On the first day of the CCCAA State Championships, the Cerritos College men's tennis team had all six of their singles and all three doubles teams advance to the second day. Competing in Ojai at various locations, the Falcons will look to continue their first day success, which included three upset singles wins and one in doubles play.
In singles action, #1-seeded Sasha Krasnov (School 106, Ukraine), who advanced to the semifinals as a freshman, opened the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Joel Sorman of San Diego Mesa College. He will take on unseeded Johnny Barcohana of Los Angeles Pierce College at 8:00 a.m. on Friday at Pacifica High School for a berth in the Round of 16. Sophomore Nikita Katsnelson (Odessa Gymnasium No. 1, Ukraine), seeded #4, posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over unseeded Robert Smith of Reedley College in his first match. He takes on #14-seeded Eric De Romas of American River College at 8:00 a.m. on Friday at Channel Islands Raquet Club.
Also seeded for the tournament, sophomore Aleks Trifunovic (Katrinelund Gymnasiet, Sweden) defeated Jesse Pawid of Chabot College, 6-0, 6-2 in his first match and the #13-seed will take on unseeded Rico Gato at the Marriott Residence Inn at 8:00 a.m. on Friday. Gato upset #5-seeded Niklas Staniszweski of De Anza College in his first match, 6-2, 6-4.
One of the three unseeded upset matches posted by the Falcons came from freshman Carlos Mendez (Instituto de Educación Secundaria Ies El Palo, Spain), who opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Diego Santos of Santa Barbara City College. In his second match, Mendez ousted #4-seeded Joseph Greco of Foothill College, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the Round of 32. On Friday morning, he will take on #14-seeded Bill Whitaker of Ventua College at the Marriott Residence Inn.
Playing in the same bracket, unseeded sophomore James Zhang (Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Language School, China) and freshman Bruno Duarte (Centro Educacional Rogêdo, Brazil) each earned wins over seeded players on Thursday. Zhang started the day with a 6-2, 6-2 win over #12-seeded JT Barcellos of Chabot College and will face Cypress College's Vincent Reynaud, a #6-seed, at Channel Islands Raquet Club Friday morning. Duarte earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory over unseeded Cruz Thayne of Ventura College before his dominant 6-1, 6-0 win over #8-seed Daniel Kim of Foothill College. Duarte will take on #10-seed Chris Pope of Glendale College at Pacifica High School Friday morning.
Doubles action saw Krasnov and Katsnelson, the state runner-up last season, score a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ivan Martinez and Jose Ruiz of San Diego City College on Thursday. They will look to move another step closer to the championships on Friday at 12:30 p.m. when they take on unseeded Austin Reynolds Gabe De Jesus of Grossmont College. Seeded #6, Trifunovic and Zhang opened with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over Abiel Lacandazon and Olfie Zabala of Cosumnes River College. They will take on unseeded Fabian Cardenas and Chan Ul of Bakersfield College at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the Channel Islands Raquet Club.
The team's final doubles team, unseeded Kwang-Eun Lee (Sunny Hills HS) and Marcos Paulo Silvestre (Colégio Tiradentes, Brazil) earned a pair of wins on Thursday. They defeated Dorian Blanchard and Dean Vo of Palomar College, 6-2, 6-0 before upsetting #7-seeded Justin Barton and De Romas of American River, 6-0, 6-3. On Friday at 12:30 p.m., they will play #8-seeded Jeff Gelman and Goto of Saddleback at Pacifica High School.