An injury can derail a player's game, but for Trevor Campbell of the Glendale Community College men's tennis team, a bum ankle helped him settle into the Western State Conference Tournament Saturday.
Campbell injured his ankle near the end of his first singles set of the tournament against Santa Barbara City College's Sean Moazezi Saturday at Ventura College.
"I rolled it and heard it crack but I am lucky because I could still walk," said Campbell, who was seeded fifth in singles and went on to defeat Moazezi, 6-3, 7-5. "It actually helped me to relax because I wasn't moving as much. I was more relaxed because I wasn't pushing off of it as hard."
For the rest of the day, Campbell's mobility was limited, but he moved on to pick up a 7-5, 6-0 win in doubles over Moazezi and Daniel Francisco of Santa Barbara with partner Grayson Frazier, a La Cañada High graduate.
"The first set was tough, it was weird," said Campbell, a Burroughs graduate. "I got more serious in the second set and was more competitive."
The win qualified Campbell and Frazier, the bracket's top seed, for the Southern California Regionals in doubles. Campbell will have to win another singles match Friday in the tournament's round of 16 to advance to regionals, which will be held May 3-5.
Frazier, seeded eighth, will be the only other Vaquero joining Campbell Friday after he notched a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Bakersfield's John Thomas following a bye.
No one else from GCC advanced in the tournament, which was postponed a day due to rain, but Glendale college Coach Bob MacKay saw it as a good day in a competitive conference.
"The conference is tough, but I think everything we've done so far this season has prepared us for this moment," MacKay said. "We are ready for this. Trevor and Grayson have a chance to go a long way in doubles."
Glendale's doubles team of Mario Ruiz and Francisco Ochoa-Garcia earned a qualifying match after picking up a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Bakersfield's Joseph Theisen and Jimmy Moran in the first round.
The pair's season ended after a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Santa Barbara's Josh Crisp-Jones and Miles Seeman in the second round.
GCC's Francisco Ochoa-Garcia and Andrea Ratavousian earned first-round byes, but fell in the second round of singles action.
Ratavousian, a Hoover High graduate, wound up on the wrong end of a tough-fought match with Ventura's Tyler Sperry, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. Ochoa-Garcia fell to Cameron Lee of Ventura, 6-1, 6-1.
The Vaqueros had four other players — Rick Ivynian, Eric Khanlarian, Ruiz and Chaz Hall — knocked out in the first round.
MacKay said Saturday's conditions, which included heavy winds, made things more difficult, but wasn't about to offer up any excuses.
"Our job is to handle the conditions because the wind and rain is on both sides," MacKay said.
Ivynian fell to Pierce's Eduardo Garcia, 6-2, 6-2. Khanlarian, a Crescenta Valley graduate, lost to Pierce's Thales Castro, 6-2, 6-2. Ruiz dropped a tight battle with Santa Barbara City College's Robb Herr, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 and Hall couldn't pick up a game against Pierce's Moises Cardenas, 6-0, 6-0.
Hall and Ratavousian fell in the first round of doubles action to Ventura's Sperry and Nick Buzzubchenko, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Ivynian and Khanlarian suffered the same fate against Ventura's Dylan Clary and Lee, 6-1, 6-2.