SEAL BEACH – Corona del Mar’s doubles team of Kristina Evloeva and Roxanne MacKenzie only began playing together at the start of the CIF Southern Section individual tournament, yet played as they were a veteran tandem in most of their postseason matches.
Their run came to an end Friday when the No. 2-seeded Sea Kings doubles team was defeated 5-7, 4-6 by Marlborough’s unseeded tandem of Jordan Hickey and Arianna Stavropoulos in the semifinals of the Southern Section Individual Championships at the Seal Beach Tennis Center.
Evloeva and MacKenzie lost the first set after holding a 5-3 lead and never led in the second set although many of the points were closely contested.
“I feel like the whole match was really close,” Evloeva said. “We’d win a point and then they would win a point, but I think they won the closer points.”
Hickey and Stavropoulos took on No. 1-seeded Lauren Ko and Michelle Deng of Arcadia in the championship match.
The Marlborough pair had knocked off the No. 3-seeded team of Faith Pearson and Natalie Duffy of Murrieta Valley in three sets in a quarterfinal match Wednesday.
“Even when we were playing better than them and we were ahead, they were still steady the whole time,” MacKenzie said. “It was kind of like who could be the steadiest in that match.”
Mackenzie had played on doubles teams with and against Stavropoulos in past matches.
“Arianna Stavropoulos is really good at doubles,” Mackenzie said. “She is a really solid player.”
Evloeva, who has signed to play at UC Davis, said she rolled her right ankle while walking on the grass earlier in the day and the ankle bothered her throughout the match.
Mackenzie and Evloeva both felt they played better Friday than in their 6-1, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Murrietta Valley’s Faith Person and Natalie Duffy on Wednesday.
“I think they were better players, for sure,” Evloeva said of the Mustangs tandem.
The Corona del Mar pair advanced farther then any other singles player or doubles team in the county.
“They were definitely tough to play against, “Hickey said. “They were better at the baseline than any other team we played against. I think we were able to be a little bit better at the net and I think that gave us a little bit of an advantage.”
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