By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
After a series of scrimmages, the Pima Community College tennis teams played conference meets against Mesa and Glendale to start their season.
“The team adapts really well to play styles they have never seen before,” head coach Ian Esquer said.
March 9: PCC 0, Mesa CC 9
In their third match, the Aztecs (2-2, 1-2 conference) were swept at home by the No. 8 Mesa Community College Thunderbirds.
Aztec freshmen Emma Oropeza and Janine Fernando dropped the No. 1 doubles match 8-2.
Oropeza also dropped her No. 1 singles match, 6-2, 6-3.
Sophomore Ashley Ochoa played a close second set but fell 6-1, 7-5.
March 21: PCC 9, Glendale CC 0
Oropeza led a string of defeats against Glendale in singles, as she defeated her opponent 6-0, 6-2.
Freshmen Jayme Shafer and Elise Rodriguez dominated their No. 3 doubles 8-1.
March 9: PCC 0, Mesa CC 9
The No. 7 Mesa Community College Thunderbirds swept the Aztecs (2-1, 1-1 conference) in a home meet.
Pima sophomores Marc Avalos and Francisco Ton played a close doubles match but lost 9-8.
Avalos lost his No. 1 singles match, 6-0, 6-1. Ton lost his No. 2 singles match 6-0, 6-1.
March 21: PCC 8, Glendale CC 1
As the Aztecs dominate Glendale, Ton was able to come away with a big victory in his No. 2 singles in a three-set tie-breaker, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0.
March 23: Paradise Valley CC, West Campus, 1:30 p.m.
March 29: Mesa CC, 11 a.m.
March 23: Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 1:30 p.m.
March 28: Eastern Arizona, West Campus, 1:30 p.m.
March 29: Mesa CC, 1:30 p.m.
By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
After a sweep against Imperial College, the Pima Community College men’s and women’s teams played in a preseason tournament in Mesa.
“It went really well,” head coach Ian Esquer said.
Other schools such as Eastern Arizona and Arizona Christian University weren’t expecting the new coach and his team to get as far as they did, Esquer said.
“I was happy everyone played and had fun,” he said.
ACCAC preseason tournament
For doubles, the men’s team got to the finals of the main draw and the semifinals of the back draw.
“Arizona Christian University played and we beat them in the finals, so they were pretty impressed, as was I,” Esquer said.
ACCAC preseason tournament
In singles, freshman Emma Oropeza made her way to the semifinals of the main draw, while freshmen Janine Fernando and Lien Nguyen reached the back draw finals.
In doubles Oropeza and Nguyen made it to the semi’s of the back draw.
Feb. 23: Eastern 8, PCC 1
PCC’s game in Thatcher resulted in just one win, from freshman Elise Rodriguez. She won her No. 6 singles 7-6. The Aztecs lost every other match on the road.
By: Nicholas Trujillo
With a new coach at the helm for both Pima Community College tennis teams, Ian Esquer starts off his season 1-0, for the men’s and women’s teams.
Feb. 4: PCC 9, Imperial Valley 0
The men’s team earned a 9-0 sweep against Imperial Valley College. Fresman Francisco Sotelo swept his No. 4 singles match 6-0, 6-0.
Sophomores Jesus Lopez and Raj Singh Kaila also swept their opponents, No. 5 and No. 6 singles respectively, 6-0, 6-0.
In the doubles competition Sophomores Marc Avalos and Francisco Ton won their No. 1 doubles 6-1, 6-1.
Feb. 4: PCC 7, Imperial Valley 2
The Aztecs took their win against Imperial Valley, with a 7-2 take over.
In singles, freshman Elise Rodriguez defeated her No. 6 singles, 6-0, 61.
In doubles, Rodriguez and freshman Jayme Shafer swept their No. 3 doubles 8-0.
Feb. 20-21: Scottsdale CC, Invitational, Sun City, 11 a.m.
Feb. 27-28: Estella Mountain CC Invitational, Goodyear, 10 a.m.
By MARIA ANGULO
Patricia Ferrer is getting lots of attention for creating an apparel accessory that protects skin from the sun.
Originally from Dallas, Ferrer settled in Tucson and enrolled at Pima Community College to pursue a certification in fashion design.
At the end of her first course, she took home small pieces of scrap knit fabric. She manipulated a piece to cover the back of her hand, accidently creating a palm-free glove.
