Both SRJC tennis teams enjoy smashing success

Ailah Fassett

Chase Sariaslani serves while his partner, [front player] is ready to return the received ball. The SRJC BEar Cubs tennis team's next home game will be against Diablo Valley on March 13.

Ken Kutska, Assistant A&E Editor

SRJC Bear Cubs men’s and women’s tennis teams have been on a roll. They have brought home a string victories, including an 8-1 victory for the women over conference rival American River College on March 6.

Both the men’s and women’s teams played well but the men came up short. The men lost to American River (8-1) but are currently 4-4 overall with the same conference record in the Big 8 Conference North. Even with this most recent loss, the men’s team has a winning record of 3-2 over the past five tournaments with tough victories over Diablo Valley, Shasta and Folsom Lake.

The women played well with strong play from Nikka Juricic, Monica Borowitz, Kelsea Thomas and team captain Gienna Gonnella. In the doubles matches, each contest was fought with enormous ferocity with amazing rallies from both SRJC and American River. “We have a great team this season,” said Gonnella.

Juricic and Gonnella have been teaming together pretty much all season and have strong chemistry. The competition for the women has been tough all season especially with rival Sierra College, the women’s only two losses.

“Sierra is probably our toughest competition and our main rivals,” Juricic and Gonnella said.

Coach Jay Samonte is proud of what his team has accomplished so far this season and sees a lot of room for growth with such a young team. “I’m very proud I can draw from our local athletes and still be able to compete with all the big schools like Foothill, Fresno City College and schools down south. They tend to be stacked with athletes from outside their area,” Samonte said.

The women’s team has an overall record of 8-2 while going 5-1 in the last six matches. The women’s second loss of the season was again to Sierra College, which beat them 7-2 last week and 5-4 in a closely fought game earlier this year. In the women’s next four games they face three teams that they’ve already beat.

The women will face Diablo Valley on March 13 at home, Shasta on March 16 on the road, Folsom Lake on March 20 at home, and American River on March 23. All games have a 1 p.m. start time and all are conference games.

The second half for the men’s and women’s teams will decide how both teams finish the season. The women have a good chance to make a deep run in Big 8 Conference championship and playoffs. “We’ll go from match to match and try to improve,” Samonte said.

The men still have some work to with tough home matches coming up against Diablo Valley March 13, Folsom Lake March 20 and Modesto March 27. The upcoming road schedule is even tougher with matches against Sierra, March 8; Saddleback, March 9; Shasta, March 1 and American River March 23.

 

 

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