Several Vaqs keep rolling

GLENDALE — Though they fell short of qualifying for the Southern California Team Regionals, it hasn’t been a lost season for several members of the Glendale Community College men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Several players from each team are alive and well in the Southern California Regional Individuals Tournament with aspirations of competing in the state tournament. To reach that stage, there’s still a lot of work ahead of them.

Two Glendale college singles players and two doubles teams posted victories Thursday afternoon during the first day of the three-day tournament.

Leading the pack for the men’s team was sophomore Matthew Taoatao, who had a first-round bye before posting a 7-6, 6-0 second-round victory against Bryce Keefer of Saddleback College at Riverside Community College. Taoatao, the third seed, will meet fourth-seeded Matthias Muster of Ventura in a third-round match at 9 a.m. today.

The players split a pair of Western State Conference sets this season. The winner will automatically advance to the state tournament, which will be held Thursday through May 10 at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.

“Matthew started slow, but he closed it out,” Glendale college Coach Bob MacKay said. “When he got to the second set, he jumped out and then it was over.

“He’s going to have one tough match against Muster, but they both know each other.”

In doubles action, Glendale college’s Emanuel Haug and Ryan Stanbury had a first-round bye before registering a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 second-round win against Vinnie Amor and Mark Lewin of L.A. Pierce.

The freshmen will next face top-seeded Waylon Bennett and Olumide Sherman-Norman of Grossmont in a third-round match at 1 p.m. today.

“Emanuel and Ryan go in with nothing to lose,” MacKay said. “Hopefully, they can put it together and get a victory.”

In the women’s competition, held at Santa Barbara City College, Glendale college’s Meldia Hacopian first excelled in singles before doing the same in doubles with Monique Palmera.

The unseeded Hacopian opened up with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 victory against Andrea Warren of Saddleback, before notching a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 second-round win against Grossmont’s Danielle Bryan. She will next face sixth-seeded Annika You of Cerritos in a third-round contest at 9 a.m. today.

The winner will move on to the state tournament next week.

Hacopian and Palmera handled the rigors of the doubles competition, as they earned a 6-0, 6-1 second-round win against a tandem from Long Beach City College after earning a first-round bye. They will next meet second-seeded Brittany Bass and Brittney Foruvald of Orange Coast College in a third-round match at 1 p.m. today.

“[Hacopian] came back after she made some mistakes early in her first match,” Glendale college women’s Coach Terry Coblentz said. “But it proved to be a great warmup match for her in the second round.

“Meldia and Monique will need to cut down on their mistakes [today]. They’ll be hard pressed, but the key will be not to give points away.”

In men’s doubles action, the team of Taoatao and Greg Arutyunyan suffered a 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 loss to 11th-seeded Corey Shehan and Taylor Witt of Mount San Jacinto.

Also, unseeded Marko Gortinski and Mike Patatanyan of Glendale college dropped a 6-1, 6-0 first-round loss to Francisco Alvarado and Dan Hguyen of Mount San Jacinto.

The other Glendale college women’s doubles team to compete Thursday was Miyuki Yokozuka and Sonia Rodriguez. The duo won their first round by default against a Palomar College team that failed to show up. However, their season ended after they suffered a 6-0, 6-1 loss to a team from Riverside College.

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