30 years later, women’s tennis returns to state championship

Toni Reveles

It’s been 30 years since the Cerritos College women’s tennis team has won a state championship and things are looking to change.

After breezing through the playoffs, the No. 1 ranked Cerritos team has a spot in the championship against De Anza on Wednesday, April 20.

Head coach Alvin Kim said, “It’s been a work in progress, I’ve had a few good men’s teams the past 12 years and we’re usually a top five team, I’ve always envisioned winning with the men but thrilled with the women’s season, I feel like Cerritos women’s tennis is where we’ve worked for it to be over the past six years.”

This season the women have had a run for the state championship going 24-1.

Kim had not won a conference title with the women in his coaching career but this year he did, “I am very happy about winning a conference title with the women it’s my first ever at this college.

“We have come very close several times but to have finally accomplish it is nice,” he added.

It is no secret that his No. 1, Taylor Heath and No. 2, Anastasia Khomyachenko, players are very close in level of play, Kim sometimes switches them to give them more recruiting stats but has said Heath will be No. 1 all the way through.

“It feels great to be a part of a historical team, we are very excited about going to state,” Heath said.

Heath who is 22-6 this season in singles, actually lost her match in the finals to get to state.

“Taylor split COD’s No. 1 both going three sets, but a 6-4, 6-4 game is pretty close,” Kim stated.

Heath and Khomyachenko are doubles partners with the record 13-7, lost their doubles match as well.

“Me and Anastasia are not doubles players so we know we struggle in that area but the rest of the team does great with singles and doubles which it practices everyday,” said Heath about her doubles lost.

Kim couldn’t agree more with Heath adding, “Doubles has been unnatural and uncomfortable for those two, they try but it just doesn’t flow the way a good team should.”

But between his two top players his most outstanding player is Danielle Pastor who is 23-1.

“If I had to pick just one woman, and it’s hard to just pick one, I would say Pastor because she was suppose to start the season off the bench, she currently has just one loss and has been very critical to our team’s success,” Kim said.

The women are now looking forward to play De Anza in the State Championship.

“We were preparing for Fresno, but De Anza got hot in the playoffs, it’ll be close, all championship matches are,” Kim expressed.

Heath is just excited to be going, “I’m just excited to be at the championship with my girls and experience such a formal event.”

Although the women’s season is one loss away from having a perfect season Kim said that doesn’t really mean much, “A perfect season ends with a state title, I’d trade 20 losses for one.”

The state championship is Wednesday, April 20 at 1 p.m.