Pirates overcome tough start to edge Fullerton, 5-4

Pirates overcome tough start to edge Fullerton, 5-4

FULLERTON -- It wasn't the start the Orange Coast College men's tennis team wanted, but it was a finish for the ages as the Pirates rallied for a 5-4 Orange Empire Conference win over host Fullerton College on Tuesday afternoon.

Before the start of Tuesday's scheduled contest, the Pirates (10-7, 2-5 in Orange Empire Conference) and Hornets (2-8, 1-5) needed to complete a match that was suspended due to darkness at OCC back on March 5. With the match tied at 4, the Hornets prevailed in the final early match to win, 5-4, and after falling behind 3-0 after doubles play, an 0-2 Tuesday seemed like the route.

"It was funny, after we lost the first match, I gathered the team and tried to get them focused and we went right out and lost all three doubles," OCC head coach Chris Ketcham said. "After doubles, I had another meeting with them and kind of lit into them a bit and they went out and played some of their best tennis of the year."

Coast went out in singles play and won 5-of-6 matches to pull out the win and keep their postseason hopes alive. Quoc Tran had a tough battle at No. 1, but pulled through with a 7-5, 6-1 win. Other key wins for the Pirates in singles were contributed by J.P. Phan (6-3, 6-4), Ryan Mulrooney (6-3, 6-1), Yuma Olsen (6-2, 6-0) and Daniel Zerlotti (6-1, 6-2).

The Pirates will have a pair of nonconference matches to contend with, starting with Santa Barbara City College on Thursday at home, beginning at 2 p.m.