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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Spencer Ekola Leads SBCC Tennis State Qualifiers

Spencer Ekola won two matches on Saturday to advance to the WSC men’s tennis semifinals and led four SBCC players to berths in the State Championships.

Ekola, the sixth seed, beat Arin Meserkhani of Glendale 6-1, 6-2 in the Round of 16, then upset No. 3 Augustin Lestelle of Ventura 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Ekola will battle No. 7 Bill Whitaker of Ventura in the semifinals on Friday at the VC courts at 11 a.m.

No. 4 Emerson Sekban, the Vaqueros’ No. 1 player, cruised past Kevin Orellana of Glendale, then was eliminated in the quarters by Jon Barcohana of L.A. Pierce 6-3, 3-0, retired. Diego Santos fell to No. 2 seed Chris Pope of Glendale 6-1, 6-4 in the Round of 16. He returned in the back draw and earned a spot in the State Tournament by beating David Preciado of Glendale 6-3, 6-2.
 Ekola, Sekban and Santos will all play for the CCCAA State singles championship on April 27-30 at The Ojai.

In doubles, the fourth-seeded duo of Sekban/Ekola downed Meserkhani/Orellana of Glendale 8-3, then lost a tight semifinal to No. 1 Whitaker/Cruz Thayne of Ventura 7-5, 7-6. Santos and Adolfo Ortega also earned a doubles slot in the State Tournament by blanking Gerald Sescon/Liberman of Ventura 8-0 in the back draw.

On the women's side, five SBCC women’s players – two singles and two doubles teams – qualified for the State Championships at Ojai, thanks to their performances in the WSC Championships on Saturday at Ventura College.

No. 8 seed Laura Berther fell in the quarterfinals to No. 1 Mayra Jovic 6-0, 6-1. Earlier on Saturday, No. 16 Tyler Bunderson lost to Jovic by the same score in the Round of 16. Bunderson came back to beat No. 9 Veronika Galstyan of Glendale 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 in the back draw. She earned a singles spot in the State Championships, along with Berther.

In doubles, the 10th-seeded duo of Bunderson/Julianna Adelman lost to No. 1 Jovic/Abby Mullins 8-1 in the quarterfinals. Bunderson/Adelman earned a spot in the State Tourney at Ojai and they’ll be joined by teammates Paige Jensen/Josephine Pulver.


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