Men’s tennis dominates again

Mounties winning ways continue against Imperial Valley


Robbie Doctor

Sophomore Lucas Van Zee with a nasty return serve, earning the point after the rally.

The Mounties made it four straight dominating performances against conference opponents heading into their away matchup against Victor Valley.

After defeating the San Diego City Knights and winning 5-4, the Mounties hosted the struggling Imperial Valley Arabs. Though the on-and-off sprinkling rain persisted during the latter part of the singles matches, it did not affect the outcome of the matches.

The Mounties barely broke a sweat in their double-header singles matches, sweeping the first round, 6-0 and capturing the second round, 5-1.

In singles play, three Mounties had an identical, 6-1 and 6-2, victory in the first round, including sophomore Lucas Van Zee, freshmen Kaden Salvador and Justin Luu. The Mounties took advantage of the Arabs’ inability to return hard serves and brushed off their opponents rather easily.

When asked about the team’s overall performance, head coach Lee Shiomoto said, “Despite the not-so-good weather conditions and playing a doubleheader, our team took 11 out of 12 singles matches sealing victory for both games.”

Freshman Arhen Van Zee with the backhand return against Carlos Zapata, winning both sets 6-2 to capture his singles match victory. (Robbie Doctor)

During the second round of singles play, the trio recorded victories along with sophomore Jayden Aggers and freshman Tyler Perez. Aggers registered 6-1 set wins in all but one of his sets, winning 6-2 and 6-1, against Arabs’ Marcos Romero. Salvador dominated in the second round, crushing his opponent, Carlos Zapata, with two 6-0. It was the quickest match of the day.

However, during the doubles plays, head coach Lee Shiomoto decided to challenge his team and switched up the usual doubles pairs by resting both Salvador and Van Zee. The pair of Aggers and Luu took the only doubles match victory for the Mounties winning 4-2.

Despite dropping two out of three doubles matches, the Mounties did take all but one of the singles matches, so they still won the meet, 7-2.

Coach Shiomoto highlighted one match in particular.

“Even though it was a loss in singles play for freshman Andrew Carillo playing in the number six singles spot of the second match, Andrew played a very close first set dropping it 5-7,” he said.

The Mounties knew if they handled their business in the doubleheader singles play, ultimately they would win the match against the Arabs.

With two matches against Hope International and the Ventura College Pirates being postponed, the Mounties will look to improve their non-conference record to 2-2 and maintain their 7-game win streak alive.

After defeating the San Diego City Knights on March 24, by 7-2, the Mounties improved their overall record to 8-4, and 8-2, in the conference. Next, the Mounties will host the Desert Roadrunners on Wednesday, March 29, at 2 p.m. Then they will hit the road to take on the Fullerton Hornets on Monday, March 28, at 2 p.m. which was a rescheduled match from March 10, due to inclement weather.