Crampin' My Style

Playoffs. Championships. The best of the best. Don't be fooled by Sports Center, there is more to playoff season then the NBA and NHL.

This past weekend the Lady Corsairs played in the 109th Ojai Tournament. The annual tournament held in the quiet forest bordering town of Ojai, north of Los Angeles. It is the oldest competitive tennis tournament in the country.

Last weekend, the Corsairs also played in a tournament, the Western State Conference Championships. All of this with the highly anticipated Southern California Regional playoffs next week. It's deep into tourney season for the team.

Julia Cobian made it to the quarterfinals of the WSC Championships, as one of eight players. She defeated Armine Balaya of Glendale College in only two rounds, the scores were 6-2, 6-1. She then continued on to defeat Whitney Whiting of Cuesta College, also in two rounds, with the upsetting scores of 6-3, 7-5. She finished the season as the sixth highest ranked player in the Western State Conference.

In doubles, Cobian along with Sarah Anderson dominated opponents Rachelle Landeros and Sara Arguello of Ventura College 6-0, 6-2. This qualifies them to play doubles at the Southern California Regionals this upcoming weekend.

The team had two players compete at the singles level at Ojai. The two were stars Julia Cobian and Alix Thomas. The competition worked as a single elimination tournament. Thomas won two games, making it to the round of 32 before a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Alana Johnson of Cerritos College.

Julia Cobian took it a step further and won three in a row, making it the the round of sixteen. Cobian played with ferocity and gave it her all, but in her final match she was cramping and had trouble getting up and down the court. Two medical time-outs ensued. After the time-outs it was clear that she couldn't continue playing and had to stop. With Cobian up three sets to two, and a 40-15 score in the third set she had no choice but to retire the match due to the medical reasons.

The player who ended up winning the women's singles tournament was Ashley Litchfield. Litchfield's only loss of the season was the Santa Monica Team Captain Anastasia Eliseeva.

In doubles at Ojai, the team hoped Eliseeva would be in condition to play, however, she was unfortunately unable to heal her sprained elbow in time. Molly Zanit had to substitute for Eliseeva.

"This was a tough spot to be in for SMC. Eliseeva and Cobian, were the Western State Conference's number one ranked doubles team and had a solid shot to win the Ojai doubles title this year and possibly the State title," said Team Head Coach Richard Goldenson.

The other doubles team was Alix Thomas and Caroline Hofsten, and unfortunately, both doubles teams lost in the first round.

"As the players in the Ojai did so well is proof that SMC has tremendous talent and the fact that these are first-year players bodes well for the upcoming regionals this week, the State tournament the following week and certainly the upcoming season next year. The future is promising for SMC Tennis," said Coach Goldenson.

The Lady Corsairs play this week and weekend at the Southern California Regional playoffs April 30-May 2 at Orange Coast College.