“This is when the ‘aha’ moment came, that I could create a palm-less glove,” she said.
Now, after the strike of serendipity, Ferrer is being honored with a Member of the Month award by Fashion Business Inc. in Los Angeles.
The FBI is a nonprofit organization that provides educational courses, training, networking and consulting to help apparel entrepreneur build their businesses.
“They help by providing tools and resources to build a successful business,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer will show her PalmFree Sunwear line in the FBI’s annual fashion show at Union Railway Stations in LA on Oct.18.
“It will be fun, educational and interesting to see other members and their designs,” she said. “I’ve never been to a function like this before, so it will be exciting.”
Fashion instructor Nancy Spaulding will also attend.
“I am going as her ‘assistant’ and, of course, mentor/instructor,” she said.
Spaulding recommended that Ferrer join FBI after coming across the group’s website and watching some of their videos.
“I recommend to Pat that she become involved in a nonprofit organization in LA that specifically caters to people starting their own apparel businesses,” Spaulding said.
“Through the consultancy of the FBI and the experienced fashion professionals who work with the FBI, Pat will gain further knowledge about the ins-and-outs of the trade,” Spaulding added.
Ferrer found out about the award from an FBI staffer who told her she was September member of the month.
Ferrer is also nominated as FBI member of the year, but remains modest. “I’m sure it will be tight competition,” she said.
Her instructor is rooting for her.
“She is the perfect example of a non-traditional student who came into our program to learn the things she needed to learn in order to start her apparel business,” Spaulding said.
Spaulding thinks Ferrer’s success sends a larger message. “It is never too late to learn new skills,” Spaulding said. “She inspires many people in our area, our community and college.”
Ferrer has been focusing on creating a line of sun protective apparel accessories, such as hats, sleeves and lightweight shrugs.
“Once this line is in place, I would like to expand on colors and focus on marketing,” she said.
Ferrer earned a bachelor of science degree as a physician assistant from the University of Texas Medical Branch and a master of physician assistant degree with a specialization in dermatology.
As a physician assistant, she treats skin cancer and pre-cancers daily in the clinic where she works. She has seen the damage that intense sun can inflict on the skin on the back of hands.
Her love for tennis also inspired her invention. Using sunscreen to protect her hands affected her playing because the grip on her racket was slippery.
“In an effort to protect the skin on my hands, I’ve always wanted a palm-less sun protective glove,” she said. “I tried the ones available but they are ‘one size fits all,’ either too big, too cumbersome or they have Velcro that snags everything and eventually no longer works.”
Ferrer has an active lifestyle that extends beyond designing.
In 2008, she and her partner Bruce decided to leave Tacoma, Washington. They sold their house and 95 percent of their possessions, and hopped into a van.
“We camped our way through the Northwest passage, Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia, the western U.S. states and ended up spending eight months south of the border in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize,” she said.
While driving through Mexico, they stopped in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Ferrer asked around for a medical volunteer opportunity.
She was told about Sergio Castro, who provides wound care to patients for free since Chiapas has no burn clinics or wound care facilities.
“The time I spent with him had a profound effect on me,” Ferrer said. “Since then, I have returned to help him annually, two weeks at a time.”
Ferrer did not know if she wanted to invest extensive work in her palm-less glove idea but thought about creating a small business.
After one of her trips to Chiapas, she decided to move forward with the business. She donates her profits to Castro’s foundation, Yok Chij.
Ferrer is proud that her PalmFree Sunwear company has the Sunglove as a signature product.
“As a dermatology clinician, I see that many outdoor enthusiasts can benefit from this product to reduce their risks of skin cancers and photodamage,” Ferrer said. “This was created for tennis players, golfers and hikers, and can be worn when driving or cycling.”
The gloves are made with UPF50 fabric that can block up to 98 percent of solar radiation, according to Ferrer.
Meanwhile PCC’s Fashion Club is growing.
Members have numerous events planned for the year, including fashion shows, guest speakers, bake sales and field trips. On Oct. 29, a body scanning group from Washington D.C. will scan people to create custom dress forms.
“Exciting technology,” Spaulding said.
The fashion department is working closely with Arizona State University for transfer opportunities to a new bachelor’s degree in fashion design.
The department is also working to add at least one more certification, in event planning and styling.
