Hosting this year's USTA/ITA Southern Regional over the weekend,
members of the Cerritos College men's and women's tennis teams
proved to be too tough for their competition. Sophomore
Nathan Eshmade, who reached the championship match
of the CCCAA Men's Tennis Singles Tournament as a freshman, has
earned the #1 ranking in Southern California after winning the
singles title. Eshmade teamed with incoming freshman Amadi
Kagoma to win the doubles title. They were joined on the
women's side with sophomore Samantha Judan, who
became the first Falcon player to win the singles title.
As a result of their championships, all will travel to Ft.
Myers, FL on October 10 to compete in the USTA/ITA Small Colleges
National Championship. Cerritos holds the #1-spots in all three
competitions, while the women's doubles team of Judan and
freshman Stef Flores were defeated in the quarterfinals.
In singles play, Eshmade easily dispatched David Stanko of Riverside City College, 6-2, 6-1, but trailed Vitor Mendez of Ventura College, 2-6, 1-2 in the championship match. A tactical change by Eshamde paid dividends, as he was able to fight back and win the second set, 6-2. In the third and deciding set, the score was tied at 4-4, but Mendez led, 40-0. But Eshmade reeled off five straight points to break serve for the match and went on for a 6-4 win. Eshmade and Kagoma tore through the draw and lost only three games to in the schools' first doubles ITA title. They upended Mendes and Zach Pittman, 8-3 in the finals.
As for Judan, who struggled through her freshman season, she was seeded #2 and started the day by defeating Zionne Lee of Ventura College, 6-1, 6-1 and then dominated #1-seeded Kaori Tsuda of Santa Monica College, 6-3, 6-3 for her first #1 ranking and collegiate tournament win.