In the playoffs, the mantra is survive and advance. The No. 2-seeded Pirates' men's tennis team added some style points Tuesday, easily defeating No. 3 Riverside City College 5-1 in the CCCAA SoCal Regional Semifinals at the VC Tennis Center. Solal Cherqui was a double winner in No. 1 singles and with Rafael Dunan in No. 3 doubles while Priyank Soni also earned two points for Ventura (14-1), claiming victory in No. 2 singles and with Adrien Etiemble in No. 1 doubles. Rodrigo Perdigao's win in No. 6 singles clinched the match.
Ventura took two of the three doubles matches to begin the contest. Cherqui and Dunan captured the Pirates' first point with an 8-2 win at the No. 3 slot before the Tigers tied things up by narrowly defeating Alexander Martin and Jakob Rinschen at the No. 2 position, 8-6. Soni and Etiemble put VC in the driver's seat with a hard-fought 9-8 win in No. 1 doubles, 9-8, making it 2-1 for VC heading to singles.
Soni, the newly minted Western State Conference singles champion, set the tone in singles with a 6-4, 6-1 win in the No. 2 slot before Cherqui put the Pirates on the brink of victory with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 1. Perdigao closed things out with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph at No. 6. The Pirates had also captured the first set of the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 singles matches before the match was clinched.
The Pirates will now travel to No. 1 Cerritos on Saturday April 21 in a contest to determine Southern California's entry into the State Championship. The Falcons handed the Pirates their only loss of the season on March 9, and VC looks to turn the tables this time around. The CCCAA State Championship will be held Wednesday April 25 at the Pierpont Racquet Club in Ventura.
1. Solal Cherqui (VC) def. Kayne Trustfull (RCC) 6-0, 6-3
2. Priyank Soni (VC) def. Thomas Pidoux (RCC) 6-4, 6-1
3. Adrien Etiemble (VC) v. Elie-Noe Nicolay (RCC) 6-4, 4-5 DNF
4. Augustin Lestelle (VC) v. Sami Okouz (RCC) 6-1, 4-6, 2-1 DNF
5. Rafael Dunan (VC) v. Miles Clark (RCC) 6-3, 5-4 DNF
6. Rodrigo Perdigao (VC) def. Thierry Van Os (RCC) 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 6