Falcons men’s tennis is playoff bound

Rocio Rodriguez and Rocio Rodriguez

The Falcons men’s tennis team has made its way into the South Coast Conference Tournament and is looking to win it all.

Head coach Alvin Kim is expecting the players to compete to the best of their ability so they can qualify for the state championships.

“The new format doesn’t allow for early exits, so everyone will have to qualify for state,” he explained.

The team has been working hard during its practices and matches to improve anything it feels it needs to improve on to be able to make it far in the tournament.

Since the Falcons will be facing opponents they have encountered during season, they know what to expect and can work to fix what they have done wrong in the past.

Sophomore Todd Jenkins is preparing for the tournament by working as hard as he can and is ready to step onto the court and leave it all out there.

Jenkins is also hoping his partner for the doubles matches, freshman Maurice Grijalva, is ready to go as well.

Jenkins and teammates know that their season has been better than last year but they’re still working hard to finish even better.

“So far the season has not gone as I expected to but compare to last season it’s really good,” Jenkins said.

Freshman Julian Avila also feels that their season has been pretty good so far but is waiting to see how playoffs will play out for them.

“For practice I just want to work on my consistency,” Avila explained.

Kim understand that it is up to the players to have a good match and move on in the tournament.

“It’ll all be about desire that day,” Kim said.

Kim has high expectations on freshman Nathan Eshmade, who is undefeated in conference. Kim also expects for partners Eshmade and freshman Matt Espiritu to have a good match in the doubles section.

Kim does admit that fatigue has been an issue.

“It’s late in the season and players are hurt and tired,” he said.

With the season so close to the end, the team is running on fumes to finish its season ranked in the top 10 in California.

Before playing its first match in the South Coast Conference Tournament on Thursday April 11, the team will first face Riverside City College in the Southern California Regional Team Playoffs.

Game time is slated for 4 p.m. at Riverside City College.