M. Tennis: Win over Ventura all but locks down #2 seed

Agustin Lombardi and the Falcons earned a convincing 7-2 win over Ventura
Agustin Lombardi and the Falcons earned a convincing 7-2 win over Ventura

Heading into their non-conference match against visiting Ventura College, the Cerritos College men's tennis team knew that a win would almost assuredly lock down the #2-seed for the upcoming Southern California Regional Team Playoffs. The Falcons (21-3) not only posted a win over the Pirates (13-2), they won handily, 7-2. The team has one South Coast Conference match remaining to close out the regular season, as they will travel to College of the Desert on Thursday for a 2:00 p.m. start.

In the win, there were several outstanding performances by Cerritos. At the top of the list was the play of sophomore Agustin Lombardi (E.S.D.S., Argentina), who earned a pair of team points with his play in singles and doubles. In doubles action, he and sophomore Mark Antoniuk (W. 124 School, Russia) earned a solid 8-2 win to help the Falcons take a 2-1 team lead into singles play. It was his impressive 6-3, 6-0 win over Guenter Newman in the #3 match that put the team's depth on display.

Another match that helped the team to the convincing win was in the #1 doubles match where freshmen Oleksandr Krasnov (School 106, Ukraine) and Nikita Katsnelson (Odessa Gymnasium No. 1, Ukraine) pulled out a thrilling 9-7 win over Corey Karen and Hironori Koyangi. It looked like the Falcon duo was going to earn a comfortable win, as they led 6-4 and were leading in the next game. However, the Pirate pair picked up wins in the next three games to take a 7-6 advantage. But Cerritos broke serve to tie the match at 7-7 and then recorded the next eight straight points for a 9-7 win and momentum into singles.

Koyanagi, the defending singles state champion, was surprisingly playing at #2 singles, where he earned a straight set win over Katsnelson. But Krasnov countered that in the #1 match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Karen.

The Falcons also received outstanding showings from the rest of their singles players, as freshmen Aleks Trifunovic (Katrinelunds Gymnasium, Sweden) got stronger in his 6-4, 6-2 win over Diego Rodrigues, while James Zhang (Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Language School, China) laid no doubt in his 6-3, 6-0 win at #5. The team scoring rounded out with freshman Eliot Dota (Paris, France) earning a dominant 6-3, 6-1 win over Michael Burr.


Oleksandr Krasnov (CERR) def. Corey Karen (VC), 6-3, 6-2
Hironori Koyanagi (VC) def. Nikita Katsnelson (CERR), 6-4, 6-3
Agustin Lombardi (CERR) def. Guenter Newman (VC), 6-3, 6-0
Aleks Trifunovic (CERR) def. Diego Rodrigues (VC), 6-4, 6-2
James Zhang (CERR) def. Evan Gazic (VC), 6-3, 6-0
Eliot Dota (CERR) def. Michael Burr (VC), 6-3, 6-1


Oleksandr Krasnov/Nikita Katsnelson (CERR) def. Corey Karen/Hironori/Koyanagi (VC), 9-7
Guenter Newman/Michael Burr (VC) def. Aleks Trifunovic/James Zhang (CERR, 8-1
Agustin Lombardi/Mark Antoniuk (CERR) def. Leonardo Santos/Diego Rodrigues (VC), 8-2

Photos by Daryl Peterson