NORTHEAST GLENDALE — In addition to competing in the ultra-competitive Western State Conference, the members of the Glendale Community College men’s tennis team are also up to the challenge of matching up against top Division III programs.
On Monday afternoon, Glendale college faced traditional Division III power Middlebury College of Vermont in a nonconference home match.
Middlebury’s experience proved to be too much, as Glendale suffered an 8-1 defeat.
“There’s two reasons why we play Division III,” Glendale Coach Bob MacKay said. “First, it allows our guys to be in position to prepare for upcoming matches with the goals of getting set for the conference finals and the Ojai Invitational.
“Secondly, it gives them a picture to see what it’s like to play at a four-year school because that’s going to be the next step for many of them. We’ll probably get our butts kicked [playing Division III teams], but it’s a matter of growth and showing continued improvement.”
It marked the third straight season that the Vaqueros and Panthers have met, with all three matches held at Glendale. In 2010, the Panthers posted a 6-3 win en route to winning the division championship. Middlebury recorded a 7-2 victory in last season’s meeting.
For the second match in a row, Glendale fell to a top Division III team. The Vaqueros were handed a 6-3 home defeat Friday by Amherst College, which won the Division III crown last season. It also suffered a 7-2 loss against Occidental College earlier this month.
On Monday, Glendale (5-10) received an 8-4 doubles victory from Trevor Campbell and Grayson Frazier against Eric Vehovec and William Oberrender.
“Trevor and Grayson are a great team and they beat a good team,” said MacKay, whose team will meet visiting Cerritos College in a nonconference match at 2 p.m. today before facing visiting Irvine Valley College in another nonconference match at 2 p.m. Thursday. “They went out there and beat a good team.”
Middlebury (7-1) received singles wins from Vehovec, Courtney Mountifield, Chris Frost, Peter Heidrich, Oberrender and Johann Riefkohl. The Panthers, who also won a division championship in 2004, received doubles victories from Frost and Heidrich and Mountifield and Riefkohl.
Vehovec posted a 7-5, 6-3 win against Campbell, a Burroughs High graduate. Mountifield earned a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Frazier, a La Cañada graduate. Frost recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win against Andre Ratavousian, a Hoover graduate. Hedirich notched a 6-3, 6-2 win against Chaz Hall, Oberrender posted a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Rick Ivynian and Reifkohl won, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 against Carlos Ruiz.
In doubles, Frost and Heidrich teamed up for an 8-2 win against Hall and Ratavousian. The Panthers also received an 8-1 victory from Mountifield and Riefkohl against Ivynian and Eric Khanlarian, a Crescenta Valley graduate.
MacKay said the Vaqueros have made some strides toward improvement despite losing their fourth match in a row.
“We have to remember where we started and where we are at now,” MacKay said. “It’s just about getting better and playing well down the stretch in conference and taking something back.”