M. Tennis: Conference win keeps team undefeated

File Photo: James Zhang helped Cerritos defeat Mt. SAC
File Photo: James Zhang helped Cerritos defeat Mt. SAC

With their 7-2 win over visiting Mt. San Antonio College on Tuesday, the Cerritos College men's tennis team remained undefeated in South Coast Conference play. The Falcons (19-3, 6-0) will lock down their second straight 20-win season with a victory over host El Camino College at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday.

The day started with Cerritos winning two of the three doubles matches, as the top pair of freshmen Oleksandr Krasnov (School 106, Ukraine) and Nikita Katsnelson (Odessa Gymnasium No. 1, Ukraine) worked together for an 8-4 win, while the tandem of freshman James Zhang (Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Language School, China) and Aleks Trifunovic (Katrinelunds Gymnasium, Sweden) secured an 8-5 win.

In singles, the Falcons played without sophomore Agustin Lombardi (E.S.D.S., Argentina), but received a great effort from freshman Eliot Dota (Paris, France), who earned a 7-6, 6-1 win in the #5 position. Sophomore Edgar Munoz (Paramount HS) fought back after losing the first set at #6, 0-6 to post the win when he defeated Phillip Beniga, 6-4, 6-3 in the next two sets.

Most of the day's drama came at the top of the ladder, as the Mounties inserted their top player, Ron Kang (12.26 UTR rating) into the #2 spot on the ladder, while their #1 position was held by Erik Martinez (9.69 UTR). A player's Universal Tennis Rating is based on wins and losses against opponents, as well as how many matches in which a player has competed.

The top singles player for Cerritos is Krasnov (12.27) and he made quick work of Martinez, while Katsnelson (11.74) was defeated by Kang, 6-7, 2-6. The Falcons also received straight set wins by Zhang (6-2, 6-0) and sophomore Mark Antoniuk (W. 124 School, Russia), 6-0, 6-4.


Oleksandr Krasnov (CERR) def. Erik Martinez (MSAC), 6-1, 6-2
Ron Kang (MSAC) def. Nikita Katsnelson (CERR), 7-6, 6-2
James Zhang (CERR) def. Kenny Sakata (MSAC), 6-2, 6-0
Mark Antoniuk (CERR) def. Jeffrey Alidina (MSAC), 6-0, 6-4
Eliot Dota (CERR) def. Ismael Rodriguez (MSAC), 7-6, 6-1
Edgar Munoz (CERR) def. Phillip Beniga (MSAC), 0-6, 6-4, 6-3


Oleksandr Krasnov/Nikita Katsnelson (CERR) def. Erik Martinez/Jeffrey Alidina (MSAC), 8-4
James Zhang/Aleks Trifunovic (CERR) def. Ron Kang/Kenny Sakata (MSAC), 8-5
Ismael Rodriguez/Kimlong Phan (MSAC) def. Mark Antoniuk/Agustin Lombardi (CERR), 8-4