Top-ranked Newport Harbor stumbled last week against Palos Verdes Peninsula, but the Sailors appear to be back on track after a convincing 12-6 girls' tennis victory over Sea View League rival Woodbridge Thursday.
The visiting Warriors thought they spotted a weakness in Newport Harbor's doubles teams, which lost all nine sets to Peninsula. So Woodbridge Coach Ric Barth moved his second- and third-best singles players, Adriana Hockicko and Elizabeth Exon, into doubles.
But the strategy backfired as Newport Harbor won five doubles points, three by the No. 1 team of Kristen Case and Jenny Meyer. With Hockicko and Exon in doubles, the Warriors' No. 1 singles player, Susanna Lingman, was given an ultimatum, sweep or else.
Lingman appeared to be on her way to a sweep as she led Sailor No. 1 Natalie Braverman, 4-2, in the first round. But Lingman's serve deserted her and Braverman picked up her game, winning the last four games to take the set, 6-4. The set turned what would have been a 3-3 match score into a 4-2 Newport Harbor lead.
From there, Newport Harbor (10-1, 2-0) coasted.
Lingman said she felt the pressure.
"I knew it was up to me to get three," said Lingman, who went on to win her next two sets easily. "I was trying not to put pressure on myself, but maybe I did."
Woodbridge (8-2, 1-1) will get another crack at Newport Harbor in two weeks.