To learn more about Pat Ferrer’s clothing business, visit palmfreesunwear.com.
Information about the fashion club is posted at facebook.com/West-Campus-Fashion-Club-1597032010531992.
For more information about the fashion program, visit facebook.com/pimafash
By D.R. WILLIAMS
The Aztecs finished their season with a final record of 4-7 (2-4 in ACCAC) after losing in the first day of Region I Championships in singles and doubles.
Freshman Marc Avalos lost his No. 1 singles match in a tough three-setter 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Freshman Dalton Reisig went down 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 2 singles spot. Together they lost the No. 1 doubles match 6-4, 6-2.
Freshman Raj Singh Kaila lost his No. 3 singles match 6-1, 6-0.
Sophomore Jesus Lopez was shut out in his No. 4 singles match 6-0, 6-0.
Together Singh Kaila and Lopez lost their No. 2 doubles match 6-3, 6-3.
Sophomore Landon Trejo was on the losing end of another three set match, 7-6(7-3), 1-6, 6-2 at the No 5 spot.
Freshman Curtis Jeffery was also shut out in his No. 6 match 6-0, 6-0.
Together Trejo and Jeffery were shut out in their No. 3 doubles match 6-0, 6-0.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team closed out the Region I Championships at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale on April 20.
“I’m very proud of our runner-up finish at regionals this year,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.
The Aztecs advanced to eight of nine championship matches and finished in second place behind Mesa Community College.
“Every player competed well and has come a long way since the fall,” Schantz said.
In the singles competition, the Aztecs dropped all five single championship matches to Mesa players.
Sophomore Stephanie Nickles won the first set in her No. 4 singles match and rallied in the second set after trailing 1-4 to tie it at 4-4.
In the end, she fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Naa Ankrah.
Sophomore Kelsey Brown lost at No. 1 singles match to Emily Chang 6-1, 6-1 while freshman Samantha Ruth fell to Khanh Huynh 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Sophomore Ema Hernandez dropped her No. 5 singles match to Hanna Nelson 6-1, 6-0 and freshman Fernanda Miller lost to Maria Garduno at No. 6 singles 6-1, 6-0.
All three of Pima’s doubles teams also advanced to the championship round but fell to the Thunderbirds in the end.
Brown and Ruth led the first set 3-1 but surrendered five straight set points. They fell to Chang and Huynh at No. 1 doubles 6-3, 6-2.
Hernandez and sophomore Noelle Karp took a 3-0 lead in their first set but lost to Yolena Carlon and Garduno 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
The Aztecs compete in the NJCAA National tournament in Tyler, Texas, on May 7-13.
“We are training hard to be ready for the high level of competition and for very humid conditions.”
“I’m hopeful for a strong finish at nationals to wrap up a solid season,” she added.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The No. 22-ranked Pima Community College women’s tennis team dominated Glendale Community College 9-0 on March 22.
The Aztecs also defeated Grossmont College 8-1 on March 16 during a California road trip.
Freshman Samantha Ruth won her second consecutive three-set match at No. 2 singles.
Freshman Kelsey Brown won her match at No. 1 singles, as did sophomore Stephanie Nickles at No. 3 singles and sophomore Ema Hernandez at No. 4 singles.
Freshman Fernanda Miller won at No. 5 singles, while freshman Dana Pineda lost 6-1, 6-4 in No. 6 singles play.
In doubles competition, Ruth and Brown won 8-1 in No. 1 seeding. Hernandez and sophomore Noelle Karp defeated their opponents 8-4 at No. 2 doubles. Nickles and Miller outplayed their opponents 8-2 at No. 3 doubles.
In a March 15 match against non-conference opponent San Diego Mesa Community College, PCC rallied in singles play.
After dropping two of three doubles, No. 19 PCC rallied by taking five of six singles matches.
March 24: Paradise Valley CC, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 26: Skagit Valley College, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 29: @ Eastern Arizona College, 1:30 p.m.
March 31: @ Mesa CC, 1:30 p.m.
By D.R. WILLIAMS
Men’s tennis was back in the swing of things on Feb. 6 at Pima’s West Campus as the Aztecs fought back from an early deficit to win the day against a California team, Imperial Valley College.
