He was ranked 43rd in the state early in the season, but now, three months later, Darin Pleasant of Moorpark College has ascended to a more appropriate station.
Pleasant, the Western State Conference Player of the Year in men's tennis, is ranked sixth in the state as he begins play today in the Southern California regional at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
Pierce standouts Sang Kim and Mark Nielsen are the only other players from Valley-area junior colleges to advance to the regionals in singles. A top-eight finish this weekend earns a berth in the state championship tournament May 19-20 at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif.
Pleasant and partner Mike Studebaker qualified for the regional in doubles, as did Moorpark teammates Scott English and Jason Munroe. Kim and Mason Harris of Pierce also will compete, along with Mike Koons and Ramon Cardenas of Glendale.
The women's regional, at Nellie Gail Tennis Club in Laguna Hills, also begins today. Kathy Tiabaldi of Pierce, the WSC Player of the Year, is seeded fifth in singles.
In doubles, Tiabaldi and Denise Cass will compete, as will teammates Glenna Knox and Latecia Rodriguez.