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Beavers Perform Well at State Individual Championships

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Following the Beavers dual-team state championship match on Wednesday, April 25th, they competed in the individual state championships in Ojai, which began on Thursday, April 26th. All six singles players and all three doubles teams in the starting lineup for the Beavers qualified for the competition.

NorCal #1 seed, Paul Bhatia, and NorCal #3 seed, Michael Vizcarra, each received a bye and won two matches before falling in the round of 16. Bhatia beat Santa Barbara City #2 player Pierre Alexandre Fumat 6-1, 6-4 in the 2nd round and was able to fight through a wrist injury to defeat SoCal #16, and Pierce College #2, Gavin Dail in three hard-fought sets to reach the round of 16 where he faced off against SoCal #6 Michael Bott (IVC). The wrist became too painful and Bhatia was forced to retire at 3-0 down in the first set.

Vizcarra beat Mt. San Antonio College #1 Matthew Diamond in the round of 64 by the score of 6-3, 6-0. In the round of 32 Vizcarra faced off against Orange Coast #1, and SoCal #13 seed, Joey Dijkstra and was able to grind the talented OCC player down in straight sets, winning by the score of 6-3, 6-2. In the round of 16 Vizcarra's opponent was the severely under-seeded Ventura #2 player Priyank Soni, who had just beaten the SoCal #9 seed, Patrik Trhac (PAL), in the previous round in straight sets. Soni came out on fire and did not let up, beating Vizcarra 6-1, 6-1.

Other Beavers competing in the singles tournament included state ITA Most Improved Award winner Pete Gibson, Sam Hall, Andrei Anderson, and Rob Kendall. Gibson reached the third round by beating IVC #2 Jacob Holiday 6-3, 6-4. In the third round he played the SoCal #11 seed Darvel Lossangoye (PIE) and had chances in the first set, but ultimately fell to Lossangoye 7-6(3), 6-1. Hall, Anderson, and Kendall all lost to tough SoCal competitors in the round of 64. Kendall was able to take the second set from San Diego Mesa #1, Sasha Kovacivic, but was beaten in the third set 6-2.

In the doubles Hall/Vizcarra and Bhatia/Gibson were each able to make it to the second day with convincing victories in the round of 64. In the round of 32 Bhatia/Gibson were unable to get through the tough Riverside duo of Clark/Nicolay as Bhatia continued to struggle with wrist issues, severely affecting his serve. Hall/Vizcarra rolled to the round of 16 where they met SoCal #6 Bott/Santos (IVC). It was a well-played match, competitive from the first point through the 10-point match-tiebreak. Bott/Santos came up with some amazing play in the biggest moments and ended the Beavers' #1 team's season by winning the match-tiebreak 10-5.

The individual championships were the last match-play for the Beavers on the season. It was another incredible year for ARC men's tennis. In 2018 the Beavers won their seventh straight Big 8 North conference title, third straight MJC Invitational title, and their third straight NorCal championship. Other highlights included Michael Vizcarra winning the ITA NorCal Regional Championship in singles, Sam Hall/Vizcarra winning the ITA NorCal Regional Championship in doubles, Pete Gibson winning the ITA Most Improved Player award, and Vizcarra earning the ITA Sophomore of the Year award. State rankings will be released by May 25th.