Irvine Valley's men's tennis team showed it is the team to beat in the Orange Empire Conference this season with a 7-2 victory over defending conference champ Riverside on Wednesday afternoon at IVC.
Both Riverside and Irvine Valley went into the match with 2-0 records in conference.
Irvine Valley improved its record to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in conference, while Riverside slipped to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in conference.
"It was a good win and I think we showed great team spirit," IVC Coach Ross Duncan said. "The guys wanted it today. But we still have a lot of matches left. And this match means nothing if we don't come out and continue to take care of business."
The Lasers, who finished second to Riverside in conference a year ago, won five of six matches in singles to clinch the overall win before doubles even got underway.
The fifth and clinching match was earned by IVC freshman No. 2 player Simon Guillin.
He rallied back from dropping a first set tiebreaker to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-2, over RCC's David Stanko.
"He really battled," Duncan said of Guillin. "He didn't let that first set get him down and he kept fighting."
IVC won its four other singles matches in straight sets.
Freshman Guillermo Ucelay won, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 singles over Riverside's Danny Garcia. Garcia was a conference doubles champion last season.
"He is getting better with each time out," Duncan said of Pueyo.
"Clinching in singles took a lot of pressure off in doubles," Duncan said.
But the Lasers still won two of three matches in doubles.
The No. 2 team of Guillin and Ucelay won, 8-3, over RCC's Yann Herve and Sergio Romero.
And the No. 3 team of freshman Austin Do and Pham won the Lasers' final match of the day, 8-4.
"Kevin Pham has to be our most improved player so far," Duncan said of the freshman from local University High.
Irvine Valley is slated to play again next Tuesday when it travels to Saddleback for a 2 p.m. conference match.
1) Guillermo Ucelay (IVC) def. Danny Garcia (RCC), 6-2, 6-2
2) Simone Guillin (IVC) def. David Stanko (RCC), 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
3) Steven Le (IVC) def. Yann Herve (RCC), 6-3, 6-4
4) James Lafond (IVC) def. Patrick Stetco (RCC), 6-2, 6-3
5) Kevin Pham (IVC) def. Joffrey Fecomme (RCC), 6-0, 6-1
6) Connor Stephenson (RCC) def. Max Rumeau (IVC), 6-0, 6-4
1) Garcia/Stephenson (RCC) def. Le/Jack Divorty (IVC), 8-4
2) Guillin/Ucelay (IVC) def. Herve/Sergio Romero (RCC), 8-3
3) Austin Do/Pham (IVC) def. Stanko/Stetco (RCC), 8-4