W. Tennis: Cerritos wins second state title in three years

Cerritos women's tennis team won their second state title in three season
Cerritos women's tennis team won their second state title in three season

Taking on De Anza College for the second time in three seasons at the CCCAA Team Dual State Championship, the Cerritos College women's tennis team posted a 5-0 win on Wednesday. Playing at the Pierpont Racquet Club in Ventura, the Falcons (25-1) dispatched the Gladiators, 5-0, marking the second win of the season against them. Back in 2016, Cerritos defeated De Anza, 5-1 for their second state title in school history. They concluded the season with their 23rd straight win and 20th by shutout.

With the match opening with doubles, Cerritos surrendered just two games in winning all three in just 33 minutes, which set the tone for the match heading into singles play. The Falcons, ranked No. 1 in the state, jumped ahead 4-1, 3-0 and 4-0 in the three doubles sets just 22 minutes into the match, on their way to the victory.

Sophomore Lisa Suzuki (Fujimigaoka, Japan/Seward County (KS) CC) and freshman Kseniia Prokopchuk (School 45, Ukraine) improved to 25-0 as a pair with their 8-1 win, while the tandem of sophomore Petra Such (Illyes Gyula, Hungary) and Moa Lindstrom (Dragonskolans Elitidrottgymnasium, Sweden) matched that score in their #2 match. Earning an 8-0 shutout win was the sophomore pairing of Itzi Torres (ITESM CEM, Mexico/Kansas Wesleyan University) and Diviana Bravo (Rosa de Jesus Cordero, Ecuador).

"Lisa and I have a lot of confidence in each other because we have played so many (doubles) matches together," said Prokopchuk. "We trust that the other person is going to be where we expect them to be and it's helped us win every time we've played together. I slept well last night, so I had a lot of energy," added Prokopchuk, who finished off Angelica Gagliano in singles play with a forehand winner at the net. "We felt very confident and communicated well in our doubles set. It feels great to be state champion and it hasn't really sunk in yet."

Prokopchuk moved Cerritos one win closer to their state title after her dominant 6-0, 6-0 win in the #3 singles position, while Torres capped off the championship with a 6-0, 6-1 victory at #5.

"This has been a great year for our tennis program in dual meet competition," said first-year head coach Quinn Caldaron. "We really focused on doubles this year because we felt like our singles was so strong and we could compete with anyone in the state," added Caldaron. "With doubles being played first, we figured if we got up 2-1 or 3-0, we didn't see any way of losing. It feels awesome to win two state titles (the men won earlier in the day) and I feel lucky to be put in position to have this opportunity. We have to thank the last coach (Alvin Kim) a little bit for this. He poured his heart and soul into these teams."

Lisa Suzuki/Kseniia Prokopchuk (Cerr) def. Sandra DeFrancescu/Maria Zimmerman (DA), 8-1
Petra Such/Moa Lindstrom (Cerr) def. Carlee Ellis/Angelica Gagliano (DA), 8-1
Itzi Torres/Diviana Bravo (CERR) def. Sharon Cao/Sakina Khawari (DA), 8-0

Lisa Suzuki (Cerr) vs. Sandra DeFrancescu (DA), 6-3, 0-1, DNF
Petra Such (Cerr) vs. Maria Zimmerman (DA), 5-5, DNF
Kseniia Prokopchuk (Cerr) def. Angelica Gagliano (DA), 6-0, 6-0
Moa Lindstrom (Cerr) vs. Carlee Ellis (DA), 6-4, 3-0, DNF
Itzi Torres (Cerr) def. Sakina Hhawari (DA), 6-0, 6-1
Diviana Bravo (Cerr) vs. Sharon Cao (DA), 6-1, 2-2, DNF

Photos by Felix Cortez