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Six Vaqueros punch tickets to state tourney

Six Vaqueros punch tickets to state tourney

The Buyse twins, Jamaica and Joica from Belgium, both reached the quarterfinals in the WSC Individual Women's Tennis Championships on Saturday at Ventura College. They were two of six SBCC players who qualified for the state tournament.

Jamaica Buyse was seeded No. 4 and dropped a tight 6-2, 7-5 decision to No. 7 Iren Feher of Santa Monica in the quarters. Buyse broke Feher's serve several times in the second set.

Joica Buyse played well on Friday's opening day, beating Isabella Hakopian of Glendale 6-0, 6-0 in the Round of 16. She had to retire with a shoulder injury in her quarterfinal against No. 3 Isabella Chacon of Glendale. Chacon was winning 6-1, 3-2 at the time.

"There were a lot of 'almosts' this weekend, but at the end of the day, all that mattered was that everything was left on the court," said Vaquero coach Christina Klein. "This tournament can be quite grueling for the players as they play multiple singles and doubles matches each day."

Anya Nicolaides was the No. 9 seed. She fell to Victor Valley's No. 1 player (and No. 8 seed) Abby Corey in the round of 16 in a close battle, 2-6, 6-4, 10-8. Nicolaides knocked off Contratto 6-1, 6-2 in a back draw match to earn her spot in the Ojai tourney.

Victoria Dafos, the Vaqueros' No. 4 player and No. 15 seed, squared off against No. 2 Una Stanisaveljevic of Canyons in the Round of 16. The match lasted more than three hours and Dafos came up short, 7-6 (4), 6-2. "Victoria was struggling with a chest injury at the end of the first set and that ultimately cost her the match," Klein said. "She played up to Una's level and I think if she didn't experience that injury, she would have taken her down. Regardless of the win-loss, it was unbelievable tennis to watch." 

Dafos upset the 10th-seeded Victoria Neumann of Ventura in a back draw match.

Jule Lauinger, the Vaqueros' No. 5 player, blanked Calista Lian of Canyons 8-0, then faced the No. 11 seed, Gabrielle Contratto of Glendale and lost 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 in the tiebreaker. "Jule was a non-seeded player and to see her do so well against the No. 11 seed was incredible," said Klein.

The top four Vaquero players all earned a spot in the state tourney.

"Tennis can be a relentless sport where there is not much praise given to the person that barely loses and almost wins, and at the end of the day only one person wins a draw of 64," Klein noted. "The girls played with heart and tenacity and I couldn't be more proud."

In doubles, Buyse/Buyse were the top seed and they cruised to the quarterfinals. Then they had to retire due to Joica's injury. Nicolaides/Dafos were seeded fifth and they beat Corey/Padilla of Victor Valley 8-6 in the Round of 16. They took on No. 3 Chacon/Ghazaryan of Glendale in the quarterfinals and lost 8-3.

Lauinger and Julia Jakobsen were seeded 11th. They won their first set handily, 8-2, and then beat the 12 seed, Contratto/Villegas of Glendale, 8-2. They lost 8-0 in the quarterfinal to the No. 4 seed, Stanisavljevic and Sakato.

"Despite our setbacks with injuries and having to retire matches, the girls played an incredible past couple days and truly showed how competitive they are and how far they are willing to go," said Klein. "To have 6 out of 8 girls qualify for the Ojai tournament is impressive. I learned what they're capable of and I couldn't be more proud of them."

The WSC champion Vaqueros (16-3) will find out who they play in the Soutnern Cal Regional dual-team tourney on Sunday.