The Pierce College tennis team has almost reached the end of their season-long rollercoaster ride, with their final tournament coming in the first days of May.
The tennis team held a six-game losing streak before singles player Richard Catabona won the Western State Conference tournament in early April.
“They did great for the players that we had,” said head coach of the men’s tennis team, Rajeev Datt. “I think we did a great job.”
The team was 9-10 overall against more than 10 teams in the Southern California region.
Two players dropped out at the beginning of the season due to personal circumstances.
“That hurt us,” Datt said. “The last rankings I saw, we were the number eight team in the south and we would have been higher with those players.”
Catabona is up for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, Thales Castro is up for the ITA Sophomore of the Year award, Sergey Arushanyan is a Freshman and is up for the Rookie of the Year award and Player to Watch award, Datt said.
“The ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of varsity collegiate tennis players,” said Stephanie Neppl, director of Communications for the ITA. “The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men’s and women’s varsity coaches and 20,000 student-athletes from over 1,200 institutions, has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance.”
Catabona and Castro were both semi-finalists in the WSC tournament and both stay on their game on the court and in school.
“All of these guys, they can work on improving their grades,” Datt said. “Catabona has a 3.8 GPA and is an Honor student and Castro has a 3.2 GPA. They need to work on getting that 4.0.”
Catabona also recently received an acceptance letter to UCLA to the Neuroscience Department, Datt said.
The team has one more tournament, the Ojai Tournament, beginning on April 24 and ending April 27.
“They’re all great guys, awesome men and a pleasure to be around,” Datt said.