Breakers Off to Tough Start, Headed Home This Weekend

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Orange County Breakers tennis player Nicole Gibbs hits a return at the Breakers’ first home match in Newport Beach during a past season.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©

It’s tennis time and Newport’s own Orange County Breakers are back for another season, kicking off their home matches this weekend.

A diverse group of players will compete this season for the Breakers, who are looking to add another World TeamTennis trophy to go along with the 2017’s championship hardware, officials wrote in an announcement on Sunday.

Playing at home at Palisades Tennis Club, this year’s team features homegrown talent Steve Johnson participating in three WTT matches, while Victoria Azarenka and Genie Bouchard will each play a single match.

Joining the trio are James Ward and Luke Bambridge, both will be making their league debuts this season.

Orange County Breakers’ Steve Johnson playing at home in Newport Beach in during a past season.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©

And last, but certainly not least, Andreja Klepac joins the Breakers for the third consecutive season and Gibbs returns to Newport Beach for the fifth season in a row.

Coach Rick Leach is at the helm of the Breakers for the fourth season and is excited about the talented group of players General Manager Allen Hardison put together.

“I think we have one of the deepest teams this year. Last year was tough, we got the injury bug and never really got into a flow during the season,” Leach said in the prepared statement. “This team is ready to go; I think we have a great shot to make the playoffs if we can weather this four-match road trip to start the season.”

Although the Breakers’ first match fell short, as the Orlando Storm topped the Orange County Breakers by a score of 22-19 on Monday night in Florida, officials reported in a statement.

Another loss as the Breakers’ road trip continued Tuesday with a tough match, which included extended play, against the Philadelphia Freedoms. The Freedoms beat out the Breakers with a hard fought 23-15 win at Hagan Arena on the campus of St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania’s largest city.

Play continued on the east coast Wednesday as the Breakers took on the Washington Kastles at Kastles Stadium at Union Market in D.C.

Thursday the Breakers headed to Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in New York to go up against the New York Empire (scores were unavailable by press time).

After enduring an injury-plagued 2018 season in which every few days a new player was joining the squad, Orange County will hope they remain healthy because if they are at full strength, this squad will be in contention to win their second King Trophy in three seasons.

The Breakers will return to Newport Beach for a four-match homestand. In the final week of the season, the team will be on the road against the Vegas Rollers and San Diego Aviators, before contesting three of the final four matches at home.

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