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

Mt. San Antonio men’s tennis overwhelms El Camino in conference win

Mt. San Antonio College Mounties Thomas Folsom and Tyler Perez play against El Camino College Warriors Alejandro Blanco and Shubham Waldiya in a tennis doubles match at the ECC Tennis Courts on Thursday, Feb. 29. (Eddy Cermeno | The Union)

The Mt. San Antonio College Mounties gave the El Camino College Men’s Tennis team its third loss in a row on Thursday, Feb. 29 after overcoming a slow start.

Although the Warriors rallied in some of the doubles and singles matches, it was not enough to defeat the Mounties as they won the game with an overall score of 8-1.

As the three doubles matches started, El Camino came out with well-placed serves and returns, jumping to early 1-0 leads in the first sets.

The Mounties were playing their third away game of the season and were still getting used to the travel exhaustion.

“It was a little bit of a slow start for some of them but they brought it together, came back as a team and just kept the energy up all the way through,” Mt. SAC tennis coach Erik Martinez said.

Martinez said the team has slow starts when they have to travel to El Camino and other locations.

“This was our third away match so the [team is] still getting used to being on the road and finding some rhythm,” he said.

The sound of tennis balls being hit back and forth by rackets filled the El Camino tennis courts as players on both teams were now in the groove of their respective matches.

The Mounties gained momentum, taking control of two doubles matches and winning by 8-1 and 8-2 sets.

Once those matches ended, the last doubles match between Warriors freshmen Alejandro Blanco and Shubham Waldiya against Mounties freshmen Thomas Folsom and sophomore Tyler Perez was still going back and forth.

Strong serves from the Mounties caused the Warriors to struggle in returning the ball, allowing Folsom and Perez to gain the points to win sets.

Blanco and Waldiya tired out the Mounties with rallies in late sets, causing the Mounties’ reactions to falter.

Waldiya, a freshman and computer science major, said in this match his “serves and returns were pretty good,” and his volleys needed some work but Blanco helped him out a lot.

As the players went back and forth exchanging hits, the match became tied at 7-7 sets and the winner would be decided on who could get to nine sets wins first.

Folsom and Perez went on to win the eighth set first but Blanco and Waldiya tied the match again at 8-8.

“I’m here! Great serve!” Folsom would tell Perez throughout the late and extra sets, giving the two players coordination and enthusiasm.

This extra effort gave the Mounties the victory in the doubles match with a score of 9-8, sweeping the Warriors in doubles with a total score of 3-0.

Blanco, a business major, said for his next matches he could improve on worrying less about what is going on around him and “taking more time to prepare physically.”

The struggle to earn set victories would continue for the Warriors as the single matches started.

The Mounties swept the Warriors in three of the six singles matches, as the Warriors did not earn a set win in any of them.

Waldiya continued his momentum from the doubles match into his singles match against Folsom, after losing a hard-fought first set, 6-2.

Throughout the second set, Waldiya caused Folsom to stretch out his arm and slide on the court due to well-placed returns during long rallies.

“The entirety of the second set I had to put a lot of effort right off the bat, I knew I lost the first one and needed to change something,” Waldiya said.

The second set went on to a tiebreaker, giving the Mounties their fifth singles match win after Folsom overcame his exhaustion, as Waldiya had caused him to move across each side of the court.

“It was a tough opponent, unfortunately I lost, but I think it was a very close battle,” Waldiya said.

Players on both teams who completed their matches and were now done for the day sat down by the court where the final singles match continued.

Warrior Sasha Sewell, psychology major, was playing against Perez, whose shirt was now drenched in sweat after playing for two long matches.

Points in this final match were scored off of serves and returns as both players were breathing hard during breaks between sets.

Sewell said he prefers to play defensively and wait for his opponent to make an error.

“[Perez] had really big serves and big shots, it’s a lot of waiting for the right opportunities and waiting for him to make a mistake,” Sewell said. “Staying firm mentally…that’s what I excel at and when I’m able to do that I think I can come up with good results.”

The match went on to a third-set tiebreaker after Sewell won the second set, 6-2.

Players from both teams were encouraging and cheering for their respective teammates in the tiebreaker set.

Sewell would score his final points on the set to win 10-5 off of serves and returns, where Perez struggled to react in time to well-placed shots on the court.

From his performance during the game, Sewell believes consistency is a key improvement to be made for himself and the rest of the team.

“It’s about consistency, mental fortitude and preparation for the match. Those are like the three keys on what could be better for the next [game] and for the rest of the season,” Sewell said.

​​The Warriors will have a scrimmage game against the University of Saint Katherine Firebirds on Friday, March 1 at Mira Costa College.

Next game
El Camino vs College of the Desert
@ College of the Desert
Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m.

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