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Glendale college women’s tennis rallies to knock off state champs

With its season on the line, the Glendale Community College women’s tennis team turned to its strength to pull off a huge comeback and stunning upset Tuesday.

The Vaqueros have thrived throughout the season in singles, leading to plenty of success in the Western State Conference and the California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Regionals.

Fourth-seeded Glendale won the final four singles matches to register a stunning 5-4 win against second-seeded Orange Coast on Tuesday in a regional semifinal contest.

“It’s just an absolutely incredible victory,” Glendale coach Deo Sy said. “We know we have a lot of top players in singles, but we had to overcome a huge deficit to pull out the win.”

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Glendale (22-2) will travel to meet top-seeded Cerritos (22-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the regional championship. Cerritos recorded a 5-0 win against third-seeded Irvine Valley on Tuesday. Orange Coast (17-2) was the defending state champion and eliminated Glendale last season in the regional semifinal.

The Vaqueros, who have won four straight conference titles and will make their first regional final appearance since 2015, received a 7-5, 6-2 win from Ruth Kachatorian (Glendale High) to complete the comeback.

Glendale, which has won 21 matches in a row, tied it at 4 when Sabrina Subero posted a 7-6(7-5), 7-5 victory.

“Throughout singles play, our players kept coming up to me during breaks to check on how the other players were doing,” Sy said. “They care about one another and they kept building that huge wave of confidence.”

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Orange Coast held a 2-1 lead following doubles competition. The Vaqueros’ win came from Miah Webb and Subero (8-3).

Things became dicey for Glendale early in singles. Webb, the conference champion, had to retire in the first set down, 3-1, because of an injury. Glendale’s Felicia Moradian suffered a 6-2, 6-1 defeat to give the Pirates a 4-1 lead.

Srna Lepchevska registered a 6-2, 6-2 win for Glendale and a 6-2, 6-3 victory by Hailey McNall cut it to 4-3.

“We liked our chances when we tied it up,” said Sy, whose team began the postseason April 9 with a 5-2 home win against fifth-seeded Riverside. “It just means so much to be able to do what we did today. Our players amaze me everyday.”

Glendale fell to Cerritos, 9-0, in a nonconference road match Jan. 30.

“We’ll go down there and give it our best shot,” Sy said. “I like the way we are playing and how we continue to remain confident.”

charles.rich@latimes.com

Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich

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