International players land

Tiger’s men’s tennis team adds a helping hand with five new players from around the globe

Posted: Feb. 13, 2015 | Written by Edith Noriega

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Riverside City College men’s tennis team opened up the spring season with a vast variety of international players joining the team.

Ranging from the enriched folk art traditions of Mexico, the “City of Love” or also known as France, most famous and celebrated carnival in the world in Brazil, renowned for its bakeries in Belgium and creative arts and culture in Belarus.

The team lost four of their six starters from last year’s team so RCC Head Coach Jim Elton used the fall semester’s tennis class for tryouts.

“Our No. 1 singles Danny Garcia is still finishing his degree is looking to transfer in the fall, David Stenco, No. 2 single transferred to Whittier and No. 3 single also transferred to a four year university last year,” Elton said.

Newcomers include Belgium native Mathiew Willockx takes over the No. 2 singles, Antoine Voisin a France native at No. 3 singles and Cesar Canizales from Mexico rounds up the No. 5 singles.

Returning players include Connor Stevenson and Patrick Stetco hold charge of No. 1 and No. 4 singles.

Elton explains that with so many new players the team really needs to get plenty of match experience and learn how to compete at the college level and not beat themselves up so much.

“As a team we really got to get better in doubles,” Elton said.

“Most of them instinctively are not very good doubles players. Doubles is a more aggressive part of the game and most of them are pretty conservative singles players. It’s out of their element because it forces them to come to the net and be more aggressive.”

The Tigers played their first nonconference match of the season Jan. 27 against Mount San Antonio College winning 6-2.

Willockx, who was the last player to join the team this past Jan. wasted no time, defeating Erik Martinez 6-4, 7-6 in his inaugurating game.

“I’m just trying to do my best here in the United States,” Willockx said.

“I was very concentrated from beginning to end in my match. I do want to work on my forearms I think I can improve that as the season goes on.”

Elton was enthusiastic about the upcoming season but thinks that the team is going to have a lot of close matches and a lot of those are going to be determined by the doubles points.

“They will do great things this season, they get tired of playing each other so I think they are very prepared, ” Elton said.

RCC will play their first conference home game against Cypress College Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.