By Charles Rich, Los Angeles Times
GLENDALE — Not everything came easy for the Glendale Community College women's tennis team during its first-round match of the California Community College Athletic Assn.'s Southern California Regional on Tuesday.
With temperatures above 85 degrees throughout most of the contest, Glendale found itself locked in a battle in doubles with Riverside for the right to take the lead heading into singles play. Glendale's No. 1 doubles team of Hailey McNall and Srna Lepchevska had quite a bit of catching up to do in order to give the Vaqueros the upper hand.
The duo rallied feverishly to win the set, before McNall and Lepchevska won their singles sets to propel fourth-seeded Glendale to a 5-2 win against fifth-seeded Riverside.
"Riverside came ready to play today and that last doubles set was unbelievable," Glendale coach Deo Sy said. "You could feel the tension trading volleys and points and then it comes down to the tiebreaker. I talked to Hailey and Srna when they were down, 6-3, and told them they were doing too much too soon. Then they started hitting some cross-court shots and they set up each other so well. That was the turning point in the whole match."
Glendale (20-2) won its 19th traight match and will meet second seed and defending state championship Orange Coast in a semifinal match Tuesday at Orange Coast. Orange Coast posted a 5-0 win at home against seventh-seeded Grossmont on Tuesday.
McNall and Lepchevska rallied from a 6-3 deficit to post a 9-8(7-4) win against Ellia Rosado and Heather Graf to give the Vaqueros, who have won four straight Western State Conference championships, a 2-1 lead.
"We had quite a bit of work to do, but we just knew we had to remain patient and keep doing the things that have made us successful," said McNall, a sophomore. "We also had to stay positive and it just kept going back and forth. We broke serve twice to take an 8-7 lead and then they came back. We felt good heading into the tiebreaker."
Said Lepchevska, a sophomore who transferred from Santa Monica: "It's probably the hardest match we've played in doubles. Everything kind of happened so fast. In the tiebreaker, we were positive and liked our chances."
Glendale turned back Riverside (14-5) for the second time this season. The Vaqueros earned a 7-2 win at Riverside on Feb. 23. The Tigers finished third in the Orange Empire Conference, which was won by Orange Coast.
The Vaqueros received a doubles victory from Miah Webb and Sabrina Subero (8-4).
Glendale picked up singles wins from McNall (6-3, 5-1(retired), Lepchevska (6-0, 6-0) and Webb (6-0, 6-0). Webb's win clinched the victory.
Riverside got a doubles win from Mikah Kahler and Jolene Beaulieu (8-0) and a singles win from Kahler (6-4, 3-0(retired).
1. Srna Lepchevksa/Hailey McNall (GCC) defeats Ellia Rosado/Heather Graf (RCC) - 9-8(4)
3. Mikahela Kahler/Jolene Beaulieu (RCC) defeats Ruth Kachatorian/Felicia Moradian (GCC) - 8-3
1. Miah Webb (GCC) defeats Ellia Rosado (RCC) - 6-0, 6-1
2. Srna Lepchevska (GCC) defeats Heather Graf (RCC) - 6-0, 6-0
3. Hailey McNall (GCC) defeats Autumn Keay (RCC) - 6-3, 5-0 (retire)
4. Sabrina Subero (GCC) leads Emilia Lopez (RCC) - 6-4, 5-2
5. Mikahela Kahler (RCC) defeats Ruth Kachatorian (GCC) - 6-3, 4-0 (retire)
6. Felica Moradian (GCC) leads Jolene Beaulieu (RCC) - 6-4, 2-4