GLENDALE — The Glendale Community College men's tennis team began the second half of Western State Conference action Tuesday afternoon just like it did the first half — with a victory against Santa Barbara City College.
Only the latest meeting between the teams proved to be a bit of a more difficult for Glendale college, which came through with a 6-3 home win.
"Santa Barbara played better than they did the first time," said Glendale Coach Bob MacKay, whose team started off conference Feb. 24 with a 7-2 win at Santa Barbara. "They picked up their strength at the bottom of their lineup and made it tougher for us.
"I thought we kept our confidence after beating Pima College [Ariz. on March 15]. That was our best match of the season and that gave us confidence [coming into the second half of conference]."
Glendale picked up a singles win apiece from Alex Sarkissian (6-1, 6-0), Burroughs High graduate Trevor Campbell (6-1, 6-2), La Cañada graduate Grayson Frazier (7-5, 6-2) and Crescenta Valley graduate Dro Mahmoudi (6-2, 7-5) to improve to 8-5, 4-1 in conference.
Frazier, a member of the reigning All-Area Doubles Team of the Year, fought through a cold to beat John Rosenkvist of Santa Barbara (1-7, 0-6). He then teamed with Glendale High graduate Mike Astorian to net an 8-3 doubles victory.
"I played a different opponent this time [against Santa Barbara] than the first," Grayson said. "[Rosenkvist's] game matched mine a little more in terms of attacking the net.
"I wasn't feeling too well in the first set and I was just trying to find a way to win and play consistently. I had made some unforced errors in the first set."
Glendale clinched the match when Sarkissian paired with Campbell, a former All-Area honoree, for an 8-2 win. The victory extended Glendale's lead to 5-2. Sarkissian and Campbell improved to 11-1 on the season and Sarkissian is 13-0 in singles.
"We are getting better at doubles," MacKay said. "We are also getting that fifth point a little bit better from around the lineup."
Playing without its top player, Nikoliv Ivanov, who recently left the team, Santa Barbara (1-7, 0-6) received a 6-2, 6-3 victory from Mohamed El Azzouzi and a 6-4, 6-3 win from Robert Herr. El Azzouzi and Rosenkvist picked up an 8-4 doubles victory.
Glendale will next participate in a conference road match at 2 p.m. Thursday against Bakersfield before returning home for a 3 p.m. nonconference match against Middlebury College (Vt.) on Saturday. Middlebury, which captured the NCAA Division III championship last season, posted a 6-3 win against Glendale last season.