In leading up to the start of the 2015-16 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 24 with women's volleyball competing in the Azusa Pacific scrimmage tournament, the Laser athletic department is counting down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2014-15 school year.
At No. 6 on the list are the tremendous individual accomplishments turned in by members of Irvine Valley's men's tennis team. Two Irvine Valley teams played in the doubles final of the CCCAA State Championships with the duo of Valentin Baize and Max Rumeau capturing the crown, five players were named ITA All-Americans and Guillermo Ucelay was selected the Orange Empire Conference player of the year for the second season in a row. That all came on top of IVC capturing its first ever team state championship, which is sure to appear higher on the countdown list sometime next week.
A few days after winning the program's first ever State Championship, Irvine Valley men's tennis players stood out in the state's individual competition at the 115th Ojai Tournament.
The Lasers made up three of the eight quarterfinalists in singles and three of the four teams in doubles in the semifinals of the CCCAA State Championships individual tournaments.
IVC also captured the trophy for most wins at the Ojai Tournament by a community college men's team for the second consecutive year.
Sophomore Guillermo Ucelay and freshman Flavien Raveau each made it to the semifinals in singles and then the Laser doubles teams of Ucelay and sophomore Simon Guillin and sophomores Max Rumeau and Valentin Baize played each other in the state final with Rumeau and Baize winning the title, 6-4, 6-1.
Baize and Rumeau, the No. 8 seed and the No. 2 Laser duo, beat the top two seeds to win the title. Baize and Rumeau upset top-seeded Hironori Koyanagi and Corey Karen in the morning semifinal 6-3, 4-6, (10-7), then beat their second-seeded teammates Guillin and Ucelay for the title.
Baize and Rumeau also had to win a tough three-set match, 6-4, 4-6, (10-4) win the quarterfinals of the tournament over San Diego Mesa's team of Corentin Haener and Kimo Barrere.
It was the first state doubles crown for the Lasers.
In singles, Ucelay, Raveau, Guillin and freshmen Bruno Figlia and Scott Paz each made it to the round of 16 in the state singles event.
Five Irvine Valley men's tennis players ended up being named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association 2015 All-American Team for California Community Colleges.
Ucelay, Rumeau, Guillin, Baize and Raveau were each chosen.
To make All-American, a player must finish in the top 10 in singles of the final ITA college tennis rankings or in the top five in doubles of the final ITA rankings.
Ucelay was picked All-American for both singles and doubles. Raveau was selected in singles and Rumeau, Guillin and Baize were picked in doubles.
The five players helped Irvine Valley win the program's first ever California Community College Athletic Association State Championship this past spring.
All five players were also named to all-conference teams.
Ucelay was named the conference's player of the year for the second season in a row.
He helped Irvine Valley end the 2015 season with a record of 18-1.
Ucelay had a record of 10-3 in singles on the year with two unfinished contests. He had a record of 12-4 in doubles competition.
As IVC's top doubles squad through the regular season, Ucelay and Guillin finished with a record of 12-3.
One of their losses in doubles was a default in the Orange Empire Conference Championships after the duo had already qualified for the State Championships.
The duo ended up finishing as the runner-ups in the state doubles final.
Raveau went 11-5 in singles on the year and reached the semifinals in singles in the state championships where he fell to eventual champion Hironori Koyanagi of Ventura.
Baize and Rumeau had a record of 14-3 on the season when being paired together in doubles. One of those losses also came via default in the conference tournament after also qualifying for the state event.
And the duo made that magical run to win the State Championships doubles title.