Sophomore Jesus Lopez and freshman Curtis Jeffery secured the team’s first victory at No. 3 doubles 9-8 (7-3). Jeffery also won his No. 6 singles match 6-2, 6-0 while Lopez won his No. 4 singles matchup 6-0 with a retirement in the second set.
“It’s not how you want to win the second set but it will do,” Lopez said after the win. “But it is going to take a team effort to pull it out.”
Sophomore Landon Trejo won the No. 5 singles match 6-2, 6-3. He struggled earlier in the day, suffered an 8-1 loss at No. 2 doubles with partner Raj Singh Kaila.
“Something was off; I just wasn’t hitting like normal,” Trejo said after the doubles match.
Singh Kaila later fell in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
Marc Avalos had a tough outing with a loss at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-1. He also fell short 9-8 (7-3) with doubles partner Dalton Reisig.
Reisig’s three-set singles victory, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, secured the team win by a count of 5-4 as the Aztecs started the season off on the right foot.
Feb. 20: Benedictine University (Mesa), Tucson Racquet Club, 1 p.m.
Feb. 22: Arizona Christian University, Tucson Racquet Club, 2 p.m.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team dominated singles and doubles play during its first match of the 2016 season.
The Aztecs shut out Imperial Valley College (California) 9-0 at the West Campus on Feb. 6.
Freshman Samantha Ruth played at No. 2 singles and won her match 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Ema Hernandez shut down her opponent, winning 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
“I think it was a great warm-up match,” Ruth said. “Even though our opponents were not very strong, we could all get back in the match play groove.”
Freshman Dana Pineda won her match at No. 6 singles 6-0, 6-0 while freshman Fernanda Miller won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.
Freshman Kelsey Brown and sophomore Stephanie Nickles won their matches at No. 1 and No. 3 singles respectively by default.
In doubles play, Hernandez and Pineda earned an 8-0 shutout victory in their No. 3 match. Nickles and Miller played at No. 2 doubles and earned an 8-1 victory. Brown and Ruth won their No. 1 doubles by default.
“We just need more experience playing doubles together but we will get plenty of that soon,” Ruth said.
PCC’s next match is against New Mexico State University at the Tucson Racquet Club on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m.
Feb. 14-15: @ Mesa Invitational, Mesa, noon
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
Pima Community College women’s tennis team (9-8, 6-2 in ACCAC) finished up the regular season on a strong note. Pima won its last five out of six games going into regionals, putting them over .500 overall for the season and four games over .500 in conference play.
Pima’s late season surge was headlined by freshman Jahnessa Mackey’s (8-0) eight straight wins and her undefeated singles play season.
Pima was at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale on April 21, 22 for the Region I Tournament. Results will be in upcoming issues of the Aztec Press.
Pima closed out the regular season on high note, shutting out Paradise Valley Community College, on April 14. Pima’s win against PVC put them over .500 for the first time since the opening match.
Pima’s shutout was headlined by Mackey’s eight straight wins, finishing her season undefeated in conference play 8-0.
As a team, Pima dominated in both singles and doubles. Pima shutout PVC on the way to winning all three doubles matches. In singles, only a single point was given up by Pima in all of the six matches.
The Aztecs traveled to Glendale Community College and beat GCC 8-1 on April 9.
Pima’s win against Glendale gave them a record of .500 for only the second time this year since their second meet, two months ago.
The Aztecs swept Glendale 3-0 in doubles. Sophomores Ema Hernandez and Yanseli Alameda won a tight one in their No. 2 doubles match 9-8. While Freshmen Noelle Karp and Sophomore Cristina Oropeza won their No. 1 doubles match impressively 8-2 and Mackey and freshman Stephanie Nickles won their No.3 doubles match by default.
Pima went 4-1 in singles play, wrapping up the match against Glendale as quickly as possible. Alameda, Karp, Nickles and Oropeza won their singles matches. Mackey also won her singles match, keeping her winning streak alive at seven straight.
Four players were named to the All-ACCAC Conference first-team: Mackey, Oropeza in singles and Alameda and Hernandez in doubles. Five players were named second-team: Hernandez and Nickles in singles and duos Karp and Oropeza, and Mackey and Nickles in doubles.
Pima’s last game of the regular season didn’t end as planned, losing to Paradise Valley Community College 8-1 on April 14.
