Sarkissian wins state championship

GLENDALE — In the same manner in which he's perfectly navigated his stellar season, Alex Sarkissian concluded a run for the ages.

On Saturday, the Vaqueros standout ended his brilliant sophomore campaign with a sweep of College of the Desert's Rodrigo Schaefer to become the 2011 California Community College Athletic Assn. state champion, while ending his run with a flawless singles record to boot.

"It feels great," said Sarkissian, who ended his remarkable GCC season with a sound 35-0 match record and a faultless 70 set record. "It feels good to pull it out."

Sarkissian capped a season in which he not only went undefeated and won the state crown, but did so after having won the Ojai Tournament championship and the regional championship in the preceding weeks.

"He won the trifecta," said GCC men's tennis Coach Bob MacKay, adding that an undefeated run through three championships could never be outdone. "Literally, that record can never be broken. It's etched in stone.

"It's an amazing season against some pretty darn good players."

Sarkissian did it much the same way he's done all year, with a calm, cool and calculated style of play.

"He finds a way to win a match, that's what he's done all year," MacKay said. "He maintained his consistent winning sense."

Sarkissian and Trevor Campbell, who won the Ojai doubles championship as well, came up short in their bid to win a state crown in doubles, however.

Facing the Cypress College duo of Oliver Andrzejczuk and Torsten Keil-Long, Campbell and Sarkissian lost a hard-fought semifinal match, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3.

"We played well, but they played better on the bigger points," MacKay said. "They just played better doubles."

Both of Sarkissian's singles matches preceded the doubles semifinal.

In the semifinals against Ventura's Sasha Hedberg, Sarkissian had one of his toughest matches to date, prevailing, 6-2, 7-5, against the fourth seed from Southern California.

"Sasha played pretty well," Sarkissian said. "I've played him before and I beat him pretty easily, but he was much tougher today. It was fun."

Against Schaefer, the No. 2 seed from Southern California, Sarkissian fell behind in the opening set, 2-0, before roaring back to win the next eight games in a 6-2, 6-1 sweep.

"[Sarkissian] feels the best guy he's played all year is Schaefer," MacKay said.

The victory over Schaefer concluded not only a stellar season, but a remarkable and arduous run of three consecutive weeks competing until the final day at Ojai, the regionals and state in both singles and doubles.

"It's been a long three weeks, there's no denying that," Sarkissian said. "It feels good to finish it and finish it winning state in singles."

Next up for Sarkissian?

"I'm definitely taking a week or two off," he said.

After that he plans on playing on the Futures Tour over the summer and will then weigh his options of staying on the circuit or moving on to a four-year university. No matter his decision, it's clear that Sarkissian left an indelible mark during one magnificent season as a Vaquero.

Said MacKay: "It's incredible what he's accomplished in one year at Glendale Community College."

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