When Serena Rittmayer, Santa Monica College women's tennis coach, saw how many players turned out for her team, she probably wondered if all the cards had been dealt.
Rittmayer had just five players.
Contests generally call for six singles matches and three doubles. So the Lady Corsairs went into their matches giving other squads an 0-2 advantage because they didn't have a sixth singles player or a third doubles team.
If the deck was stacked against SMC, however, the team still had a few aces who carried the team to a Metropolitan Conference championship, second place in the Southern California half of the state championships and a runner-up spot in the state individual finals for sophomore Julie Frasier, the squad's No. 1 singles player.
In the state individual finals at Chabot College in Hayward, Frasier lost in the finals to Michele Hain of Riverside Community College, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6. Earlier, Rittmayer said, Frasier defeated favored Becky Barmore of Orange Coast, 6-3, 6-4.
Frasier and sophomore Anna Castaneda, who had won the Southern California doubles championship, were eliminated in the state semifinals. Castaneda, the team's No. 2 singles, and No. 3 Suzy Mitchell, another sophomore, also went to state.
Both lost, but Mitchell kept her opponent on the court for four hours before losing, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7.
Rittmayer said other honors won by her team included tying Orange Coast for the community college team title in the Ojai Valley Invitational and a first in doubles at Ojai by Frasier and Mitchell.
Orange Coast, perennial state champion, won another one last week, defeating American River.
Since Frasier, Castaneda and Mitchell are expected to go on to four-year colleges, Rittmayer's hopes for next year will have to be carried by the two freshmen on the squad: No. 4 Lori Lazar and No. 5 Bonnie Ornstein.
But the success of this year's team should assure Rittmayer of a better turnout of players in 1986.