Playoff Bound Vaqueros Fall to Williams College

Sherlyn Ann Maguit, Staff Writer

After clinching the Western State Conference title, just a week before the playoffs the Vaqueros took on the defending NCAA D-3 National Champions Williams College. Having trouble finding a rhythm throughout the match, the Vaqs were swept 9-0 by the Ephs.

Although the Vaqueros have already advanced in the postseason, this match was still important to Coach MacKay and his team.

“It matters to us for the standpoint that we have playoffs starting next week,” said MacKay.

“ So it gave us a great preparation for our playoffs. I knew we had our hands full when I scheduled the team. I know how good they are.”

As both teams walked onto the courts to warm up, a small crowd gathered to support the visiting team wearing their school colors – purple and yellow. A few moments later some family members and friends rallied together cheering on the Vaqueros.

The two teams played the singles portion first, which was dominated by Williams College taking all six matches in straight sets.

Freshman Hosep Orojian was up against Ephs senior, Matt Micheli. Orojian made sure that his opponent would have a tough task beating him.

Orojian kept it real close in the beginning, exchanging points with Micheli. Despite the competitive effort, Orojian came up short, losing the first set 6-4.

“At the beginning I started off really well and then I started getting out of the match more,” said Orijian, “but overall I played a couple of good games here and there.”

Disappointed by letting the first match slip away, Orojian was determined to come back. The second set was in play but the match still didn’t seem to go his way. His frustration grew and his teammates saw that.

Some of the Vaqs’ players, Kyle Chen and Rondie Latham, talked to Orojian from the bleachers trying to keep him calm and encouraging him to fight through the match.

“When you get frustrated you get out of the match,” Orijian said. “You can’t think clearly and everything is going bad. You have to try to stay calm during the match and I didn’t do that today.”

Fighting his way through the set still wasn’t enough for Orojian who lost 6-3 against Williams College’s, Matt Micheli.

In spite of Williams outshining Glendale in the singles, the Vaqs tried not to lose focus during the doubles. It went by quickly, with all the double matches ending in less than an hour. In the end Ephs took all three of the double points as well.

The combination of Dat Le and Son Tran wasn’t smooth sailing, giving an 8-1 victory to Matt Micheli and Alexander Schidlovsky. In similar fashion, Vaqs’ Clayton Pauff and Cameron Braun were dominated by Conrad Harron and Brian Astrachan at the number two position, breezing past the Vaqueros freshman combo 8-3.

Williams slammed the door on any hope of the Vaqueros stealing a point from the Ephs, defeating Oleg Simonyan and Dro Dermegerdichian 8-2.

“Their style of play is a little different, “ said Dermegerdichian. “Every player is different in general, but they are a little more aggressive and consistent.

Having to compete against four-year programs gave the Vaqueros a purpose to play on a different level. It taught them a valuable lesson and experience.

“My players can realize that one, they can get on this level,” said Coach MacKay. “With our players leaving a community college this gives them a pretty picture of what they would have to go through.”

Next week the Vaqueros are headed to the playoffs in Ventura. It is something that the team has been looking forward to since the beginning of the season.

“Heading to the playoffs I want to have a great match and try my best to do everything I can,” Simonyan said.