GCC players advance at Ojai

GLENDALE — Alex Sarkissian's progress through the 111th Annual Ojai Tennis Tournament was slowed by another hot player on a roll on Friday afternoon at Ojai Valley Tennis Club.

But the pause was only momentary, as the top-seeded Glendale Community College sophomore continued his unbeaten season with a 6-2, 7-5 win over 16th-seeded Michael Tjuatjuarma of De Anza College in the Men's Community College Singles tournament round of 16 on Friday to advance to today's quarterfinals.

"Alex found a way to get back in the match and to win it, this guy was very good he played today," Glendale college men's Coach Bob MacKay said. "But you've got to realize you're playing sudden death and you don't want to extend matches any longer than you have to. You've got to play smart and realize that your body can only take so much."

Sarkissian's day got even better later Friday when he and partner Trevor Campbell advanced to the quarterfinals of the Men's Community College Doubles Tournament, but first he had to battle back from a 4-2 deficit after having his serve broken in the second set against Tjuatjuarma.

"[Tjuatjuarma] was a good player, it was a good match," said Sarkissian, who improved to 24-0 in singles on the season. "I just stayed in there and figured out I should just make him play and see how things turned out from there. Obviously, if you're not winning, you've got to change your game, so I ended up changing my game and things started going well for me."

Campbell also came close to advancing to today's quarterfinal in Community College Men's Singles, but was defeated by Jony Chai of Cerritos in the round of 16 on Friday.

After narrowly losing a hard-fought first set, 7-6 (7-3), Campbell, who earlier beat Francisco's Laranjinha, 6-0, 6-1, in the opening round, De Anza's Patrick Collins, 6-1, 6-0, in the round of 64 and Irvine Valley's Justin Thompson, 4-0 (retired, injury) to reach the round of 16, quickly went down in the second set, 6-1.

But Campbell's day wasn't done, as he and Sarkissian, who were seeded fifth, later teamed to beat Mt. San Jacinto's 12th-seeded James Bragg and Murilo Valadares, 6-3, 6-4, in the round of 16.

"Playing with a good player like Alex is always wonderful, he keeps me positive and I give him a lot of credit," said Campbell, who paired with Sarkissian to beat El Camino's Jon Fisher and Yasuto Miyawaki, 6-0, 6-1, in the round of 64 on Thursday and Fresno City's John Bertram and Jeffrey Leo, 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 32 on Friday. "It took us a while [to jell as a team]. We both hadn't played that many doubles matches, but we're getting the hang of it. We're just getting better right now."

Sarkissian will face Ventura's Thomas Millet today at 9:30 a.m. in the singles draw, while him and Campbell will take on Cypress' Gabriel Dias and Dhanuk Withana at 12:30 p.m.

Glendale college's top doubles team of Samantha Sismundo and Sevana Zargarian nearly matched Sarkissian and Campbell's feat of advancing to today's quarterfinals in the Women's Community College Doubles tournament.

The former Glendale High duo fell in a valiant effort against Saddleback's Karley Pletcher and Auriel Tomaiko, 6-2, 4-6, 10-7, in the round of 16 on Friday.

After evening up the match at a set apiece, Sismundo and Zargarian led, 3-0, and 4-1 in the 10-point tiebreaker the tournament utilizes in the third set.

"It was pretty good tennis all the way around, it was that close," Glendale college women's Coach Bob Donaghy said. "We're disappointed, but it was a great match."

Earlier in the tournament, Sismundo and Zargarian had a first-round bye before beating Cortney Change and Allie Madson of Sierra, 6-2, 1-0 (retired, injury), in the round of 64 on Thursday and Margaux Lawton and Jami Thomas of Grossmont, 6-0, 6-0, in the round of 32 on Friday.

Zargarian, Sismundo and Vaqueros teammate Sindi Concebida also competed in the Women's Community College Singles tournament, but none advanced to today's rounds.

Zargarian made the deepest run, beating Ariana Paradis of Sierra, 6-0, 6-1, and Jessica Jaime of Imperial Valley, 6-0, 6-1, on Thursday before falling to Jazmin Ortiz of Grossmont, 6-2, 6-1, in the round of 32 on Friday.

Sismundo opened with a first-round bye before losing to Tina Vuong of Irvine Valley, 6-0, 6-3, on Thursday and Concebida was knocked out in the opening round on Thursday by Natalie Tomlin of Riverside, 6-0, 6-0.

In the Men's Community College Singles Tournament, Glendale college's Stephan Mamann suffered an opening-round loss to Cosumnes River's Josh Mireles, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, on Thursday.

Two other Glendale college doubles teams took part in the tournament.

Glendale High graduate Mike Astorian and Grayson Frazier beat Chabot's Nathan Schorken and Joe Yates, 6-3, 6-3, in the round of 64 on Thursday, but defaulted to Cypress' Oliver Andrzejczuk and Torsten Keil-Long in the round of 32 on Friday because of an academic scheduling conflict for Astorian.

Concebida and Phoebe Minette were knocked out by Kara Agamaite and Lisa Kryiopoulos in the round of 64, 2-6, 6-2, 10-2, on Thursday.

In the Women's Singles Main Draw, Glendale resident Maureen Diaz beat Hannah Sulz, 6-2, 6-2, in the round of 16 on Thursday, but ran into a tough 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 loss to Ashley Dai in the quarterfinals.

Glendale High product Robert Yim, an Ojai veteran, advanced to the round of 16 in the Men's Singles Main Draw after defeating Amir Marandy of Woodland Hills, 7-5, 6-2, but lost to fifth-seeded Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks, 7-6, 0-6, 7-6 on Thursday.

In the Juniors tournament, Flintridge Prep junior Kira Lee was ousted in the round of 64 of the Girls' 16 Singles draw on Thursday by Samantha Hodges, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

In Girls' 14 Singles, Ally McKenzie of Glendale lost to Alexandra Valenstein, 6-2, 6-2, on Thursday in the round of 64, while Glendale's Cassie McKenzie followed up a first-round bye with round-of-32 loss to Caisey Lee Emery, 6-0, 6-0, on Thursday.

Crescenta Valley High senior Sarah Ali and her partner Jerusha Cruz will compete in the quarterfinals of the Women's Open Doubles tournament against top-seeded Zsuzsanna Fodor and Amy Jensen today.

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