Pima was completive in doubles, but couldn’t get the job done getting swept by PVC 3-0. In singles Pima’s only single win came from Ton at the No. 3 spot. Ton win put in him at 6-2 for the year. The rest of the team was completive, but like doubles, couldn’t get the job done.
Pima hosted Glendale Community College on April 9. Pima lost a close one, as Glendale won 5-4.
The Aztecs went 1-2 in doubles. Foitik and Ton fell short 9-8 in the tie-breaker for the No. 1 doubles match. Henkel and Vazquez lost a close one, 8-6. Lancaster and Bravo won their doubles match 8-2.
Pima went 3-3 in singles play with victories from Ton, Amaya and Bravo.
By ALFRED DICHOCHEA III
Pima Community College men’s tennis team (2-4, 0-4 in ACCAC) is coming off a rough part of the season, having lost every conference match and losing four out six in regular play.
Pima traveled up to Mesa to face off against a familiar foe in Mesa Community College on April 2. Pima faced the same result as last the outting against Mesa being shutout 9-0.
The Aztecs were handled pretty easily by Mesa. Pima scored no more than three points in any singles match and in doubles they were shutout.
Pima hosted Skagit Valley College for a non-conference meet on March 30 and won a tight one at 6-3.
Sophomore Richard Foitik put the game away with his number one singles win. Pima went 2-1 in doubles play. Sophomores Mathieu Lancaster, Bravo, and Francisco Ton and Foitik got the wins for doubles.
Pima went 4-2 in singles play. Sophomore Michael Amaya, Lancaster and Ton won their singles matches on top of Foitik’s meet-sealing win in singles play.
The Aztecs faced off against Paradise Valley Community College on March 26 and lost a close one at 4-5.
The Aztecs went 1-2 in doubles, Ton and Foitik won the only doubles match for Pima. In singles Pima fared a bit better, as they spilt with PVCC 3-3. Ton and Foitik won their singles matches on top of their doubles win.
Pima Community College women’s tennis team (7-8, 4-2 in ACCAC) has been on a roll winning four of the last five matches.
The Aztecs squared off against Mesa Community College on April 2, winning 6-3.
Pima swept Mesa in doubles, 3-0. Two of the games were won by fewer than three points and the third game resulted in a shutout. In singles, Pima went 3-3 splitting with Mesa. Freshmen Stephanie Nickles and sophomore Cristina Oropeza both picked up wins in singles play.
Freshman Jahnessa Mackey also won her number 6th spot for her seventh straight singles win and the game sealing win.
The Aztecs hosted number nine-ranked Eastern Arizona College in conference play on March 31. Pima went on to lose, as their come back fell short losing 5-4.
The Aztecs were swept in doubles matches, as they lost both of their matches by one point. Pima played well in singles as they went 4-2.
Mackey also picked up a win, making it her sixth straight wins.
Pima beat Skagit Valley College of Mount Vernon, Wash., March 30, shutting out SVC 9-0.
Pima handled doubles pretty easily as they won every match by more than four points. Pima dominated in singles and never lost a single set against SVC.
Pima shut out Paradise Valley Community College 9-0 on March 26 in Phoenix.
April 9: Glendale CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
April 14: @Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 1:30 p.m.
April 9: @Glendale CC, Glendale, 1:30 p.m.
April 14: Paradise Valley CC, TRC-Tucson 1:30 p.m.
April 21-22: @Region 1 Tournament, Paseo Racquet Club- Glendale, TBA
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
Pima tennis is looking to get back on track after a few losses and long break from play for both teams.
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (4-7, 2-1 in ACCAC) look to improve as they get over .500 in coference.
The Aztecs after a tough loss in California, got back on the right track after shouting out Glendale Community College (9-0) on March 24. The win gives Pima a winning record in coference.
Pima handled GCC easily for the most part. The Aztecs in doubles won every game by no more then six points. Pima in singles had a similar result. A few of them fell behind early, but everyone swept their matches.
Sophomore Cristina Oropeza and freshman Noelle Karp at the number one doubles position, with the doubles win against GCC puts them at .500 for the season at (5-5).
For singles, Karp at the number one position is (4-6) and Oropeza at the number two has the team’s best record at (6-4).
The Aztecs split on the road in California, March 17-18.
Pima lost 6-3 against Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. on March 18.
Sophomores Ema Hernandez and Yani Alameda won their doubles match, while Oropeza and freshman Jahnessa Mackey won their singles matches.
