Irvine Valley College celebrates winning their first state championship in school history. The Lasers defeated Foothill College, 5-2. (Irvine Valley College Athletics)
For the first time in school history, the men’s tennis team at Irvine Valley College are state champions. The Lasers defeated the Owls of Foothill College, 5-2 on Wednesday in Ventura, California. IVC finished the 18-1, with their only loss coming to Concordia University who competes in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“It feels unbelievable,” Lasers head coach Ross Duncan said after winning the title. “The team is thrilled, I’m thrilled and it’s just a great honor.”
The Lasers were in the state championship last season, but fell to Fresno City by the score of 5-2. Duncan said the big difference between this year and last year was the doubles performance.
“The big step up from last year was the fact that we went 0-3 in doubles last year,” Duncan said. “This year we went 2-1.”
The match started off with an 8-5 win by IVC sophomores Simon Guillin and Guillermo Ucelay. The second match was a nail-biter involving sophomores Max Rameau and Valentin Baize. The result was a 9-8 loss for the Lasers duo, which is the closest score that could have possibly occur in a doubles match.
The final doubles match went IVC’s way after freshmen Scott Paz and Carson Williams won 8-2 giving the Lasers a 2-1 lead going into the singles matches.
Ucelay began the singles competition with an easy 6-1, 6-3 win. Ucelay’s doubles partner Guillin then lost his match 6-2, 6-4 making the score 3-2.
IVC sophomore Simon Guillin (front, left) and Guillermo Ucelay (back, right) playing in the first doubles match of the day. (Irvine Valley College Athltics)
Duncan talked about his team’s fortitude when the games get close citing their team spirit and will to win.
“It really comes down to our team spirit,” Duncan said. “When matches get close it really makes a difference.”
Williams gave the Lasers a 4-2 lead after thrashing his opponent 6-2, 6-2. Quickly after that, freshman Tony Selim dominated his opponent winning 6-1, 6-2 to give IVC their first state chmapionship. Duncan was extremely proud of his team and was glad to be a part of this run.
“My team is just amazing and they have so much heart and team spirit,” Duncan said. “I feel so happy for them and so lucky to be a part of it.”
Duncan believes the team will be good next year as well and believes that they will have a shot at the championship next year as well.
“I am expecting to have a good team and we’ll try a win it next year too!”
If IVC were to get back to the championship next year, it would be the third consecutive time the Lasers have been in the championship under Duncan.