Falcons’ men’s tennis team crowned Southern California Champions
April 24, 2018
The Cerritos College men’s tennis team are now the Southern California Champions and for the first time in the college’s history they will play for the California Community College Athletic Association Dual Team State Championship.
They have had the opportunity to reach the SoCal finals match in previous seasons, but were never capable of moving forward into the state finals.
The Falcons team now 27-2 overall, won the SoCal regional finals game against the Ventura College Pirates in a 5-0 shutout.
The tennis team swept Ventura College in both singles and doubles, the Falcons seeded No. 1 in the state, while the Pirates seeded No. 2.
Following the SoCal win, they will now travel to Ventura College to face the Northern California Champions, the American River College Beavers.
The Falcons have faced the Beavers once before on March 29 in a regular season match, in which they came out victorious 9-0.
During the SoCal finals match against the Pirates, the day started with three doubles’ matches that went the Falcons’ way.
With three wins in the doubles under the team’s belt, they went on into the singles’ matches with a steady lead.
The team won two out of the six singles’ matches, but didn’t finish the other four. The Falcons still led the other four matches until the end of match time.
Head coach Quinn Caldaron thought the team showed out a great performance and played very well.
“It was really about sticking to the routine and doing what we practiced,” Caldaron said.
Caldaron said, “It was a luxury to walk into such a great team and a good group of guys and girls. They’ve been more than awesome with how they’ve welcomed me and how they rallied together and stuck together as a team.”
The head coach thinks that if the Falcons play how they did against Ventura College going into the state championships they’ll be just fine.
“Our biggest thing is just staying mentally focused and our skills speak for themselves, so as long as we’re on top of our game and we focus on what we do best, we’re gonna do fine,” Caldaron said.
Freshman Kent Hunter won one of the doubles’ matches, along side his partner freshman Victor Castro.
Hunter gave praise to the team’s overall performance in the doubles as they wiped the Pirates 3-0 in that section of the game.
“The doubles were very solid, all three teams played really well. I think it was one of the best [performances] that the entire team has [given] overall,” Hunter said.
Unfortunately Hunter was not able to finish his singles match, but was up a set and was leading the score toward the end of the match time.
“We have a chance at winning state, both the men and the women’s team,” said Hunter referring to the win against Ventura College.
Freshman Dario Rico won both of the matches he participated in, including the doubles with his teammate sophomore Kwangeun Lee.
Rico came out victorious in his singles match, one of the two that completed the actual matchup.
“We came with a lot of energy and a very positive attitude,” Rico said.
Rico says the win was important to the team because they have been on fire and very focused.
“We can get it and we want to get the ring!” Rico said joyfully.
Rico is only trying to improve on his nervousness for the coming game against American River College.
He says how the nervousness before his doubles match against Ventura College caused him to play with a disadvantage.
- Hunter and Castro (8-3)
- Freshman Alex Prokopchuk and sophomore Marcos Paulo Silvestre (8-4)
- Rico and Lee (8-6)
- Hunter led 6-4, 3-0 DNF
- Castro led 6-3, 5-2 DNF
- Prokopchuk won 6-3, 7-5
- Sophomore Biel Roca Carreras led 6-3, 4-3 DNF
- Rico won 6-0, 6-1
- Lee led 6-2, 5-4 DNF
On the same day, the Falcons’ women’s tennis team won the SoCal championship for the second time in three seasons.
The Falcons swept its opponent Glendale College 5-0.
They will now travel to Ventura College and face the Northern California Champion De Anza College.
They’ve played De Anza College once before in the beginning of the season and won 8-1.
In 2016, the women’s team defeated De Anza College for their first ever CCCAA State Championship.
The Cerritos College men’s tennis team will head to Ventura College and play American River College for the state title on April 25.
Following the state championship match the Falcons will travel to Ojai for the individual state championship tournament on April 26 into the weekend.
Southern California Preview meet tests the Falcons
The Cerritos College men and women’s cross country teams hosted the Southern California Preview meet which sits as a tester for all participating teams, for the Southern California Championships that will be held in the coming months.
The women’s team came in 17th place with 424 team points amongst 20 other teams running a 5k race.
This being a home course, head coach Bryan Ramos expects the team to know the course really well.
Ramos said the women’s team was running short in terms of what they were able to score due to an injury that sophomore captain Monica Bautista suffered in the warm-ups that day.
“We got out well, but at the mid-point we just faded and that’s really where we need to work on,” Ramos said.
He continued, “This is a preview meet, so we’re gonna get a chance to run this [course] twice again.”
Freshman Grace Cervantes said, “I felt good about myself, my time keeps improving every race.”
Cervantes came in first for the women’s team at the SoCal Preview.
“It makes me happy because I work hard in practice, at the end of the day hard work pays off,” Cervantes said.
No matter what pain Cervantes feels during a race, she tells herself that it won’t last forever and pushes herself to finish the race faster.
Closing the gaps and working as a group is something that the team needs a lot of work on.
Cervantes feels, after being three meets in, more confident going into the team’s next meet.
Sophomore Debora Lopez-Guzman said, “I felt like I could’ve gone faster, my time wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.”
Lopez-Guzman said she needs to stop being comfortable during the race and if she sees herself closing in on a teammate she should catch up instead of deciding not to.
She continued to say that the team has been getting better each race, so by the end of the season they will be at their goal.
The men’s team ran a four mile race and placed eighth with 259 team points competing against 27 other schools.
Ramos said, “I was happy with how the men’s team went in, our top three looked great, our fourth kinda faded and now we just need our fifth guy to step up.”
Ramos explained how the other schools they came up against are schools with are deep and have guys that can step up.
Freshman Fabian Zuniga said, “My first three teammates ran amazing today, I, personally, didn’t have the best day.
Zuniga felt dead from the start of the race and says that his confidence and choices played a big role in how he ran at the SoCal Preview meet.
Zuniga said that team is doing good, but would like to personally help the team stepping up in competitions.
Freshman Pablo Calderon said, “I believe I did good, but I know I have much more in store and could’ve done better.”
Being only three meets into the season there is still a lot of pushing and hard work to do for the men’s team, according to Calderon.
“We’re doing good place wise, but we need to work on our pack running,” Calderon said.
Calderon ended with, “I like not to overthink when I’m running because then I’ll get nervous and that’ll hold me back.”
The cross country teams will host two more home races at Don Knabe Community Regional Park in Cerritos.
The teams have the South Coast Conference Championships on Oct. 26, followed by the Southern California Championships on Nov. 2.
The Falcons will travel to Las Vegas this weekend for the UNLV Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 22.
Ramos said the competition for this meet will be at a higher caliber because the cross country team will be running against division one and two teams, but believes that they can handle the meeting.