Men's Tennis

No. 2 Story of Year - Season to remember for men's tennis

No. 2 Story of Year - Season to remember for men's tennis

The No. 2 story in Irvine Valley's top 10 athletics stories of the 2013-14 school year is all about tennis, specifically the super special season turned in by the IVC men's tennis squad.

The Lasers had the best finish at the college, ending up as the runner-up at the State Championships. They had a record of 17-3 and two of those losses were to four-year schools during the regular season.

Irvine Valley, which featured a close-knit group of local talent as well as internationals, swept through the Orange Empire Conference for that title and made a run to remember in the playoffs.

The team picked up a number of other honors along the way.


Irvine Valley's men's tennis team had quite a season in the spring of 2014.

It was the flat out best in program history.

The Lasers, made up of Guillermo Ucelay, Simon Guillin, Steven Le, James Lafond, Jack Divorty, Kevin Pham, Max Rumeau, Thomas Gibson, Austin Do, Benjamin Groud, Eduardo Salbego, Robert Sielmann, Gabriel Barazetti and Saumaun Heiat, won their first ever Orange Empire Conference title, hosted their first ever playoff match, were the top team in Southern California and finished as the runner-up at the CCCAA State Championships.

And they had fun all of the time in accomplishing the feats.

The men's tennis team was named the Irvine Valley team of the year at the 2013-14 athletics banquet in part because of the group's camaraderie and constant support and cheering for each other at all times.

Irvine Valley didn't come away with the team title at the State Championships at Ventura College in late April, losing to defending champion Fresno City, 5-2, in the final.

But that didn't take away from what the team achieved in 2014.

Irvine Valley won the biggest match in program history a few days before state, beating perennial power College of the Desert in the Southern California Regional playoff final.

Guillin, playing No. 2 singles for IVC, was down to his last point twice in the deciding singles match, but battled and rallied for a 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 victory.

Guillin's win gave Irvine Valley a 5-4 victory over COD.

The Lasers defeated Grossmont and Mt. San Jacinto to begin the playoff run.

"It is very exciting," IVC Coach Ross Duncan said after the win over Grossmont. "We just want to keep it up. We are having so much fun playing this season and we want it to go on as long as we can."

There were many other highlights to the season.

IVC claimed the award for most wins during the state individual singles and doubles competitions by a community college at Ojai.

Irvine Valley had six singles players and three doubles teams competing in the tournaments.

Among the other accolades for the team, the Lasers won their most matches in history (17) in a season, went 17-3 overall and were 10-0 in conference play.

Ucelay was selected as the Orange Empire Conference player of the year and later as one of 15 players picked to the CAJUCO All-American team by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Ucelay had a record of 19-3 in singles, playing at the No. 1 position, and was also 18-5 in doubles. He reached the quarterfinals of both the singles and doubles draws at the state event.

Irvine Valley second-year coach Ross Duncan was also named the conference's coach of the year.


*In leading up to the start of the 2014-15 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with women's volleyball, the Laser athletic department will countdown the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2013-14 school year.

The countdown will begin on Thursday, Aug. 7 with the No. 10 story of the year and work its way down to No. 1 on Thursday, Aug. 21.

Some of the top stories in the running for the top 10 include special seasons by the women's soccer, men's tennis, women's volleyball and women's sand volleyball teams along with individual accolades earned by several IVC athletes for hard work both on the playing fields and courts and in the classroom.

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