Irvine Valley College sophomore Simon Guillin attempts to hit the ball back at his opponent. Guillin and his teammates are celebrating a birth in the state championship after defeating College of the Desert, 5-0 on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy of Irvine Valley College Athletics.)
Irvine Valley College’s men’s tennis team continued their successful season on Saturday with a 5-0 win over College of the Desert. The victory puts the Lasers into the California Community College Athletic Association Team State Championship Game.
This was the second consecutive year that IVC played Desert in the regional finals and the second consecutive year that the Lasers defeated Desert in the regional finals.
IVC head coach, Ross Duncan, explained that the team had more energy going into this game, than they did last year, because they had played less matches going into Saturday.
“We had more energy than last year, because last year they had played so much tennis the weekend before,” Duncan said. “I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.”
IVC dominated Desert from the start, winning all three of their doubles matches to get a quick 3-0 lead. The sophomore team of Guillermo Ucelay and Simon Guillin started off the beating with an 8-1 victory. This was significant for Ucelay and Guillen, because they had been severely outplayed in their match on Tuesday and ended up losing that one, 8-4.
The Lasers also got key contributions in the doubles portion of the match from freshmen Scott Paz, Carson Williams, Valentin Baize, and sophomore Max Rameau.
When doubles matches were over, the event turned to the singles competitions. The Lasers needed just two victories to win the match and got those when Guillin and freshman Bruno Figlia pummeled their opponents 6-1 and 6-3.
Irvine Valley College head coach Ross Duncan is hoisted by his team in celebration of their win on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy of Irvine Valley College Atheltics)
The remaining singles matches were halted and rendered unfinished, because Figlia and Guillin’s victories had won the event.
Duncan was extremely proud of his team’s effort on Saturday and called it “the best performance of the year.”
IVC will now move on to the state championship and play a very worthy opponent in Foothill College who is a perfect 20-0 on the season. Foothill defeated American River College, 5-0 on Saturday to give themselves a spot in the championship.
Duncan said he does not know much about Foothill, but does know they have a perfect record and he believes if his team plays the way they played on Saturday, they can win it all.
“I don’t know much about [Foothill], but all I know is that they are undefeated,” Duncan said. “The secret to success against Foothill is to do well in doubles like we did [Saturday].
The state championship match will be played at the Pierpont Racquet Club in Ventura, California and is tentatively schedule to start at 1 p.m. The Lasers will be looking for their first ever championship in men’s tennis.