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Racket at the office

Glendale college's Alex Sarkissian has been a force for the Vaqueros

March 28, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
(Tim Berger Staff…)

Most offices have four walls. For Alex Sarkissian, the dimensions of his outdoor workspace are vastly different and always open for business.

Sarkissian's office measures 27 feet by 78 and features a net, multiple baselines and doubles alleys. It's the place where Sarkissian, a member of the Glendale Community College men's tennis team, is most comfortable serving, volleying and lobbing at practice or in a match.

He's been consistent at channeling his focus to wear down opponents to the tune of remaining undefeated. The No. 1 singles player has controlled the atmosphere on the court for Glendale college. He's not leery of attacking the net or staying back on the baseline with the goal of winning a valuable point.

"I just go out there and don't think about any kind of distraction," said Sarkissian, a first-year player at Glendale college. "That's why the court is like my office because I go out there and do a job and then I come off."

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The Vaqueros (8-6, 4-1 in conference) have benefitted from Sarkissian's presence. Entering today's conference road match against L.A. Pierce College, Sarkissian is 14-0 in singles, winning all 28 sets. In doubles competition, Sarkissian and partner Trevor Campbell are 11-2.

Things have come along smoothly for Sarkissian, who attended La Crescenta's Verdugo Academy, one of three alternative education programs in the Glendale Unified School District, and then competed in Futures Tournaments across the United States, Mexico and South America. Sarkissian enrolled at Glendale college last year, but didn't play tennis for the Vaqueros.

Sarkissian said he needed a break from playing in the rigorous tournaments and inquired about joining the Vaqueros. Veteran Glendale Coach Bob MacKay immediately found a spot on the team and in the lineup for the soft-spoken Sarkissian, who spent the past several years training at the Burbank Tennis Center under instructor Federico Browne.

"I just needed a break last year, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to play here at Glendale college," Sarkissian said. "Bob encouraged me to play and said it would be a fun experience.

"I knew some of the other players, like Trevor, and I knew that there was a possibility that we ¿could have a very good team."

MacKay, who took over the program in 2003, didn't hesitate putting Sarkissian in the No. 1 slot in singles and doubles.

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