Trio moves on for Vaqs

With the end of the season at hand, the Glendale Community College women’s tennis team’s veterans know nothing can be taken for granted in their final season with the Vaqueros.

The mindset paid off on the first day of the Western State Conference Tournament Saturday — after rain postponed competition for a day — with two victories for Glendale’s sophomore members Sevana Zargarian and Samantha Sismundo and another for freshman Sofia Tavitian, who all advanced to the round of 16 in singles.

A victory in the round of 16, which is scheduled for Friday at Ventura College, will stamp the players' ticket to the Southern California Regionals on May 3-5.

“I am losing six of these gals next year and they are doing everything they possibly can [to keep their seasons alive],” Glendale Coach Bob Donaghy said. “It’s going fast and they recognize that, so they are cherishing every moment.”

Zargarian, Sismundo and Tavitian each received first-round byes before picking up second-round wins in singles, braving heavy winds after Friday’s rain.

“It was just good getting back out there playing games,” Zargarian said. “It was good preparation for next week, even though the wind was kind of crazy and annoying, blowing the ball back and the forth.”

Top-seeded Zargarian defeated Santa Barbara City College’s Lindsay Penner, 6-4, 6-1. Tavitian, who came in ranked No. 2, dropped just one game to Ventura’s Helena Pace, 6-0, 6-1.

Sismundo was almost as dominant as the freshman, as she bested Grace Hanamoto from Ventura, 6-0, 6-2.

Overall, Saturday wasn’t much of a challenge for the Vaqueros' top-three players.

“We’ve been through this last year,” said Zargarian, who graduated from Glendale High with Sismundo. “We know the first two rounds are a little bit easier than the other ones. We were practicing what we’re going to do for the next round. [Sismundo and I] weren’t too nervous because we were used to it from last year.”

Donaghy stressed the success was nothing to take for granted in the tough conference.

“It’s a packed conference and up top it’s tough, so the fact [Zargarian, Sismundo and Tavitian] won is great,” he said.

Zargarian and Sismundo went on to qualify for regionals, which is set for May 3-5, in doubles with a victory over Bakersfield’s duo of Jackie Griffin and Haleigh Dilbeck, 6-1, 6-1.

The Vaqueros’ Phoebe Minette, seeded fourth, won a tough first-round singles match with Sierra Lepine of Ventura, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, before falling in the second round, 7-5, 6-0.

Minette and Tavitian battled with Ventura’s Carolyn Morris and Hanamoto in doubles action. Minette and Tavitian came out on top in the end, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, to advance to regionals in doubles.

Three other GCC players were dispatched in the opener — Katherine Akmakji, Zarouni Chadvarian and Brianna Hayes.

Akmakji could only take one game from Santa Barbara’s Talia Hudson, falling, 6-0, 6-1. Chavarian fell to Morgan Frazier of Bakersfield, 6-4, 6-4, and Hayes was held without a game by the No. 1 seed in her bracket, Sophie Agner of Santa Barbara, 6-0, 6-0.

Akmakji and Hayes were also bested in the first round of doubles action by Criss Rodriguez and Juliana Nelkin of Santa Monica, 6-1, 6-3.

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