Vaqueros go to state

GLENDALE — Alex Sarkissian and Trevor Campbell have arrived at their final stages, looking to close out their respective seasons on top.

During the last four months, it's mostly looked easy for the Glendale Community College men's tennis players when they've stepped on to the court.

Sarkissian and Campbell will attempt to become the top players on the state circuit when they compete today and possibly Saturday in the California Community College State Playoffs at Sierra Sport & Racquet Club in Fresno. Sarkissian will attempt to win a singles championship, while also teaming with Campbell in doubles.

The first round and quarterfinals will be held today. The semifinals and finals will take place Saturday.

Sarkissian, the top seed from the south, will face Ramon Martinez of Foothill, the seventh seed from the north, in a first-round match at 9 a.m. The winner of the Sarkissian-Martinez match will next take part in a quarterfinal match at 11 a.m. against Justin Thompson of Irvine Valley (seventh seed from the south) or John Karlman of Fresno (third seed from the north).

At press time, the doubles pairings weren't unveiled.

Sarkissian will look to become the first Vaquero — second overall — to win a state singles title since Dylan Kim accomplished the feat in 2007. Sarkissian enters today's competition having won all 31 of his singles matches, including picking up a 6-4, 1-0 (retired) victory against College of the Desert's Rodrigo Schaeffer on Saturday in the championship match of the Southern California Regionals at J.W. Marriott-Desert Springs Country Club in Palm Desert.

"It's just about me being able to get on a roll and staying on it," Sarkissian said. "It's been giving me a lot of confidence.

"When you have all of that confidence, you expect to keep going. I'm playing better competition. They know me and I know them."

Glendale college men's Coach Bob MacKay said Sarkissian has had to reinvent himself during the last several weeks.

"He went down there and did what he had to do at the regionals," MacKay said. "Since he's playing a lot of the best players of late, he's had to prove himself all over again.

"If you want to be the top guy, then you have to beat some of the very best. He's being tested and he's doing very well."

Sarkissian will also team with Campbell to try to lay claim to the doubles crown. There's plenty of work ahead for Sarkissian and Campbell, but both are up to the challenge after they advanced to state following a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Cerritos' Derek Sideitui and John Chai on Saturday in the regional finals.

"We lost, but that could make us even that much more hungrier to win state," Sarkissian said. "We've been doing well of late."

Said Campbell, a Burroughs High graduate and a former All-Area pick: "I'm really motivated to help win this thing. We have played in a lot of matches together and we have also gained a lot of experience. Alex and I have gotten closer on and off the court. When we go out there, we have to focus on us and our own game."

MacKay said Sarkissian and Campbell have continued to flourish down the stretch.

"Everybody has basically seen them play, but they still continue to beat all of the strong teams," MacKay said. "It's become two top-level singles players at the start of the season who have become an excellent doubles team and they know how to pick each other up when needed."

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