M. Tennis: Conference awards go to the Falcons

The Falcons swept all of the conference awards
The Falcons swept all of the conference awards

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UPDATE - Sasha Krasnov and Nikita Katsnelson won their second consecutive South Coast Conference doubles championship when they defeated teammates Aleks Trifunovic and James Zhang, 8-3 on Monday. It was a rematch of last year's conference championship match.

Even though the doubles title match still needs to be held, the Cerritos College men's tennis team has guaranteed they will sweep all of the South Coast Conference awards after winning the team title. The Falcons, who had the top six seeded singles players and top three seeded doubles pairs, swept through the tournament.

Sasha Krasnov was named the SCC Player of the Year Sophomore Sasha Krasnov (School 106, Ukraine), who was named the conference's Player of the Year, did not drop a set in winning his second straight conference singles championship. Krasnov (pictured, left) and doubles partner, sophomore Nikita Katsnelson (Odessa Gymnasium No. 1, Ukraine), will play for their second consecutive championship on Monday at 3:30 p.m. against sophomore teammates Aleks Trifunovic (Katrinelund Gymnasiet, Sweden) and James Zhang (Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Language School, China). It will be a rematch of last season's conference doubles championship match.

Additionally, Alvin Kim was named the conference's Coach of the Year for the fourth year in a row and seventh time in his 14-year career. He also led the Falcons to their fifth conference championship in a row.

In singles action, Krasnov (pictured below with Trifunovic) received a bye in the first round before defeating Luis Tanada of El Camino College, 6-1, 6-1. He took on #5-seeded Zhang in the semifinals and posted a 6-3, 6-1 win and capped off the day with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over #3-seeded Trifunovic, who upset #2-seeded Katsnelson, 3-6, 7-6, 10-7 to reach the finals. Trifunovic needed to play a three-set match in the quarterfinals, as he fought back against freshman teammate Carlos Mendez (Instituto de Educación Secundaria Ies El Palo, Spain), 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.

(L-R) Sasha Krasnov and Aleks Trifunovic played in the conference singles championship match Zhang was able to reach the semifinals when he upset freshman teammate and #4-seed Bruno Duarte (Centro Educacional Rogêdo, Brazil), 1-6, 6-4, 10-5. In doubles play, Duarte was forced to drop out due to an injury, but was replaced by freshman Kwang-Eun Lee (Sunny Hills HS) and remained seeded #3.

Lee and freshman Marcos Paulo Silvestre (Colégio Tiradentes, Brazil) were defeated in the semifinals by #2-seeded Trifunovic and Zhang, 9-8. Meanwhile, Krasnov and Katsnelson were posting an 8-1 win in their lone match to reach the finals.