GLENDALE — With the regular season and the prestigious Ojai Invitational now just memories, a quartet of Glendale Community College tennis players are set to take aim at state glory.
Men's players Alex Sarkissian and Trevor Campbell and women's players Sevana Zargarian and Samantha Sismundo all share something in common — all are now playing their best tennis of the season. There's plenty of incentive to keep that trend going.
The quartet will compete in the Southern California Regionals Individuals Tournament, beginning today. Sarkissian will compete in singles and also in doubles with Campbell at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, while Sismundo will participate in singles before teaming with Zargarian at Grossmont Community College in El Cajon.
The tournament will run through Saturday with the top-eight finishers advancing to the Community College State Playoffs, which will be held May 12-14 in Fresno.
Sarkissian and Campbell, who reached today's stage by winning the Western State Conference championship April 15 in Ventura, are red hot. Sarkissian won the singles championship Sunday at the 111th installment of the Ojai Invitational with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Cerritos' Derek Siddiqui to improve to 26-0 on the season. Sarkissian also teamed with Campbell, a Burroughs High graduate and reigning All-Area pick, to top Oliver Andrzejczuk and Torsten Keil-Long of Cypress, 7-6, 6-4.
"The biggest thing with guys like Alex and Trevor is that they are experienced," Glendale college men's Coach Bob MacKay said. "If you look at the players who have gone on to win state, you'll see that they are experienced and know how to prepare.
"The hard part is being able to refocus. I tell them not to think about state and just to prepare for the next couple of rounds."
Sismundo and Zargarian have bonded well on the court this season at Glendale college after doing the same in previous seasons while competing at Glendale High.
Like Sarkissian and Campbell, Zargarian and Sismundo proved to be one of the top doubles team in conference. They reached the regionals after winning their quarterfinal match April 15 in Ventura.
Zargarian, battling a biceps injury, and Sismundo advanced to the round of 16 at Ojai, perhaps giving them additional momentum for the regionals.
"They are fully invested in tennis in general and for our team," Glendale college women's Coach Bob Donaghy said. "They are on board with every coaching strategy, practice and workout.
"That's showed throughout the whole season."