Irvine Valley sophomore men's tennis player Sam Cohen was recently named the Orange Empire Conference player of the year.
He made quite an impact in his lone season with the Irvine Valley men's tennis team.
After transferring in from College of the Desert, Cohen played No. 1 singles for the Lasers for most of the season.
Cohen helped Irvine Valley to its second straight California Community College Athletic Association State Championship. Irvine Valley defeated American River, 5-1, in the final in Ventura in late April.
Irvine Valley ended with a record of 21-2 with its only two losses coming against four-year schools.
The Lasers also won their third straight conference title, going undefeated once again with the help from the big groundstroke shots and witty play of Cohen.
Cohen racked up a record of 13-3 in singles (one of the losses was a default in the Orange Empire Conference Tournament). He went 5-0 in singles in dual matches during the conference season.
Cohen reached the semifinals of the state singles event. He won his first three matches in straight sets and then rallied to defeat Mt. SAC's Ron Kang, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Cohen lost in a singles semifinal, falling to IVC teammate Javier Callejo, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0. Callejo went on to capture the title.
Cohen was also an impressive doubles player. He finished with a record of 15-2 in doubles action. He played in the No. 1 position for the team with Callejo.
The duo, which was seeded first, made a notable run in the doubles bracket at the state tournament, reaching the final before losing in the final to IVC teammates Bruno Figlia and Scott Paz, 10-4, in a third-set super-tiebreaker.
It was the second straight year that two IVC teams faced off for the state doubles title.
Off the court, he was a scholar athlete for the Lasers and a team leader. He will be honored as Irvine Valley's male scholar athlete of the year this week.