The Saddleback women's tennis team had four athletes qualify for the state tournament at Ojai, California, on April 27-29. Three singles players and two doubles teams will compete for a state title.
Saddleback had a solid showing at the Orange Empire Conference Tournament last Thursday and Friday and now will have representation at the biggest event of the season in Ojai. Jacklyn Melkonian, Kristina Parks, Bailey Donine and Abril Marziali will all represent the Gauchos when the best in the state get together to determine team and individual titles.
Melkonian was the No. 3 seed for the OEC Tournament and easily cruised through the round of 32 and round of 16 in advancing. She opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Lindsey Vanderwater (IVC) before cruising past Camryn Mason (OCC) in the next round 6-1, 6-1.
Parks opened with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Fullerton's Kim La before disposing of Orange Coast's Emilia Boettcher 6-2, 6-3. Parks and Melkonian were then scheduled to play each other in the quarterfinals but opted to forgo the match as a result of already qualifying for the state tournament.
Donine was a surprise winner in the opening round when she stunned the No. 6 seed in the draw in Delaney Ashe from Fullerton College 6-0, 7-5. She then dropped a match to Riverside's Heather Graf in the round of 16 (6-3, 6-4), but still qualified for the state tournament.
The doubles teams of Melkonian/Parks and Donine/ Abril Marziali will also play in Ojai after winning their opening match at the OEC Tournament on Thursday. Melkonian and Parks were the No. 3 seed and beat Anna Kretchova and Lauren MacDonnell (IVC), 8-3. Donine and Marziali upset Riverside's (7-seed) tandem of Autumn Keay and Emilia Lopez, 8-4.