to win, Dana Hills decided it would advance to the second round. The Dolphins' top singles player, Brandon Fallon, played with tendinitis in his right elbow and lost to University's Greg Biorkman, 7-6. Biorkman swept his three sets at No. 1 singles but he didn't have enough help.
Dana Hills' No. 1 team of Reid Spiegel and Luke Gates won two of three sets and No. 2 Scott Jason and Blake Wilson-Hayden swept. The Dolphins will play Aliso Niguel in the second round Thursday.
"We're still giving away too many sets," Stephens said. "We can't afford to do that against Aliso Niguel and win."