By Dave Loveton
Santa Barbara City College Sports Information
OJAI, Calif. - Danielle Garrido of San Diego Mesa and Clarissa Colling of Orange Coast cruised through a pair of opponents on Saturday at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club to reach the CCCAA State Women’s Tennis final for the second straight year.
Garrido beat Colling 7-6 (7), 6-2 to win last year’s State title.
Garrido, the No. 2 seed this year, went 21-0 last year and 17-0 this season. She hasn’t dropped a set in her two-year career. Garrido swept No. 3 Joelle Huelse of Canada 6-1, 6-1 and No. 1 Symone Jacques, a left-hander from Modesto College, 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals.
Jacques tried a steady diet of high lobs that Garrido handled flawlessly.
“She seemed a little tired from her first match (a 7-5, 6-1 win over 15th-seed Srna Lepchevska of Santa Monica),” said Garrido of Jacques. “She’s a lefty, so there was a little weird lefty spin on the ball. I was just focusing on making her move and hitting through the ball more because she doesn’t move very fast. I was also trying to attack her backhand.
“I’ve been playing good but I’d like to play better.”
The women’s final is slated for Sunday at Libbey Park in Ojai with the first serve at 11 a.m. The CCCAA State Tennis Championships are part of the 117th Ojai Tournament.
“Clarissa is a pretty well-rounded player,” said Garrido when about her plan for Sunday’s final. “I’m going to need to move her around, hit some balls high, hit some balls low and angles are definitely going to be big. Hitting the right angles has really helped me in the past.”
Colling, the No. 3 seed from the South, beat No. 2 Diana Barcelata of Canada 6-2, 6-2 in her 8 a.m. quarterfinal. Then she knocked off No. 5 Sarah Mae Garcia 6-1, 6-0. Garcia had rallied to eliminate the No. 1 seed from the South and 2015 state champion Mayra Jovic of Santa Monica 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
“I feel like I played well but so did Sarah Mae,” said Colling, a sophomore from Villa Park who helped the Pirates claim their ninth State Dual Team Championship on Wednesday with a 5-4 win over De Anza. “She had a long 3-setter against the No. 1 from the South this morning. I knew she was tired, so I tried to capitalize on that.”
Colling is 24-1 this year with her only loss coming to Garrido 6-2, 6-0 on Feb. 9. She’s 0-3 against Garrido in the last two years.
“Honestly, I’m just going to test the waters and see how it is,” Colling stated. “I’m going to try my best and if something’s not working, I’m always willing to adapt to the circumstances and the situation.”
Colling also won a doubles match on Saturday to move into the State semifinals. She and Karen Trinh, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 2 Jacques and Kaitlyn Mayfield of Modesto 7-5, 6-2. Colling-Trinh will take on top-seeded Jovic-Abby Mullins from Santa Monica on Sunday at 8 a.m. at Libbey Park.
The other doubles semifinal pits Huelse and Ana Hinojosa of Canada, the No. 1 seed in the North, against No. 2 Veronika Galstyan-Tsukimi Ono of Glendale.
The women’s doubles final is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. at Libbey Park.