COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's tennis team is heading to the California Community College Athletic Association Dual Team Women's Tennis State Championship after winning the Southern California Regional title with a 5-2 win over visiting Santa Monica City College on Saturday.
"I'm so proud of our team ... they really have put the work in to make this happen," OCC head coach Chris Ketcham said. "We've got some veteran sophomores and they're very emotionally strong and that's really important in big matches like this."
The Pirates (18-2), winners of 11 straight matches, jumped out to a crucial 2-1 lead in doubles play. The No. 1 doubles team of Clarisa Colling and Karen Trinh pulled out an 8-4 win over SMCC's duo of Mayra Jovic and Abby Mullins, while at No. 3 doubles, JoAnn Taylor and Samantha Newhall rolled to an 8-2 win over the team of Sabrina Subaro and Adriana Duarte-Castro.
"Getting out to that 2-1 lead was huge for us," Ketcham said. "Our doubles really played well ... all three teams did an outstanding job against a tough Santa Monica team."
Trinh, the OEC singles champion, rolled to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Mullins in the No. 2 singles match, Taylor swept past Subaro, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 and Newhall breezed through Duarte-Castro, 6-0, 6-0 to help the Pirates claim the five wins needed to advance to the state title match.
"Having a player as strong as JoAnn at No. 4 really makes a huge difference for us," Ketcham said of Taylor. "I think we some better players down the lineup a bit and that really was a key for us."
Santa Monica, the No. 4 seed in the regional and upset winner over top-seeded Irvine Valley earlier in the week, finishes the season at 14-4.
With the win, the Pirates will travel to Ventura College, site of the State Dual Team Championship, where they will play the winner of today's Northern California Regional title matchup between De Anza College and Canada College. The State Championship will take place on Wednesday at 12 p.m.