Vaquero to be honored in NY

GLENDALE — Alex Sarkissian hasn't been to New York before. When he arrives there Aug. 24, the former Glendale Community College men's tennis standout will take in some of Manhattan's famous sites in addition to picking up a prestigious honor.

Sarkissian, who won the California Community College Athletic Assn. State Tennis Championships in May, will be one of 23 student-athletes honored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. as part of the 28th edition of the ITA All-Star Team featuring the nation's top-ranked players and National Champions from the 2010-11 season.

"It's going to be a great experience to be honored," said the Pepperdine University-bound Sarkissian, who went 35-0 in singles competition and didn't lose a set in any singles matches. "I definitely had a great experience at Glendale college and all the hard work paid off.

"It's a great achievement to get and I'll have that award in my room. I never thought this would happen and it's all come true now."

In his benchmark season, Sarkissian completed the "trifecta" of regional, Ojai and state titles. Sarkissian also went 20-2 in doubles with Trevor Campbell.

Glendale college men's Coach Bob MacKay said Sarkissian, who joined Dylan Kim as the only Vaquero men's tennis players to win a state championship, had a breakthrough season and deserved the national accolade.

"The important thing here is that he's done something that nobody had done before," MacKay said. "He accomplished that trifecta and he did it by maintaining an intensity throughout the whole season.

"He went up against some good players and he knew what he needed to do. Nobody could touch him. This is something we might not see again. He's being honored as one of the best and he's the best at the community college level."

Sarkissian and the other 22 representatives will be honored by the ITA and United States Tennis Assn. with a weekend in New York, highlighted by activities during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Also, the group will be honored at the ITA awards luncheon hosted by the USTA.

Sarkissian, who helped the Vaqueros reach the Southern California Regionals after placing second in the Western State Conference, became the first Glendale college athlete in school history to win the Ojai Invitational's community college singles title.

Sarkissian posted a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Derek Siddiqui of Cerritos College for the singles championship. He then paired with Campbell to record a 7-6, 6-4 victory against Cypress College's Oliver Andrzejenr and Torsten Keil-Long for the doubles crown. It marked the first time since 2004 that one school had swept the men's titles at the prestigious event.

At the California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Regional Championships at the J.W. Marriott-Desert Springs Country Club in Palm Desert, Sarkissian played through triple-digit heat to notch a 6-4, 1-0 (retired) win against College of the Desert's Rodrigo Schaefer in the final.

Sarkissian, who was named the Western State Conference's Player of the Year, then completed his banner campaign by besting Schaefer to become the California Community College Athletic Assn. state champion. The top-seeded Sarkissian fell behind, 2-0, in the opening set against the second-seeded Schaefer before storming back to win the next eight games in a 6-2, 6-1 sweep.

"It was an incredible year by an incredible player," MacKay said.

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