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ARC Men’s Tennis Reaches 2nd Straight State Championship Match, Falls Short to Irvine Valley College 5-1

ARC-1                    IVC-5

Overall: 17-2       Conference: 7-2

 

For the second straight season the Beavers faced off against the Lasers from Irvine Valley College for the state championship, and for the second straight season the Lasers defeated the Beavers 5-1 for the title. In the doubles, the Cody Duong and Tam Duong rolled to an 8-4 win at #1 over the very tough tandem of  Callejo-Velasco/Lasouer. At #2, Justin Barton and Andy Vang competed valiantly, but fell to DeMulling/Politiek 8-3. At #3 the Neville Cooper and Mikey Vizcarra fell behind 6-1, but battled back to 7-4, before finally succumbing 8-4 to Mirecki/Lynch 8-4.

 

Going in to the singles the Beavers had to win four of the six matches, and it looked like a possibility as Tam Duong (#2), Mikey Vizcarra (#3), Neville Cooper (#4), and Andy Vang (#6) all had early leads in their respective first sets. The Lasers fought back and were able to clinch the team match with wins at #1 (DeMulling), #4 (Politiek), and at #5 (Safi). In the remaining matches Vang led by a score of 6-4, 2-4 and Vizcarra had lost the first set in a tiebreak, but held a 3-0 lead in the 2nd set against 2016 singles state champion Javi Callejo-Velasco.

 

As they did all season, the Beavers played their best and bravest tennis in the biggest moments. Coach Bo Jabery-Madison explained "If you think about it, it's pretty incredible. On paper we are outmatched by an average of 1-1.5 UTR points at every spot, yet we battle, we fight, and we end up giving ourselves a chance in a match where no one else gave us a chance. It comes down to character, and it shows when year after year we take teams that are comprised of 80-90% NorCal born and raised kids, and we battle against these teams that are comprised of 90% foreign born players, international all-star teams, and we do amazing things against all odds. I love it, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

 

Next up for the Beavers is the individual state championships at Ojai. Cody Duong will be the #1 singles seed for the North and Cody Duong/Tam Duong will be the #1 doubles seed for NorCal. It will be an incredible challenge for the Beavers as they match up against some of the best players from SoCal.