After qualifying for the Southern California Regionals and then competing in the Western Conference Tournament last week, the members of the exhausted Glendale Community College men's tennis team made the long trek to San Diego on Tuesday.
While the Vaqueros were glad to return to the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, they were not able to shake off fatigue.
Fifth-seeded Glendale saw its season end with a 5-1 loss against third-seeded San Diego Mesa in a quarterfinal match.
"They have played a lot of tennis and that might have had something to do with it early when we fell behind in doubles," said Glendale Coach Bob MacKay, whose team finished 11-6, 5-3 in conference to tie for second place. "No excuses about the long drive, we just lost to a strong team and we didn't get the points when we needed them the most
"This was the first time for our players to compete in a playoff match. It was about getting them to believe in themselves and we took a step in the right direction this season."
Glendale received an 8-3 doubles victory from Gaspar Macalutas and Andrew You. Unfortunately for the Vaqueros, it couldn't mount a comeback in singles.
San Diego Mesa will meet second-seeded College of the Desert in a semifinal match April 16.
MacKay, who took over the program in 2003, said the Vaqueros plan to learn from their accomplishments this season.
"If anything, we've learned that we can advance to this level and play hard," MacKay said. "We had to fight until the last match of the regular season to get here and we did it.
"From where we were at the end of last season to where we are now, I think we are a lot better off. The biggest thing that they see now is that community college tennis is very tough. You need to prepare in January to be ready for April. That's the key right there."
Glendale's Son Tran will take part in a back draw singles conference semifinal match against Bakersfield's Tim Roe at 11 a.m. Friday at Ventura College.
"It's a big match for Son," said MacKay, who has guided Glendale to seven playoff appearances. "He's got his work cut out for him, and he's going to get a good test against their No. 1 player."