GCC goes 5-0 on courts

GLENDALE — Upon the conclusion of the first day of the 2011 California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Tennis Regional Championships, the common theme for both the Glendale Community College men's and women's participants was that they did what they were supposed to do.

And, collectively, that was to put themselves a victory away from clinching a spot in the state tournament.

"It's about exactly what I expected," said GCC women's coach Bob Donaghy, who saw singles player Samantha Sismundo easily dispatch her singles foe, 6-0, 6-0, before teaming up later in the day with Sevana Zargarian to post a 6-2, 6-3 win at Grossmont College. "Earning your money starts tomorrow."

For the men, who began their regional ascent at the J.W. Marriott-Desert Springs Country Club in Palm Desert, top-seeded Alex Sarkissian cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win, while Trevor Campbell looked impressive in a 6-0, 6-2 triumph before the two teamed up, also as the top seed in doubles, and came away with a 6-0, 6-3 sweep.

"We set out and did what we wanted to do," Campbell said.

All four Vaqueros, whether in singles or doubles, will clinch a berth in the state tournament, which will be held Thursday through May 14, should they win today's round-of-16 matches.

"The main thing is to get to state," Donaghy said.

Sarkissian, coming off arguably the biggest day of his tennis life, in which he won the junior college singles title and doubles title with Campbell at the Ojai Invitational on Sunday, defeated James Bragg of Mt. San Jacinto in straight sets to move on to today's round of 16.

"He's the No. 1 seed and he performed like a No. 1 seed," said McKay of the Western State Conference champion who's now 27-0 on the year. "He knows what to do."

Sarkissian will face L.A. Pierce's David Engelberg at 9 a.m. today.

Campbell moved into a showdown with second-seeded Derek Siddiqui of Cerritos after an impressive 6-0, 6-2 win against Cypress' Torsten Kiel-Long, who was one half of Campbell and Sarkissian's opposition in the doubles final at Ojai.

"That's a big win," said McKay of Campbell's Thursday triumph. "I think it was his best win. I think he focused completely on staying within himself."

Campbell had defeated Kiel-Long earlier in the season, but went to a super tiebreaker in a three-set match. Now he will face the formidable Siddiqui, who Sarkissian defeated in the Ojai singles final.

"I played smart … I played within myself," said Campbell, who will face Siddiqui at 9 a.m. today. "Tomorrow's gonna be a longer day."

In the doubles bracket, Campbell and Sarkissian defeated the Saddleback team of Jake and Eric Bernard, 6-0, 6-3.

"I think, again, in doubles they knew what they needed to do and did it," McKay said. "They're the No. 1 seed for a reason."

And the top-seeded Sarkissian and Campbell will face the Grossmont duo of Matt Mims and Kaplan Kaster around 12:30 p.m. today.

At 1 p.m. today, Sismundo and Zargarian, former standouts at Glendale High, will face the tall task of upending third-seeded Natali Loria and Tina Vuong of Irvine Valley, while Sismundo will also take on second-seeded Jazmin Ortiz of Grossmont in singles.

Thursday, though, was as much preparation for today's tougher opposition than anything else.

"It was more a warm-up match for tomorrow," Sismundo said of her and Zargarian's sweep of Mt. San Antonio College's Jessica Galvan and Stephanie Huynh. "In singles it was the same."

Sismundo was even more impressive in her sweep of Cerritos' Kim Diaz, as she didn't relinquish a game. Nonetheless, she's well-aware that today's competition will be far more arduous.

"We definitely have to step up our game tomorrow," Sismundo said. "Hopefully we can pull it out and make it to state."

Today will feature the round of 16 and quarterfinal round in both singles and doubles, with Saturday's final day featuring semifinals and finals.

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