The Saddleback women's tennis team upset Orange Coast College, 5-4, on Thursday in Costa Mesa. With the win, the Gauchos are now just one game out of first place in the Orange Empire Conference.
Orange Coast was cruising along in first place until Thursday when Saddleback put a wrench in their plans. The Gauchos scored a ferocious comeback, winning five of six singles matches after losing all three matches in doubles play.
Dominique Willette, Joanna Colin, Deena Fatehi, Maddison Serklew and Ariana Khalaj-Hedayati all won in the face of adversity, with their team backed into a corner. Khalaj-Hedayati pulled off the biggest win of the year when she was down at No. 6 singles with time winding down. She broke serve trailing 4-5 in the third set, sending the match to a tiebreaker. Khalaj-Hedayati then defeated Janine Panas 7-3 in the tiebreaker to complete the comeback against one of the better teams in the region.
"I was proud of the way the ladies didn't hang their heads after a slow start in doubles," head coach Jay Amos said. "We fought hard and came back to win a tough match against a strong OCC team."
Saddleback is now one game back of both Orange Coast and Irvine Valley in conference play with two matches remaining. The Gauchos will have a week off before traveling to Riverside College on March 29.
1. Clarisa Colling (OCC) def. Ashley Glick (SC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
2. Dominique Willette (SC) def. Karen Trinh (OCC) 6-3, 7-6
3. Joanna Colin (SC) def. Cece Arzaga (OCC) 6-3, 6-0
4. Deena Fatehi (SC) def. Lauren Saito (OCC) 6-4, 6-1
5. Maddison Serklew (SC) def. Charli Critas (OCC) 6-1, 6-2
6. Ariana Khalaj-Hedayati (SC) def. Janine Panas (OCC) 6-4, 5-7, 7-6
1. Colling & K. Trinh (OCC) def. Glick & Willette (SC) 8-3
2. Arzaga & Dahlberg (OCC) def. Colin & Serklew (SC) 8-1
3. Saito & Critas (OCC) def. Khalaj-Hedayati & Kimiya Ataiyan (SC) 8-4