Pima got a 6-3 win against San Diego Mesa College on March 17. Pima swept SDMC in doubles matches and won three singles matches.
Freshmen Mackey, Karp and Alameda won their singles matches.
Mackey won via a shutout and Karp gave up just one point. Alameda won a tie breaker in her victory.
The Aztecs next game will play Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix on March 26.
The Pima Community College men’s tennis team (1-2, 0-2 in ACCAC) find themselves in a tough spot coming off a loss.
The Aztecs are coming off another long break and a shutout loss against Glendale Community College on March 7.
Pima’s woes continued as they lost to Glendale Community College 6-3 on March 24. Pima’s loss to GCC is their second consecutive loss in conference.
The Aztecs went 1-2 for doubles, with sophomores Juan Bravo and Mathieu Lancaster getting the win. Pima in singles went 2-4. Sophomore Francisco Ton (2-1) and Bravo (2-1) would get the wins.
Pima played tough, but that wasn’t enough to get the win.
Pima next game will be at the Tucson Racquet Club on March 26 against Paradise Valley Community College.
March 26: @ Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 1:30 p.m.
March 30: Skagit Valley College, TRC-Tucson, 1 p.m.
March 31: Eastern Arizona College, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
April 2: Mesa CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
March 26: Paradise Valley CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
March 30: Skagit Valley College, TRC-Tucson, 1 p.m.
April 2: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, 1:30 p.m.
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
Pima Community College Women’s Tennis team (1-4) found out the hard way that things are bigger in Texas, as Pima went down to Plano for the Texas Tournament on Feb 13 and 14. Pima had played four matches total all against ranked teams. Pima would go on to lose all four matches.
In the first match of tournament Pima would lose their first match of season the same way they won their first match of season. Pima would be shout out 9-0 by No. 13 North Central Texas College.
In the second match of tournament Pima would go up against No. 7 Seminole State College (FL). Pima would drop their second consecutive match, losing to Seminole State 8-1. Sophomore Cristina Oropeza would be the only one to deliver a victory for Pima.
The third match Pima would square off against No. 8 Collin College, Pima would lose 7-2, Oropeza and freshmen Stephanie Nickles both would go on and win their singles matches. Oropeza would go 2-2 for the tournament, giving her the best performance of the tournament.
“I was very impressed with how she played” said head coach Gretchen Schantz about Oropeza . “Especially the school played at the number two level, those girls our tough” she said.
I the four and final match, Pima would suffer some bookending. Pima would be shout out for the second time in the tournament losing to No. 2 ranked Tyler Junior College 9-0. Pima had a rough time at the tournament going 0-4, dropping them to 1-4 for season.
Both the Men and Women went up Mesa for the ACCAC Jamboree. The Jamboree was chance for Pima to get its first look at conference competition.
Pima Community College Men’s Tennis team (1-0) is pretty excited about the Jamboree after almost two weeks off since their first game of the season.
“I’m excited, it’s the first time to see all the other teams in our conference.” Said Sophomore Joshua Henkel. “I don’t think it’s going to affect us a lot. We’ve been here working hard.” He said about the long break from play.
BY ZACH ARMENTA
The Pima Community College men’s tennis team finished 26th of 27 teams at the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s National Tennis Championships in Plano, Texas.
“I would say the season was a success on multiple levels,” head coach Brian Ramirez said. “We advanced to the national championships, everyone has done well in school, players have shown consistent improvement over the course of the season with their skills and their understanding of how to compete, and we finished second in our region.”
Freshman Richie Foitik advanced to the finals, falling 8-1 in the No. 2 singles consolation bracket to Jonah Jakubec from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Georgia).
Foitik lost 2-6, 4-6 in the round of 32 but advanced to the quarterfinals with byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. He reached the semifinals by winning a tough match 9-8. Foitik was untouchable in the semis, coasting into the finals with an 8-0 win.
No. 1 singles sophomore Brian Soto faced the No. 6 seed in the round of 32. He lost 1-6, 0-6, dropping him into the consolation bracket. His season ended in the first round with a 0-8 loss.
Soto paired with Foitik at No. 1 doubles. The pair was overpowered, losing 2-6, 0-6. They received byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket, sending them straight to the quarterfinals. The pair fought hard but saw their season end with a 6-8 loss.
