by Dave Loveton, SBCC Sports Information
No. 10 Velasco upsets No. 1 Koyanagi for State title; IVC wins Triple Crown
Javi Velasco continued to be the slayer of high-seeded players on Sunday at The Ojai as he upset No. 1 Hiro Koyanagi of Ventura 7-5, 6-2 in the CCCAA State Men's Tennis singles championship.
Velasco, the No. 10 seed from Irvine Valley, knocked off the Nos. 8, 4, 7 and 2 seeds on his way to the final at Libbey Park in Ojai. He rallied to beat teammate Sam Cohen, the Lasers' No. 1 player and the 2nd seed in the South, in Saturday's semifinals, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0.
Koyanagi, who fell to 19-2, was trying to become the first repeat men's State champion since Dan Omaboe of Marymount in 1995-96.
Velasco jumped out to early leads of 2-0 and 5-2 in the first set. Koyanagi won his serve with a slam at the net and took the next two games to tie it at 5. Velasco held serve and then broke Koyanagi to take the set 7-5.
Velasco broke the serve of the Pirate star six times in the match and never trailed. He built a commanding 5-0 lead in the second set on an overhead smash at 40-30. Koyanagi won the next two games before Velasco broke him again and won the title when Koyanagi hit into the net.
Velasco played a doubles semifinal at 8 a.m. on Sunday, teaming with Cohen to knock off No. 2 Alex Meliuk/Cody Duong of American River in a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (12-10) marathon.
"I was a little tired from my doubles semifinal but I didn't feel any pressure because I didn't have anything to lose," said Velasco, a freshman from Madrid, Spain who went 15-0 this year. "I don't have a good serve and he doesn't have a good serve, so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I just tried to stay aggressive."
Irvine Valley pulled off the Triple Crown, winning State titles in the dual-team men's competition, the State singles and State doubles. Velasco's win was the first State singles title in school history.
"I can't believe I won the State right now," said Velasco. "It's awesome."
The Triple Crown by IVC was the first at a State championship since College of the Desert in 2006. It was the 13th time that the same school has won all three titles.
IVC assistant coach Zoran Korac was a State Community College finalist for Orange Coast in 2002 and also won a CIF State title in 1999.
"Javi came out firing and it was a little surprising because in the semis and quarters, he started slower," said Korac. "He was focused and determined today. He has a strong mind and a strong game to counter Hiro's firepower. Hiro has a great forehand but Javi wasn't letting him win a lot of points."
The doubles final was an All-IVC affair with No. 4 Bruno Figlia of Brazil and Scott Paz outlasting No. 1 Cohen/Velasco 5-7, 6-4; 10-4 in the super tiebreaker.
Garrido captures women's State singles title to complete undefeated season
Danielle Garrido of San Diego Mesa won an extremely tight first set on Sunday and went on to sweep No. 3 Clarissa Colling of Orange Coast 7-6 (7), 6-2 to claim the CCCAA Women's Tennis State singles title at the Ojai Tournament.
Garrido, the No. 1 seed from the South, is the second State champion from San Diego Mesa in the last three years. She was a perfect 21-0 and didn't lose a set all year.
She bolted ahead 3-0 in the opening set before Colling rallied to take a 5-4 lead. Colling broke Garrido's serve, then Garrido broke back to tie it at 6 and force a tiebreaker. Colling took a 5-3 lead in the tiebreak before three straight errors allowed Garrido to pull ahead at 6-5.
Colling foiled the first set point, then had her own set point at 7-6. Garrido scored the last three points on three straight hitting errors to secure the 9-7 win.
There were a plethora of long rallies throughout the match, some reaching 20 or 25 strokes per point.
"I knew she was tired and I've been working so hard on my fitness and training," said Garrido, a freshman from Culver City who won six matches in the four-day State tourney with a game record of 73-18. "I was just trying to push through that first set.
Garrido said she benefitted from the angles on her shots but in the end, she said it was mostly the fitness."I don't prefer long rallies like we had today but if I have to, I'll get through them."
"If I couldn't run to get all her angles and good shots, there's no way I would play well enough to win."
Garrido used an early service break to take a 3-1 lead in the second set. Colling held serve to pull within a game at 3-2 before Garrido reeled off three straight games, winning on the third match point when a Colling forehand sailed long.
"It was all fitness, Danielle is an incredibly determined athlete," said Olympian coach Marc Pinckney. "We do fitness every day for an hour and she's first or second in every drill. She's the best player I ever coached.
"I was losing it in that first set. It was pretty obvious that whoever won that set would win the match. Danielle kept elevating her game. At the end of the first set, you could see that her 'A game' was coming."
In the State doubles final, No. 2 Linda Guerzize/Yu Yamada of College of the Desert rallied past No. 4 Van Nguyen/Polina Gorshenina of De Anza 7-6, 5-7, 10-7 in the super tiebreaker to claim the title. Nguyen/Gorshenina earned their second straight trip to the final by storming back to win their 8 a.m. semifinal over No. 2 Joelle Huelse/Diana Barcelata of Canada, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8).
CCCAA State Tennis Championship Results
Men's Singles Semifinals
Javi Velasco (10) def. Sam Cohen (2) 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0
Hiro Koyanagi (1) def. Sasha Krasnov (3) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Javi Velasco (10) def. Hiro Koyanagi (1) 7-5, 6-2
Women's Singles Semifinals
Clarissa Colling (3) def. Connie Aranguiz (6) 6-1, 6-3
Danielle Garrido (1) def. Betsy Samonte (2) 6-1, 6-0
Danielle Garrido (1) def. Clarissa Colling (3) 7-6(7), 6-2
Men's Doubles Semifinals
Figlia/Paz (4) def. Katsnelson/Krasnov (2) 6-3, 6-2
Cohen/Velasco (1) def. Duong/Meliuk (2) 6-4, 5-7, 12-10
Figlia/Paz (4) def. Cohen/Velasco (1) 5-7, 6-4, 10-4
Women's Doubles Semifinals
Guerzize/Yamada (2) def. Pilati/Teves (1) 2-6, 7-5, 10-7
Gorshenina/Nguyen (4) def. Barcelata/Huelse (2) 0-6, 6-3, 10-8
Guerzize/Yamada (2) def. Gorshenina/Nguyen 7-6, 5-7, 10-7