IRVINE, Calif. - Irvine Valley's men's tennis team hadn't been tested in Orange Empire Conference play in more than three seasons.
The Lasers rolled to the last three conference titles, going 30-0 in the process.
Irvine Valley kept its unbeaten streak in OEC play going on Tuesday, but the Lasers sure had to work for it against Cypress.
IVC, the two-time defending state champion and No. 1 team in the state, stormed back from dropping three of the first four singles matches to beat No. 3 Cypress, 5-4, at home in a match that took nearly four hours.
The Lasers were coming off a dramatic 5-4, four-hour win over No. 2 Cerritos on Saturday.
Irvine Valley improved its record to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference with Tuesday's victory. Cypress saw its record fall to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in conference.
The two teams meet again Tuesday, March 14 at Cypress.
"What a good match and a big win," Irvine Valley coach Ross Duncan said. "We kept on fighting and the team spirit was great even when we were down."
Irvine Valley was down 3-1 after Cypress picked up straight-set singles wins from Vincent Reynaud on the second court, Yubo Chen on the fourth court and Petrus Botha on court five.
IVC earned a singles victory when sophomore Luis Castillo defeated Gertjan De Wilder, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.
Singles matches on the first and third courts went to three sets.
Irvine Valley freshman Chris Politiek won the first set over Cypress' Thomas Kyle, but Kyle battled back to take the second set.
Politiek went down, 3-0, in the third set, but climbed back, taking the next six games and the match.
In a battle between two of the top players in the state on the first court, Cypress' Maximilien Blancaneaux took the first set over IVC No. 1 freshman Wyatt DeMulling, 7-5.
DeMulling put it all together in the second set and cruised to a 6-0 set win.
And DeMulling kept it going in the third set, jumping out to a 5-2 lead. But Blancaneaux didn't give in and won four straight games to go up, 6-5.
DeMulling answered, however, tying the score at 6-6 and then running away with the tiebreaker. He won all seven points in the tiebreaker to give IVC the win and tie the match up after singles at 3-3.
Irvine Valley struck first in doubles getting a 8-3 victory by DeMulling and Politiek at the No. 2 position.
And IVC's No. 3 team of freshman Leszek Mirecki and sophomore Gavin Lynch came through with a 8-2 win over Thomas Davies and Chen to give Irvine Valley the deciding fifth point.
"I thought Wyatt (DeMulling) and Chris (Politiek) played with a lot of heart," Duncan said. "Each of them gave a great effort. They could have lost in singles, but wouldn't. Luis Castillo stepped up for us on the big stage with a win at No. 6 singles. And our doubles was very good again.
"This was a second big win in a row for us. But we need to keep working hard and step it up even more."
Irvine Valley plays again on Thursday, traveling to Fullerton for a conference match at 2 p.m.
1) Wyatt DeMulling (IVC) def. Maximilien Blancaneaux (Cyp), 5-7, 6-0, 7-6 (7-0)
2) Vincent Reynaud (Cyp) def. Lucas Lesoeur (IVC), 6-4, 7-5
3) Chris Politiek (IVC) def. Thomas Kyle (Cyp), 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
4) Yubo Chen (Cyp) def. Leszek Mirecki (IVC), 6-3, 6-3
5) Petrus Botha (Cyp) def. Gavin Lynch (IVC), 6-0, 6-1
6) Luis Castillo (IVC) def. Gertjan De Wilder (Cyp), 6-4, 6-1
1) Blancaneaux/Reynaud (Cyp) def. Lesoeur/Javier Callejo, 5-4 (ret.)
2) DeMulling/Politiek (IVC) def. De Wilder/Ingmar Remmerswaal (Cyp), 8-3
3) Mirecki/Lynch (IVC) def. Thomas Davies/Chen (Cyp), 8-2