Modesto Junior College Invitational Tournament
For the third consecutive season the Beavers won the prestigious MJC Invitational tournament. The event hosts the majority of the NorCal men's tennis teams and is a great way to gauge the competition for the upcoming dual-match season. The tournament is flighted, which means that each player will compete against players from other schools that play the same number in the lineup at their school. With this format, each player, and doubles team, has the opportunity to compete for the title in their respective flight.
The Beavers tallied 30 total match wins in the tourney, followed by Foothill with 24, and Bakersfield with 14. Highlights for the Beavers included winning four of the six singles flights and two of the three doubles flights. Mikey Vizcarra (#2), Sam Hall (#4), and Andrei Anderson (#5) all won their flights without dropping a single set. Vizcarra defeated Chabot #2 player Jay Pandit in the final 6-1, ret. when Pandit was unable to continue with a shoulder injury. Hall was the most dominant Beaver in the tournament, losing only a single game in the tournament, and defeating Foothill #4 Kristian Calayag 6-0, 6-0 in the final. Anderson beat Foothill #5 Blake Smith in a hard-fought straight-set semifinal match, before rolling in the final over Bakersfield #5 Manrico Cabolaza 6-2, 6-1. Alexis Lira was also able to win his flight at #6, by coming through in a tough three-set battle against the very consistent Foothill player Shahand Esmaeili. Lira was able to close out the third set 6-4 after each player had gained the momentum at different points in the third set. In the #1 flight, Paul Bhatia scored two quality victories in the quarterfinal (Nick Reilley-MJC) and semifinal (Alex Ngan-FH) before falling to #1 seeded Caleb Johnson from Bakersfield, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
The Beavers were just as convincing in the doubles, as they took two of the three flights and reached the final in the other. In the first flight Hall/Vizcarra did not lose any more than three games in a set as they took the title in dominant fashion. In Flight 2 Bhatia/Pete Gibson played an intense and high-level final, beating Ngan/Yu Tokuyama (Foothill) in the most exciting match of the tournament. The evenly matched teams split the first two sets, leading to a third-set match tiebreak. Each team had multiple match points before the Beavers finally closed out the tiebreak 13-11 for the title. In Flight 3 Danny Garcia/Rob Kendall won an incredible semifinal match against the De Anza #3 team of Dimitry Bernader/Mariano Sigifredo. After winning the first set they found themselves down down 3-0 in the second set, but after a visit from assistant coach Cody Duong on the changeover, the Beavers did not lose another game in the match. In the final of Flight 3, Garcia/Kendall competed extremely well, falling to the talented Foothill #3 team of Calayag/Smith 7-6(7), 7-5.
It was another tremendous performance at the MJC Tourney for the Beavers and it is a nice starting point of the season for the team. The Beavers will next play Modesto Junior College at home on Friday, February 16th at home.