No. 3 singles freshman Josh Henkel lost 1-6, 1-6 in the round of 32, dropping him into the consolation bracket. Henkel got a bye in the first and seconds. He fell 1-8 in the quarterfinals, ending his singles season.
Henkel paired with sophomore Carlos Medina at No. 2 doubles. In the round of 32, the two lost 1-6, 4-6. Henkel and Medina received byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. In the quarterfinals, the duo lost 4-8.
No. 4 singles Medina was dominated 0-6, 1-6 in the round of 32. He received a first-round bye in the consolation bracket. In the second round, Medina was shut out 0-8, ending his singles season.
No. 5 singles freshman Gabe Ortiz was shut out in the round of the 32, losing 0-6, 0-6. Ortiz had byes in the first and second rounds of the consolation bracket. He lost 2-8 in the quarterfinals.
No. 6 singles freshman Aldo Amaya fought a tough match but fell 2-6, 7-6, 1-6 in the round of 32. Amaya also received byes in the first and second rounds in the consolation bracket. He struggled in the consolation quarterfinals, losing 1-8.
Amaya paired with freshman Trey Terry at No. 3 doubles. They enjoyed a bye in the round of 32, sending them to the round of 16. They lost 1-6, 1-6, dropping them into the consolation bracket.
After losing their first match, Amaya and Terry fell into the second round of the consolation bracket. They were shut out 0-8, finishing their season.
“Nationals was a lifetime experience,” Amaya said. “Having the chance to play against the best players of the nation just makes me want to work even harder and do a better job next year.”
The Aztecs finished 5-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Their only losses came against Mesa Community College.
PCC will lose two sophomores, Soto and Medina.
“You always miss players for one reason or another,” Ramirez said. “This group is unusually funny all the time. I will certainly miss the one-liners, the constant humor in the van and two guys who always give their best effort on the court.”
Soto played No. 1 singles and doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 14 wins and 12 loses. He was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No.1 singles and No.1 doubles.
Medina played No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 13 wins and 13 loses. Medina was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 4 singles.
Of PCC’s five freshmen, Foitik and Amaya confirmed they will return for one more year.
“I will be returning to the team,” Foitik said. “No plans on switching any time soon.”
Foitik played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 18 wins and 13 loses. Foitik was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.
Henkel played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. He had an up-and-down first year at Pima, finishing with an overall record of 12 wins and 16 loses.
Ortiz played No. 5 singles, and played No. 3 doubles at the start. He finished the season with an overall record of 12 wins and seven loses. Ortiz was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 5 singles.
Amaya played No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. He finished the season with an overall record of 15 wins and 11 loses. Amaya was also awarded Second-Team-All-Conference for No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles.
Terry played No. 3 doubles with Amaya. He finished with an overall record of eight wins and seven loses. Terry was awarded Second-Team-All-Conference in No. 3 doubles.
For complete results of the NJCAA National Tournament, visit: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=151168
Women finish in 17th place at nationals
BY ZACH ARMENTA
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team tied for 17th place at the NJCAA National Tournament in Tyler, Texas, May 3-9.
Sophomores Amy Beeston and Cayla Cordova were named Second Team All- Conference for doubles, and Beeston was named Second Team All- Conference for singles.
Beeston also won the Arthur Ashe Sportsman/Leadership Award for Region 2, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“This team is my most improved team that I’ve ever coached,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said. “They stepped up at the end of the season when it mattered most.”
In the round of 32, No. 1 singles Beeston took on the two seed in a one-sided match that she lost 2-6, 1-6.
Beeston bounced back with an 8-1 win in the consolation bracket, and received a bye to the quarterfinals. With a shot at the semifinals, Beeston fought hard but lost 6-8.
No. 1 doubles Beeston and Cordova battled at the start but fell 4-6, 1-6.
They received a bye in the first and second round of the consolation bracket, sending them to the quarterfinals. An 8-3 win booked them a spot in the semifinals, but their run ended in the semis when they lost 4-8.
At No. 2 singles, Cordova routed her opponent 6-1, 6-0 in the first round. In the round of 16, Cordova battled the No. 1 seed and lost 0-6, 1-6.
No. 3 singles sophomore Helena Meyer struggled but fought back before losing 1-6, 6-7 in the round of 32.
She reached the quarterfinals in the consolation bracket by getting a first and second round bye. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals, losing 0-8.
