The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Men’s tennis team has athlete reach the sixteenth round

Primetime, the lights are on and all eyes are on center stage as the regular season has ended and the postseason is getting underway.

For Tipton McMahon and Jun Espiritu of the men’s tennis team, this postseason got off to a fast start in both the Ojai and South Coast Conference Tournaments and looks to get tougher in the coming weeks with both Regionals and State Finals approaching.

The 105th Ojai Tournament commenced last Thursday and saw the arrival of athletes spanning from the Pacific-10 Conference, Division II, Division III and community college level.

McMahon kicked off his tournament in the round of 64, as he received a bye for the round of 132 due to his regular season success.

In his first match, McMahon achieved an early lead and never looked back in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hector Mateus of San Diego Mesa.

“He was consistent, but he wasn’t willing to stick it out,” McMahon said. “I was playing more consistent and conserving my energy because I didn’t need it.”

Following his only singles match on Thursday, he traveled to the other playing site and teamed up with Espiritu for their round of 64 doubles match against Irvine Valley.

This was a match that featured a lot of intensity, strong serving, including McMahon’s four aces, great net play, exemplified by Espiritu’s 10 winners and teamwork.

Unfortunately, the Warriors came up on the short end as they dropped the three-set thriller 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 in a match that could have gone either way.

“It was tough because Tipton had to change rackets and he couldn’t hit all the shots he wanted but we both played really well,” Espiritu said. “If Tipton had his racket, we would have won in two sets.”

Following the heartbreak loss, McMahon was frustrated with the outcome and it seemed as if this setback was going to get the best of him.

Fortunately for McMahon, he had the chance to sleep on it and get refocused for his second singles match the next day at 8 a.m.

McMahon got back to his winning ways once again by annihilating Bryan Newell of perennial powerhouse Saddleback College 6-0, 6-1 in the round of 32.

“He was very similar to Mateus, but did not have many weapons to throw me off,” McMahon said. “I was hitting some great angle shots.”

Unlike Thursday, McMahon would have to recover quickly and get prepared for his round of 16 match against the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Ventura’s Jeroen Van Ruter.

Things did not go as smoothly for McMahon as in the previous two singles matches as he struggled to get in a groove against the agile 6’9″ eventual tournament champion, losing 6-2, 6-4.

“He had a great serve, with speed and placed it well,” McMahon said. “I was not at my best as it was an off match for me, but you have to give him credit.”

Despite exiting the tournament earlier than he had planned, McMahon walks away more experienced and excited about what the future holds.

I learned my game is contingent on how much rest I get and that I need to be on a strict diet to stay at the top of my game,” McMahon said. “Seeing and playing against the top players made me realize that I can compete with the best of them.”

A week prior to the Ojai Tournament, the men’s tennis team started the postseason facing the same teams they had finished the regular season playing.

The first postseason action for the Warriors was the South Coast Conference Tournament, which features the top individuals and doubles teams from the five-team conference.

As they did in Ojai, McMahon and Espiritu stole the show and represented the Warriors well.

McMahon, who entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, advanced to the semifinals where he met the top player from the Marymount Mariners, an opponent he had previously defeated twice during the regular season.

The result was that of an upset, as McMahon could not pull off the difficult three-match season sweep of the same opponent, as he lost 2-6, 6-4, 11-9.

“The loss was a combination of the Marymount coach being a negative presence on the court and me having my concentration diverted,” McMahon said. “I should have won and the match shouldn’t have been as close as it was.”

The doubles pairing of McMahon and Espiritu faired better than most expected and pulled off an upset of the No. 1 seeded pairing en route to reaching the finals.

McMahon and Espiritu met with the No. 1 seeded Cerritos Falcons’ doubles team, a foe they could not overcome as they had lost to them in their previous two meetings.

However, this time around was different for the Warriors came out confident and focused, which paid off as they defeated the Falcons and advanced to the finals, where they lost to Mariners No. 1 team.

“We did pretty well and against Cerritos we beat them for the first time in doubles,” Espiritu said.

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