GLENDALE — Backed by a surplus of depth, the Glendale Community College men’s tennis team figured to be a worthy contender in the hunt to win the Western State Conference’s West Division championship this season.
In recent seasons, Glendale lacked depth and came up short. The numbers then grew for Glendale, helping put it on the doorstep of winning a division crown for the first time since 2014.
Glendale cleared the final hurdle and reached the division summit after it registered a 7-2 home win against Santa Barbara on Tuesday.
It is the Vaqueros first championship since 2014.
Glendale (11-3, 7-0 in the division) won five sets (two in singles and three in doubles) by default as Santa Barbara (4-8, 2-3) didn’t have enough players to fill an entire lineup. Glendale posted a 6-3 win at Santa Barbara on Feb. 19.
“Having that depth has been a key throughout the season,” Glendale second-year coach Chris Tissot said. “It’s great when you have a formidable top-two group in singles to lead the way, but it’s even better when you can fill out the lineup at the bottom and pick up those valuable points.
“I thought coming into the season that we had a good shot at winning conference. It’s great to have now done that and it’s an amazing day. We still have a lot of tough matches ahead of us before we play in the conference tournament and then the playoffs.”
Glendale, which won its third conference championship since the 2005 season, received singles wins from Hakob Chagaian and Andres Simental on Tuesday. Chagaian, a Burbank High graduate, defeated Dominic Signorello, 6-3, 6-1. Simental topped Dominick Mariscal, 7-5, 6-1.
“It’s very cool to win conference,” said Chagaian, a freshman who played one season at Burbank. “We came into conference not knowing much about the other teams we’d be playing.
“We always knew we could count on our depth to keep us going. I thought I played well today. My serving was decent, but it just came down to making my shots when I needed to.”
Santa Barbara received singles wins from Andres Decock, 4-6, 6-4, 10-6, and Jacob Riusch, 6-4, 6-1. Decock bested Nicholas Pupiec in a match that took nearly two hours to complete.
Glendale will meet the University of Pugent Sound, an NCAA Division III squad, in a nonconference home match at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Glendale’s final division match will take place at 2 p.m. March 27 at Bakersfield. The conference tournament is scheduled for early April in Ventura before the playoffs begin April 9.
Tissot, a former player at Glendale, said Glendale is eager to finish the regular season on a high note.
“A lot of these guys go out there and they want it,” said Tissot, whose team went 4-11, 2-6 for fourth place in the five-team conference won by Ventura last season. “It’s been an exciting time for this program that’s had a lot of success over the last 20 years with outstanding players like Alex Sarkissian and Dylan Kim.
“We have a chance to get better with the remaining [regular-season] matches. It’s got a lot to do with playing with a high level of energy and just seeing what you can do to get those points.”