Najera wins first State singles title for San Diego Mesa

Najera wins first State singles title for San Diego Mesa

By Dave Loveton, SBCC Sports Information

Sophia Najera won the last six games to claim the CCCAA Women's Tennis singles title on Sunday and Sarah Anderson repeated as doubles champion with her Fullerton partner, Sarah Edwards.

Najera, a left-hander who was seeded No. 9, claimed the first singles championship for San Diego Mesa with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory over No. 1 Maya Mammetgulyeva of Fresno City.

Najera posted three-set wins in three of her last four matches at the Ojai, which hosted the Community College State Tournament for the second straight year.

"It was an emotional match, Maya put up a great fight," said Najera, a freshman from San Diego. "There were some long games. I finally figured out that I needed to step through the ball. I was letting her push me back and that's not how I play.

"I knew it would be hard to win this tournament but I didn't think I was going to get this far."
 Najera collected six wins over four days en route to the top of the 80-player field.

After falling behind 2-0 in the third set, Najera broke service, then held her own at 40-15 to tie it at 2. She hit a forehand winner to get the advantage in the next game and took a 3-2 lead with Mammetgulyeva hit long. Najera won the next game at love and then ripped off four straight points to break serve again for a 5-2 lead.

Najera served for the title and overcame an 0-30 deficit. After two deuces, she got the Ad and drilled a forehand up the left sideline for the victory.

Anderson, another left-hander who was the State runner-up in singles last year, and Edwards were the No. 1 seed from the South in doubles. They beat the No. 3 seed from El Camino in an 8 a.m. semifinal 7-6 (2), 6-0, then knocked off the top seed from the North, Stephanie Ramos and Jacquelin Ward of Sierra, 6-3, 3-6 and 10-7 in the 10-point tiebreaker.

Anderson, who helped Fullerton win the last two State Team championships, became the fifth women's player to win back-to-back doubles titles. The last one was Kyoko Maebara of Grossmont in 1996-97. 

For complete results of the 2014 CCCAA Championships view the CCCAA Draws.