By STEVE CHOICE
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team came in second at the NJCAA Region 1 Championships at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale on April 15-16, punching its ticket to the national tournament in the process.
PCC totaled 20 points, three fewer than top finisher Eastern Arizona College.
“We had a great tournament, coming in just behind the No. 6 team in the nation,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.
Nationals will be played at the Reffkin Tennis Center on May 4-10. The facility is located at the corner of Alvernon Way and Broadway Boulevard.
Freshman Amy Beeston had a spectacular tournament in Glendale, claiming titles in both singles and doubles.
Beeston downed Mesa Community College’s Karah Hedquist 6-2, 6-1 to claim the No. 4 singles crown.
“It’s hard to play her because she’s scrappy, but I played better than I had ever played against her,” she said.
Beeston then teamed with freshman Torie Wake to win at No. 2 doubles, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Pima competed in all six championship matches in singles, with Beeston as the sole winner. Sophomore Vivian Pierson had her 13-match winning streak snapped at No. 6 singles, falling to Eastern’s Kindra Holliday 6-0, 6-2.
On the men’s side, the Aztecs finished fourth in the team competition, one place off a national-qualifying spot. PCC was one point behind Paradise Valley Community College, the last team qualifier.
Two Aztecs made it to finals matches in singles competition.
Sophomore Dylan Vo vied for a nationals berth in No. 2 singles against Felipe Burnac of Scottsdale Community College, but came up short 6-3, 6-3.
Freshman Brian Soto dropped his finals match at No. 5 singles against Scottsdale’s David Pollack 6-1, 6-1.
Vo and fellow sophomore Joe Owen fell 6-3, 6-3 in their No. 1 doubles semifinals match, while Soto and sophomore D.J. Campas lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
Head coach Brian Ramirez, who joined the team in March, was pleased with Pima’s growth during his brief tenure.
“It’s clear that the team members made good progress individually during my short time with them this season,” he said. “This is due in large part to the great attitude each team member displayed all season.
“The team should be very proud of how hard they fought all year.”