American River Wins Northern California Team Championship

American River Wins Northern California Team Championship

by ARC Sports Information

ARC-5                    Foothill-2

Overall: 16-2       Conference: 10-0

For the first time in fifty years, the American River College men's tennis team won the Northern California team championship. The program had been knocking on the door in recent years, finishing second in NorCal the last three seasons, but this time they were able to break through for the title. The day started with some incredibly intense doubles matches. Thriving on the energy from the sizeable crowd in attendance, the Beavers won hard fought matches at #2 and #3 doubles. Both teams won by the score of 8-6 and both matches were on serve going in to the end of the match. At #3 TJ Aukland/Justin Barton held serve throughout the match but were unable to break until Foothill served at 6-7. After the break Barton held serve with Aukland playing assertively at the net for the ARC win. At #2 Cody Duong/Sean McDanielbroke twice early, but were broken back with strong play by the Foothill team both times. Finally at 6-6 the Beavers broke and consolidated for the match victory. At the #1 position Seppi Capaul/Alex Meliuk were down a break for much of the set but broke back with Foothill serving for the match at 7-5. With Capaul serving at 7-8, 0-30 the Beavers stepped it up, with Meliuk becoming extremely active at the net and Capaul hitting clutch forehand passes. In the tiebreak the Beavers jumped out to an early start and held on for a 7-5 win and the sweep in doubles was complete for the Beavers.   

Going in to the singles ARC knew they had to win two matches to seal the victory. The Beavers went up a set at #1 (Meliuk), #2 (Duong), and #3 (Capaul) but fell behind a set at #4 (McDaniel), #5 (Dylan King), and at #6 (Aukland). Meliuk was the first to finish, beating Igor Pissarenko by a score of 6-0, 6-3. The Beavers needed just one more match to clinch the NorCal championship, but were forced to wait as they lost at #5 and #6. In the end it was Seppi Capaul, the 2015 Freshman of the Year and All-American, that clinched the team victory with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Jacob Strabo. The last time the Beavers won the NorCal title was in 1966, when they also went on to win the state title. ARC will travel to Ojai to face Irvine Valley College for the state championship on Wednesday, April 20.