The Santa Monica College Corsairs used the last weekend in April to secure victory and make history.
First, the SMC Corsairs men’s volleyball team defeated the El Camino College Warriors 3-1 in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) men’s volleyball championship held at San Diego City College on Saturday, April 25. This win makes the SMC Corsairs state champions for the second time –their first state title since 1981.
"I'm so excited for the team,” said SMC men’s volleyball coach John Mayer. “It was awesome to get the victory last night - but that was just a small part of an incredible journey by a special group of guys.”
The Corsairs split the first two sets with the Warriors and went on to undo ECC in two straight sets.
"It's hard to win a championship and it was a big step for our program to make the state finals last year,” said Mayer, referring to the Corsairs' close defeat last year at the finals by the Orange Coast College Pirates. “This year, we knew it wouldn't be any easier and we worked our butts off to meet John Wooden's definition of success.”
The Corsairs defeated the Pirates in this year’s CCCAA state tournament semi-finals.
SMC Sophomore right side hitter Taylor Tattersall was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and was one of three Corsairs named to the All Tournament team. SMC finished the season 18-2.
The very next day, on Sunday, April 26, SMC freshman Mayra Jovic made history, becoming the first Corsair to win both the singles and doubles state titles in the CCCAA Women's Tennis State individual tournament at Libbey Park in Ojai.
Jovic surpassed Chieko Yamada of Shasta 6-1, 6-2 in a battle of No. 1 seeds. Her record is 19-0 in singles this year and she has not dropped a set. Additionally, she is unbeaten in doubles without a single set lost after she and partner Izabel Nazdracheva – a Hollywood native – topped third-seeded Polina Gorshinina and Van Nguyen of De Anza 6-2, 7-5.
This is only the seventh time that a female player has won both the CCCAA singles and doubles state titles. Jovic – who grew up in Argentina – is the second Corsair tennis player to win a State singles crown, joining Katerina Mozolyuk from 2011.
“It's an incredible achievement and a testament to her hard work and training,” said SMC women’s tennis coach Richard Goldenson.
In total, the Corsairs women’s tennis team won three titles at Ojai: CCCAA State Singles, CCCAA State Doubles and the 115th Annual Ojai Team Championships. Earlier, on April 10, they also won the Western State Conference Singles and Doubles Titles. Mayra was voted Western State Conference Player of the Year and she and Izabel Nazdracheva were named to the All-WSC Team in both singles and doubles.
For more information about Corsair athletics, visit: www.smccorsairs.com.