By Norihito Ikeda / Staff Writer
By Norihito Ikeda / Staff Writer
Ventura College men’s tennis team swept the Riverside City College Tigers in the first round of the Southern California Regional Team Tournament 5-0 on April 17.
The loss to the Ventura Pirates broke the Tigers’ three-game winning streak the team had going into the tournament.
Tigers No. 1 singles player Jordan Gobatie was the only Tigers player, who managed to win a set against the Pirates.
Gobatie had the lead going into the third set against Pirates player Jonathan Lin before the match was stopped in the third set.
The match between Gobatie and Lin was stopped because the Pirates had swept the Tigers, winning five points from the other five singles matches, which was enough to secure the victory.
Theo Arruda lost against Cameron Lee by 6-1, 6-1 in No. 3 singles, Tavyn Libao lost against Eder Giotto by 6-1, 6-2 in No. 5 singles, and Josh Stevenon lost against Tyler Sperry by 6-2, 6-2 in No. 6 singles.
Aliaksandr Pesniak had the close game against Paulo Fernandez in the first set, but he lost in No. 4 singles by 7-6, 6-3.
Ramazan Nureev, the No. 2 player for the Tigers, retired during the second set.
In every conference game for the Tigers, the team has always won or tied in at least one singles match.
Jim Elton, the coach of the Tigers, said before the match against the Pirates, “I do not think Ventura is as strong as they have been in the past but they are still very strong.”
Elton spoke about how familiar of a playoff opponent the Pirates are.
“It seems that we always end up playing them in the playoffs,” he said. “They have eliminated us from the playoffs many times.”
The Tigers were given the No. 6 seed in the tournament, after finishing with an 8-2 record and second place in the Orange Empire Conference.
The Tigers only two conference losses were against the Saddleback Gauchos, who finished in first place of the conference standings.
Elton said that they were depressed when they lost against Gauchos.
“They knew what was on the line, they knew that if we won, we would be conference champions and the higher seed going in the playoffs,” he said.
The Tigers did not let the loss to the Gauchos affect their confidence for the remainder of the regular season as they finished on a three game winning streak before entering the tournament.
“I do not think they changed much,” he said. “They just played at the level that they needed to play at.”
Even though the Tigers finished their playoff team tournament, they have the playoff individual tournament for singles and doubles players.
They have three singles players who are seeded in the individual tournament: Gobatie, Nureev, and Arruda.
Gobatie, who is the No. 1 singles player for the Tigers, is the second seed in the individual tournament.
“He was close to being the No. 1 seed, but he had lost against Saddleback and lost against Irvine,” Elton said.
Nureev is the third seed going into the tournament.
“Our No. 2 player is seeded higher than most of the other No. 1 players in the tournament,” Elton said.
Gobatie and Nureev are also seeded as the No. 1 doubles team in the tournament.
“In order to make it out of conference, if you are seeded in the top eight, you have to hold your spot,” he said. “If you are not, you have to beat somebody in the top eight to take the spot.”
The tournament will be held on May 3-5 at Irvine Valley College.