M. Tennis: Falcons open season with 8-1 win

M. Tennis shuts out El Camino, 9-0
M. Tennis shuts out El Camino, 9-0

Taking on NCAA Division III Cal Lutheran University in their first match of the season, the Cerritos College men's tennis team came away with an 8-1 win on Saturday. The Falcons (1-0) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after doubles play and went on to win five straight set singles matches. The team will now host Los Angeles Pierce College at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Playing in heavy winds throughout the match, Cerritos was able to put themselves in great position to win the match when the #2 doubles team of sophomores Aleks Trifunovic (Katrinelunds Gymnasium, Sweden) and James Zhang (Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Language School, China) fought back from a 4-1 deficit to earn an 8-6 advantage. The Falcons took that 3-0 doubles momentum into singles play and held off the Kingsmen.

Using a sophomore-driven roster, Cerritos saw Trifunovic, the team's #3 singles player, seal the victory with his 6-2, 6-2 win. Wins by second-year players also came from #1 player Sasha Krasnov (School 106, Ukraine), who earned a 6-3, 6-0 win, while Zhang posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory in the #5 position. Coming in to play singles, sophomore Henry Ayesiga (Malezi School, Kenya) pulled out a close 7-6 first set and then earned a 6-1 win at the #6 match.

The only setback of the day came at #2 singles, where sophomore Nikita Katsnelson (Odessa Gymnasium No. 1, Ukraine) dropped a, 0-6, 5-7 match. He started the day by teaming with Krasnov for an 8-5 doubles win. Freshman Bruno Duarte (Centro Educacional Rogêdo, Brazil) earned his first collegiate singles win with a 6-2, 7-6 victory at the #4 singles position, while he teamed with freshman Marcos Paulo Silvestre (Colégio Tiradentes, Brazil) for an 8-4 doubles victory.

DOUBLES
Sasha Krasnov/Nikita Katsnelson (CERR) def. Dara Kashani/Ransom Braaten (LU), 8-5
Aleks Trifunovic/James Zhang (CERR) def. Lucas Tilly/Jake Haffner (LU), 8-6
Bruno Duarte/Marcos Paulo Silvestre (CERR) def. Sebastian Ariza/Austin Wang (LU), 8-4

SINGLES
Sasha Krasnov (CERR) def. Dara Kashani (LU), 6-3, 6-0
Ransom Braaten (LU) def. Nikita Katsnelson (CERR), 6-0, 7-5
Aleks Trifunovic (CERR) def. Lucas Tilly (LU), 6-2, 6-2
Bruno Duarte (CERR) def. Jake Haffner (LU), 6-2, 7-6
James Zhang (CERR) def. Mike Sulahian (LU), 6-0, 6-2
Henry Ayesiga (CERR) def. Sebastian Ariza (LU),  7-6, 6-1