Originally written for publishing on April 30, 2013.
The Fullerton College women’s tennis team won their first ever California Community College Athletic Association State Team Championship. A pair of Lady Hornets, Sarah Anderson and Victoria Vo, also brought home a state championship in the doubles category.
The Tournament was held April 24-28 at Ojai College. Anderson almost pulled off the trifecta, but she fell to Santa Barbara City College’s Bruna Magalhaes in the finals (2-6, 6-7 (1)).
The championship is the first one in the history of the Fullerton College women’s tennis program. The team did not even have official uniforms this season.
The road to the championship was not easy for the Hornets.
Going into the So-Cal tournament, FC was only rated as the fourth-best team in the south.
The Hornets had to beat the top three teams in the south, Riverside College, El Camino College and Mt. San Antonio College. El Camino was the previous favorite to win the whole state.
“We played El Camino in preseason,” said FC head coach, Scott Giles. “We lost to them 4-5 so I knew we could beat them, if we played to our potential.”
Vo, who was a sophomore this year, also played a big part in rallying the team together, and getting them ready to take on the higher-seeded teams.
“I told them team that I knew we could beat these teams,” said Vo. “The coaches always tell us to play like we know, so that is what I told the girls.”
Anderson, who is only a freshman, and will be back next year, proved to be the team’s all around star.
“We had a lot of great players, and I am so proud of all of us,” said Anderson. “It was a surreal experience to say the least.”
Anderson and Vo did not lose a single doubles match at any point all year.
Heading into the doubles finals match, Anderson had just lost a heartbreaking singles final. It was only her second loss of the season in thirty matches.
Anderson did not appear to be slowed down at all, and the team cruised (6-3, 7-5) in the finals.
Unlike the Hornets in the team dual meet, Vo and Anderson were the top seeded pairing, and favored to win it all.
“Victoria is a great doubles player with a lot of experience,” Anderson said. “She really taught me a lot, and our strengths and weaknesses really balance each other out.”
“We both worked really hard all year,” added Vo. “That attitude really helped us in the long run.”
In the team dual finals, the Hornets defeated the top seeded team in the North, Sierra College, 5-4, in spectacular fashion. Anderson and Vo won their match, and Jenna Futch and Andrea Zavala also won theirs, and the Hornets jumped out to a 2-1 lead. However, Sierra took the next three to take a 4-2 lead before the Hornets came storming back with the last three matches. Futch and Anderson then won singles matches to tie it at four.
Vo fell behind 4-0 in the first set of her singles match. However, she fought back and won 12 consecutive games to clinch the title for FC.
“We have had great coaches all year,” Vo said. “Coach Giles and Ian Liang have been really good about helping us make in-game adjustments, which is what I had to do to win that match.”
Up until this point, Vo was a perfect 17-0 in singles and 14-0 in doubles. Vo will be leaving FC after this season. She has fielded a few verbal offers, but has not committed anywhere yet.
“We had a great group of talented, young ladies, who always put the team first,” Giles said. “It was really fun and really easy to coach them.”
Anderson will have to replace Vo with a new doubles partner. No decisions have been made yet about who it will be.
“It will be tough without her at first,” Anderson said. “But we have great coaches, and I know we will have a great team next year.”
Giles is also confident that the team will be just fine next year. According to Giles the team is adding a new recruit from Los Alamitos who won her conference in doubles this year.
“Fullerton has never really been known for tennis,” Vo added. “But, this should draw people to the program. Especially, since we also made semis in 2012.”
Even though some of the players are moving on, the state championship should make recruiting new talent easier. women’s tennis seems to be a program on the rise at Fullerton College.