Saddleback sweeps at home on heels of historical victory 13 years in making

Rodrigo Azurmendi

The Saddleback College men’s tennis team followed up a historic victory against College of the Desert with an impressive 9-0 victory over Fullerton College, Thursday.

Last Tuesday, the Gauchos scored a 7-2 win over the COD’s Roadrunners, winners of 10 of the last 12 state championships. The Gauchos last beat them in 1995, which also coincided with their own last state championship.

Against Fullerton, things went a lot smoother. No. 1 Bryce Keefer set up the tone with a 6-1, 6-1 singles victory over the Hornets’ top player.

“I felt confident playing today plus I like playing in warm weather,” Keefer said. “I felt good today.”

Keefer said his goals for the season include winning two-thirds of his matches at No. 1 singles, make it to the regional tournament and do well at the Ojai Tournament.

 Freshmen No. 2 Blake Emery and No. 3 Travis McClellan didn’t allow their opponents any games, achieving respective double-bagels (6-0, 6-0).

“I was in the zone the whole match,” Emery said. “I wasn’t getting as many serves as I wanted, [but] I didn’t let anything distract me.”

The Gauchos swept the remaining singles too. No. 4 Alvin Jogasuria (6-4, 6-3) and No.5 Charlie Hunt (6-0, 6-4) finished the job, while sophomore No. 6 Jason Bradshaw won by default as the Hornets only presented five players.

Gauchos coach Alec Horton said their stunning win over COD gave them a big morale boost.

“Obviously, any time you beat a team like that, it’s going to give you a positive influence,” Horton said. “We’re going to build on that win against COD.”

The Gauchos rounded up the scoreboard with wins by No.1 Keefer/Bradshaw (8-2) and No. 2  Vietbinh Nguyen/Daniel Rodriguez (8-3). No. 3 McClellan/Jogasuria won by default.

“Each match, our team gets stronger, especially at doubles because they’re learning to play with each other,” Horton said. “I want to get through the first half of the season to see where we are. I’m looking forward to our next matches.”

The Gauchos will look to extend their winning streak when they visit their sister-school, Irvine Valley College, next Tuesday before playing host to Cypress College on Thursday.

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