FCC men’s tennis look to repeat as state champions

Sam Bertram

Top-ranked and undefeated Fresno City College had its way with California’s other JC men’s tennis teams during the season. Now the Rams will look to finish with back-to-back championships.

Fresno City faces host Ventura in the title match at 1 p.m. today at Pierpont Racquet Club, with the state team and individual championships being played out as part of the Ojai Tournament.

“We definitely have to play well,” coach Steve Loop said. “They’re very good and playing on their court will present a challenge for us.”

The Rams (18-0) won the NorCal title with a 5-0 weekend sweep of region No. 2-seeded American River. The SoCal No. 1 Pirates (18-2) edged No. 3 San Diego Mesa 5-3. Fresno City beat Ventura 6-3 earlier this year.

Fresno City entered the season loaded, with four players back from a 2012 undefeated campaign capped by a 5-4 state-championship victory over Mt. San Jacinto.

“Our sophomores have a chance to finish 40-0,” Loop said. “It will be pretty special for them. Pretty rare. We don’t think so much about repeating. Our guys are focused on the now.”

Top singles player Sam Bertram, also the top seed in the state individual tournament, said he and his teammates are “focused on staying positive.”

“Focused on playing tennis, and playing in the state championship is the pinnacle for us,” Bertram said. “We want to win it for each other and winning it for coach will be great.”

Other CVC players slated to play in the Ojai Tournament on Thursday include: No. 2 Alessandro Moriano, Fresno City; No. 5 Adam De Romas, Fresno City; No. 6 Phillipp Mueller, Reedley; No. 7 Scott Grey, Fresno City; No. 14 Adrien Varenne, Fresno City and Bastien Capony, Fresno City.

On the women’s side: No. 7 Candace Egen, Fresno City; Briana Rodriguez, College of the Sequoias; Jennifer Frauenheim, Reedley; Cerena Ortiz, COS; Lana Rotan, Reedley; Betsey Lauritzen, Reedley; Allie Rosa, COS.