Coming out of last seasons Western State Conference victory, undefeated Ventura continued its run Thursday after defeating the City College men’s tennis team 6-3 at Pershing Park.
“We knew we were coming up against a tough team,” said assistant coach Michael Mickelson. “As a matter of fact probably the toughest team in our conference.”
A victory from sophomore Sasha Hedberg and Ryan Chung’s second singles win of the season resulted in two of the three points for City College. The teamwork of Hedberg and freshman Parker Turek resulted in the Vaqueros only other point. Thursday’s loss was the men’s team’s first home match in three years.
Hedberg came back from a set down to overturn Ventura’s Hironori Koyanagi in a close battle under the midday sun.
“When [Hedberg] started rolling with his momentum he became hard to stop, that’s what it takes,” Mickelson said. “I see Sasha’s performance on the court as contagious and hopefully the guys will see that and go in the same manner he performs.”
“I hate losing, I won’t accept it,” Hedberg said. “I know that if I give it my all and leave it all on the court, then I’ve got nothing to be upset about.”
Hedberg believed that the best thing about his performance was his willpower and the fact that he didn’t give up.
“I’ve just got this will to win, I never want to lose,” Hedberg said. “If I give it everything I’ve got and I lose, well then I lose.”
Hedberg gave everything he had in the second set, where Koyanagi came back from four games down to bring it level.
“I was never worried about it, I just focused on one game at a time. I never let myself get in the mindset of fear so I just stayed confident and went for it,” said Hedberg.
Hedbergs serve, previously recorded at 120 mph, was a major factor in his win. He hit a total of seventeen aces in both the singles and doubles matches.
Ryan Chung said of his victory that he was very satisfied with how he played and his endeavour to prevent his opponent from controlling the court.
“I felt that as long as I could just grind out the points eventually the other person would make a mistake or I would get the chance to hit a winner,” he continued.
Mickelson looks forward to the season ahead and still believes that the men’s tennis side could go far.
“I’m really confident that we’re going to have a really good chance at winning the conference and taking us to Ojai at the end of the year,” he said.
“I know we have a winning team and I see the potential that we have, I just try to get everybody fired up so we can take control this year,” said Hedberg.
Next up, the Vaqueros face Bakersfield College at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 at Pershing Park.