By Josh Gandela
The men’s tennis team notch up a few more victories, including a win over the four-time defending state champions Irvine Valley College Lasers, and bump their undefeated record up to 16-0.
The 8-1 commanding performance against the Lasers on March 8 began with a doubles sweep which set the tone for the rest of the day. The momentum shifted over to singles, where five out of six players walked off the courts without dropping a set. Number four seeded player Sami Akouz rolled through his singles match with a score of 6-0, 6-1, while Kayne Trustfull, number one seeded, wrapped up at 6-1, 6-1.
Following this triumph, the Tigers continued to be an unstoppable force at Fullerton College on March 13. The match was going well until a postponement was called due to rainfall, with RCC ahead 3-0 after winning in doubles.
Going up against Saddleback’s Gauchos later that week, the Tigers got off to a rough start, losing two out of three doubles matches. The tide would be turned, however, with their entire singles lineup pulling through with straight sets all across the scorecard. Trustfull went to work, as did Thomas Pidoux and Thierry van Os, each finishing at 6-2, 6-2. Elie-Noe Nicolay dominated his opponent with an easy 6-1, 6-1 victory, and the Tigers went home with a final score of 7-2.
The 6-3 win over the Orange Coast College Pirates concluded a stretch of six games on the road that did not slow down the Tigers’ swelling win streak. They now stand 7-0 in the Orange Empire Conference and take it back to the Riverside courts on March 23, where they will face the Cerritos Falcons.
RCC Women’s Tigers remain in third place in the Orange Empire Conference, now standing at 7-5.
The Tigers hosted the Irvine Valley College Lasers on March 8 and managed to take two out of the three doubles matches right out of the gate, entailing that a split in singles would secure the win. Despite number two singles Heather Graf winning 6-1, 6-1 and Emilia Lopez managing to win a tough match at 6-2, 6-7 and 13-11, the Lasers managed to prevail in singles and defeat the Tigers 5-4.
Moving forward, the Tigers bounced back with two 6-3 victories over Fullerton College on March 13 and Saddleback College on March 15, whom the Tigers had both beaten in their previous match ups.
The Tigers’ doubles upped their game this time around and swept the Hornets pairs, with number one team Ellia Rosado and Heather Graf getting their revenge with a score of 8-1. Autumn Keay, number three singles, got the job done finishing at 6-1, 6-1.
The results following the Saddleback Gauchos match were reminiscent of their previous encounter. The Tigers were defeated at the top singles and doubles spots, but eventually took care of business, grabbing two doubles wins and four straight set singles wins, including Jolene Beaulieu’s 6-0, 6-2 win and Autumn Keay scoring 6-2, 6-0.
On March 20, the Orange Coast College Pirates, who had won the state title last year, seized a huge 8-1 win against RCC.
“A highlight so far from the week would be yesterday’s doubles match at number one Rosado and Graf beat Orange Coast number one team 8 to 5. … “Rosado and Graf are a relatively new team and they seem to be working together really well,” said head coach Nikki Bonzoumet.
RCC Tigers are set to play at home against the current number one team in the state, the Cerritos Falcons, at 2 p.m. on March 23.