W. Tennis: Kseniia Prokopchuk voted state's Women's Athlete of the Year

Kseniia Prokopchuk (left) teamed with Lisa Suzuki to win the state doubles title
Kseniia Prokopchuk (left) teamed with Lisa Suzuki to win the state doubles title

As only the fourth player to ever win the triple crown of women's tennis, Cerritos College freshman Kseniia Prokopchuk was voted the CCCAA Woman's Athlete of the Year. Voted on by members of the CCCSIA Executive Board, the award is in the seventh year of existence recognizing a top student-athlete from each gender. It marks the first time an athlete from Cerritos has received the honor.

Prokopchuk became just the fourth player in California Community College women's tennis history to win the Triple Crown by accomplishing CCCAA state individual titles in singles and doubles, while also playing for the state team champion. The last person to accomplish the feat previously was 13 years ago by Orange Coast's Michelle Esquivel.

"This was an amazing season and a great honor for Kseniia," said first-year head coach Quinn Caldaron. "She is a great athlete and her mental fortitude is one of her biggest weapons. During the tournament, I was very impressed on how she dug down deep to win big points. Kseniia is the perfect example of a scholar-athlete. She worked very hard in the classroom as well as on the court. Hopefully Falcon tennis can keep the momentum going and go after a few more state championships in the upcoming years."

Kseniia Prokopchuk won the CCCAA singles and doubles state title "Lisa (Suzuki) and I have a lot of confidence in each other because we have played so many (doubles) matches together," Prokopchuk said after winning the team dual state championship. "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 of De Anza College 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."

In the state team championship final, playing at #3 singles, Prokopchuk swept Angelica Gagliano of De Anza College, 6-0, 6-0 and then earned a 6-4, 6-2 win over #2-seeded Sandra DeFranescu of De Anza College to win the CCCAA singles state championship. Prokopchuk and Suzuki went a perfect 29-0 in doubles matches in the 2018 season and capped off the state championships with a 6-3, 6-0 win over American River College's mother-daughter combo of Eva Spindler and Lelani Spindler. They were also South Coast Conference doubles champions. Prokopchuk, who was 31-0 overall in doubles, is part of a CCCAA first as her brother Alex also won the Triple Crown on the Cerritos men's side--a brother-sister feat never accomplished prior and likely never to be matched.

Prokopchuk won the singles title despite coming into the state tournament as the No. 6 seed. She was 31-2 in singles play for the season.