It would've been understandable for the women's tennis team to blindly overlook an underdog. The Corsairs have been on such a roll that they seem destined to reach the state finals. Now, they are one match away.
Riverside had stunned South Coast Conference champion and fourth-seeded Mt. San Antonio 5-1 in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs and looked to pull off another upset in the second round Tuesday at .
SMC quickly put an end to that notion, however, by winning four of six singles matches en route to a 5-2 victory in the dual team tournament. The top-seeded Corsairs (16-1) again showed why they are the No.1-ranked community college team in Southern California, making short work of the sixth-seeded Tigers (13-5), who finished second in the Orange Empire Conference behind defending state champion Saddleback.
It took SMC, the Western State Conference winner, a little longer to clinch than it had in last week's 5-1 romp over Rio Hondo. But Tuesday's win was also decisive, as Riverside needed three sets to notch both of its points.
Top player maintained her undefeated record in singles with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Riverside's Sarah Racataian. Mozolyuk has dropped one game in four sets in the playoffs.
SMC led 4-2 going into the doubles phase, needing only one more point to clinch the match. The Corsairs' No. 1 duo of and wasted little time clinching the victory with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Riverside's Brooke Vorhees and Brittany Gourlay.
The other two doubles matches were both in the second set when play was stopped because the outcome had been decided.
SMC now heads to Ventura County for the Ojai Tournament where Coach is eager to see if his team can win a second straight doubles title in the community college division.
The Corsairs next host No. 3 Grossmont at in the regional finals next Wednesday. The Griffins (16-3), the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions, defeated No. 7 Palomar 5-2 on Tuesday.
The SMC-Grossmont winner will meet the winner of the Northern California Regional final between Sierra and Reedley in the state finals on Thursday, May 12, at the Sierra Sport & Racquet Club in Fresno.
Dual scoring is a best-of-nine format, with six singles and three doubles matches each worth one point. The first team to five points wins.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL PLAYOFFS
Second Round @ Ocean View Park
Santa Monica College 5, Riverside College 2
1. Katerina Mozolyuk, SMC, d. Sarah Racataian, 6-0, 6-1
2. Criss Rodriguez, SMC, d. Brooke Voorhees, 6-3, 6-0
3. Krystal Hansard, SMC, d. Natalie Tomlin, 6-0, 6-3
4. Brittany Gourlay, RC, d. Jutta Collet, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3
5. Gwendolyn Kauffmann, SMC, d. Jeannette Rodriguez, 6-0, 6-3
6. Tiffany Nguyen, RC, d. Hanna Sacher, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
1. Rodriguez/Hansard, SMC, d. voorhees/Gourlay, 6-1, 6-0
2. Racataian/Tomlin, RC, led Mozolyuk/Collet, 6-2, 0-1 (stopped)
3. Kauffmann/Sacher, SMC, led Rodriguez/Nguyen, 6-3, 2-1 (stopped)
Records: Riverside 13-5; Santa Monica 16-1