Meyer paired with freshman Cassidy McWhorter at No. 2 doubles. They won 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round. Facing the No. 4 seed in the round of 16 proved too much for the duo, as they lost 0-6, 1-6.
No. 4 singles sophomore Ashten Watts struggled in the round of 32, losing 0-6, 4-6.
Watts won 8-2 in the consolation bracket, giving her a second-round bye straight to the quarterfinals. She won 8-0, but her season ended in the semifinals with a 2-8 loss.
No. 5 singles McWhorter won 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 in the round of 32. Facing the No. 1 seed in the round of 16, she lost 0-6, 0-6.
No. 6 singles freshman Yani Alameda received a first-round bye. In the round of 16, Alameda battled for three sets to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
As the only PCC player left in the winner’s bracket, Alameda faced the No. 1 seed and lost 0-6, 0-6.
No. 3 doubles Watts and Alameda won 6-3, 6-0 in the round of 32. In the round of 16, they battled the No. 2 seed and lost 0-6, 0-6.
“Nationals was fun and I did better than I thought,” Watts said. “I think the girls did awesome.”
The Aztecs ended their 2013-14 season in third place in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference behind Mesa Community College and Eastern Arizona College. They finished 6-5 overall and 4-4 in conference.
The team will lose four sophomores: Beeston, Cordova, Meyer and Watts.
“Sophomores are all great leaders and I will miss each one for bringing something different to the team dynamic,” Schantz said. “I always wish my sophomores could play another two years, to continue to watch them grow as athletes and as people.”
Beeston played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles with Cordova. She finished her season with an overall record of 19 wins and 16 loses.
Cordova played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. She finished with 18 wins and 16 loses.
Meyer played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles with McWhorter, amassing 17 wins and 16 loses.
Watts started at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles with Alameda. She won 22 matches and lost 13 matches.
PCC had four freshmen: Alameda, McWhorter, Ema Hernandez and Katlyn Jones. There is no word whether all four will return.
Alameda started at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. She rode a seven-game singles winning streak to finish the season with 22 wins and 10 losses.
McWhorter played No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles. She finished with 14 wins and 16 loses.
Hernandez and Jones saw very little playing time, but made the most of it. Hernandez finished the year with two wins and one loss. Jones finished undefeated with four wins, including one win at No. 5 singles against Paradise Valley Community College.
By ZACH AMENTA
Pima Community College sophomore Brian Soto is an athlete, student and father.
The Arizona native is 33 years old, making him the oldest player on the men’s tennis team, but his age doesn’t show when he competes.
Soto is the father of three girls: 8-year-old Belani, 4-year-old Bella and 11-month-old Bryanna. Belani already plays tennis and shows great talent.
“I’m playing tennis to set an example for my kids,” Soto said. “I wanted to play collegiate tennis so my oldest daughter could see it.”
Soto knows his responsibilities and what’s most important to him.
“Family and finishing school with a degree,” he said.
Soto used to own his own business, Soto’s Pawn Shop. He opened the shop in 2010 but closed it in 2013 because of what he calls a bad decision to change locations.
As a child, Soto played baseball until his dad signed him up for tennis lessons. He quickly picked up the game.
“I started at the age of 12,” Soto said. “After high school graduation in 1998, I took a 12-year break.”
Coming out of high school, Soto was more interested in soccer but learned about the Pima tennis team from tennis players he knew from Nogales.
Pima men’s tennis head coach Brian Ramirez calls Soto a “great role model for the guys.”
Ramirez also admires the way Soto handles himself in life and on the court.
“He has a lot of responsibility with work, school and family,” Ramirez said. “He works hard at practice and he’s a good teammate. He competes well with a good attitude and treats people correctly.”
His doubles partner for the season is freshman Richie Foitik and together they dominate at the No.1 spot.
What does Soto bring to the team?
“Himself,” Foitik said. “He brings a sense of team spirit and uplifting.”
Soto plans to finish his associate degree this year and apply to business school at Northern Arizona University or University of Arizona. He would like to continue being involved with tennis, whether as a player or a coach.
He has had a successful two years at Pima and was twice named second all-conference. In his first season, his only losses came to Scottsdale Community College three times. This year his only losses were against Mesa Community College.
In addition to talent, Soto has brought valuable mojo his teammates can emulate.