M. Tennis: Shutout over Ventura sends Falcons to state finals

2018 Cerritos College men's tennis team
2018 Cerritos College men's tennis team

For the first time in school history, the Cerritos College men's tennis team will play for the CCCAA Dual Team State Championship. The Falcons (27-2), ranked #1 in the state, shut out #2-seeded Ventura College, 5-0 and will now take on American River College, the Northern California champion, on Wednesday at noon at Ventura College. The Pirates, who finished their season with a 14-2 record, suffered both of their losses to Cerritos. Earlier in the season, the Falcons shut out the Beavers, 9-0 in a non-conference match. In previous seasons, Cerritos has reached the Southern California championship match, but never advanced to the state finals.

Although it was a 5-0 team win, two of the three doubles matches were close. In the #3 position, the tandem of freshman Dario Rico-Altozano (Colegio Cumbre, Spain) and sophomore Kwangeun Lee (Sunny Hills HS) led, 6-3 at one point, but saw the score close to 7-6. The duo served up the game-winning point, which sent the Falcons into singles play with a 3-0 team lead.

Freshman Alex Prokopchuk (School 45, Ukraine) and sophomore Marcos Paulo Silvestre (Colégio Tiradentes of PMMG, Brazil) finished off their #2 doubles match by winning 8-4 after holding a slim 3-2 lead at the start. They slowly started putting points away in bunches to lock down the win. Same for #1 doubles team of Kent Hunter (Home Schooled) and Victor Castro (Novo Hamburgo, Brazil), who remained undefeated after their 8-3 win.

Singles action saw Rico-Altozano move the team one step closer to the team win with his 6-0, 6-1 win in the #5 position. Prokopchuk, playing at #3, closed out the victory with a 6-3, 7-5 victory. The Falcons were winning in each of the other four singles matches.

Kent Hunter/Victor Castro (CERR) def. Priyank Soni/Adrien Etiemble (VC), 8-3
Alex Prokopchuk/Marcos Paulo Silvestre (CERR) def. Alexander Martin/Jakob Rinschen (VC), 8-4
Dario Rico-Altozano/Kwangeun Lee (CERR) def. Solal Cherqui/Rafael Dunan (VC), 8-6

Kent Hunter (CERR) led Solal Cherqui (VC), 6-4, 3-0
Victor Castro (CERR) led Priyank Soni (VC), 6-3, 5-2
Alex Prokopchuk (CERR) def. Adrien Etiemble (VC), 6-3, 7-5
Biel Roca Carreras (CERR) led Augustin Lestelle (VC), 6-3, 4-3
Dario Rico-Altozano (CERR) def. Rafael Dunan (VC), 6-0, 6-1
Kwangeun Lee (CERR) led Rodrigo Perdigao (VC), 6-2, 5-4

Photos by Daryl Peterson