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Depth might make world of difference for Glendale Community College men's tennis team

Vaqueros prepared to carry 14 players while looking to make climb to top of conference.

January 18, 2014|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Former Hoover High standout Oleg Simonyan is one of a few newcomers on this year's Glendale Community College's men's tennis team. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Former Hoover High standout Oleg Simonyan is one of a few…

If it’s to indeed be the final season coaching the Glendale Community College men’s tennis team, then Bob MacKay is confident he might have his best squad in tact since taking over the program in 2003.

MacKay, who said he will likely retire following the 2014 season, hasn’t normally carried more than around 10 players on a team in each of his previous seasons. He’s about to make an exception after heading down the recruiting trail and netting several former local high school players to help fill out the budding roster.

“Normally, I only carry 10 to 11 players,” said MacKay, whose team will begin its season with a nonconference road match against Cypress at 2 p.m. Jan. 28. “In this case, I couldn’t cut any of our 14 players because they are all just too good.

“We can only have six guys playing in a match. However, we do have plenty of depth if we have to change things around or if there’s an injury or two. It’s just going to come down to can they perform when needed and giving it their best all the time.”

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While it’s a relatively new team that will feature 11 freshmen, the Vaqueros come in fresh off finishing 11-6, 5-3 in the Western State Conference to tie for second. Glendale suffered a 5-1 road defeat against San Diego Mesa in a quarterfinal match of the Southern California Regionals.

The Vaqueros will return Dat Le, Son Tran and Santiago Segovia, all of whom will be expected to provide leadership and help the freshmen make a smooth transition to the collegiate level. The returning trio will be joined by Oleg Simonyan (Hoover High), Dro DerMegerdichian (Hoover), Patrick Meserkhani (Crescenta Valley), Andrew Kevakian (St. Francis), Clayton Pauff (Burbank), Hosep Orojian, Cameron Braun, Nicholas Araaujo, Giovane Octaviano, Rondie Latham and Kyle Chen.

“The pieces appear to be in place and I think there can really be some great team chemistry,” MacKay said. “They are united and work well with each other in the weight room and then on the courts.

“I think it’s a team that can contend for a conference championship and make the playoffs. They realize they have to play to their potential and value winning each point in a match.”

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