By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
The 2019 women's tennis season continues for College of the Canyons with two singles players and pair of doubles teams qualifying to compete at the upcoming regional championships after a successful showing at last weekend's Western State Conference (WSC) Singles and Doubles Championships.
The first leg of the three-day event was held April 5-6 at Ventura College, with final rounds slated for Friday.
Stanisavljevic, who played at West Ranch High School a season ago, and Sakato, who began collegiate play this season at the age of 65, entered the conference tourney as the No. 4 ranked doubles team. The duo previously posted a record of 7-3 during conference play and picked up two more victories on Saturday.
The team was one of 10 to receive an automatic bye into the round of 16, then took another step towards its championship goal by defeating Santa Monica College's duo of Dolores Padilla/Iren Feher by an 8-0 score.
In the quarterfinal round Stanisavljevic/Sakato took down No. 11 Jule Lauinger/Julia Jakobsen of Santa Barbara City College by another 8-0 final.
Friday's semi-final match will see Stanisavljevic/Sakato taking on No. 14 Jacqlyn Zavala/Alexis Strange of Bakersfield College in a 1 p.m. start.
The winner moves on to face the victor between No. 3 Isabella Chacon/Elen Ghazaryan of Glendale and No. 2 Kayleen Sanchez/Paige Darstein of Bakersfield for the WSC Doubles Championship. That match will begin at 3 p.m.
Regardless of what happens on Friday, Stanisavljevic/Sakato will move on to compete in the CCCAA Southern California Regional Championships beginning April 25 in Ojai. The four-day event is also the site of the CCCAA State Championships, where a team, singles and doubles champion will all be crowned.
Wambolt, who played at the SoCal regional as a freshman, and Villarta, the current freshman who didn't play competitively in high school, were a perfect 6-0 during conference doubles play.
They entered the WSC tourney as the No. 9 ranked team and received a first round bye, then lost to the No. 3 Glendale duo of Chacon/Ghazaryan 8-2. Nevertheless, Villarta/Wambolt still move on to the regionals after a series of defaults affecting teams in the tournament's field.
In its inaugural 2018 season, COC sent two teams to the regional championships with the doubles duos of Jenny Cranert and Leilani Figalan joining Wambolt and Brienna Best.
Canyons will see two players compete in singles action at the regional championships with Stanisavljevic and Villarta punching their tickets twice by also qualifying on that side.
No. 2 ranked Stanisavljevic started the conference tourney with convincing wins over Jennifer Goldsbury of Glendale (6-0, 6-1) and No. 15 Victoria Dafos of SBCC (7-6, 6-2) before suffering an upset in the quarterfinal round. Stanisavljevic fell in a tough match to No. 5 ranked Darstein of Bakersfield (6-3, 6-4) to end her conference run, but still moves on to Ojai.
The freshman finished the regular season with a 12-4 overall record and 10-3 mark in WSC play, including nine straight singles wins to start the conference portion of the season. She becomes the first player in COC program history to earn all-conference honors after being named to the All-WSC Second-Team as a No. 1 singles player.
Villarta will also compete individually at the regionals after a run that saw her go 2-1 at the conference championships to earn a spot in Ojai.
Entering as the tourney's No. 14 ranked player, Villarta quickly defeated Ashlyne Aguilar of Bakersfield (6-1, 6-1), but had the tables turned tin he next round vs. No. 3 Chacon of Glendale (7-5, 6-0). Down but not out, Villarta went on to win her back-draw match over Isabella Hakopian of Glendale (7-5, 6-0) to secure another spot at the regionals.
In just its second season of existence Canyons (9-7, 9-5 WSC) finished third in the team conference standings behind champions SBCC (16-3, 14-0) and runner-up Bakersfield (17-4, 12-2).
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Photos by Jesse Muñoz & Tony Ramirez/COC Sports Information