ROCKLIN – When the Sierra College women’s tennis team takes on Fullerton College today in the California Community Colleges Athletic Association state championship, it will be the program’s third straight appearance in the title match.
After finishing second in 2011 and 2012, this year’s Wolverines may have what it takes to capture their second CCCAA championship since 2007.
“This is one of the strongest teams, depth-wise, we’ve ever had,” said Sierra Head Coach Steve Dunmore. “Winning a state title is always about depth and we have no drop-off from our one to six players.”
Add experience to the depth and these Wolverines are formidable. Three sophomores who played in the 2012 title match – Jessica Ho, Jamie Miller and Chloe Vicari – will lead Sierra against Fullerton at Libbey Park in Ojai.
Sierra, the North’s top seed, advanced to the title match by dispatching No. 7 Foothill College 5-0 in the north quarterfinals, No. 3 DeAnza 5-1 in the semis and No. 2 Chabot 5-0 in the NorCal finals. Fourth-seeded Fullerton upset 2012 state champion Santa Monica 5-1 in the south playoff opener and then stunned south top seed El Camino 5-0 in the semifinals. The Hornets outlasted No. 3 Riverside 5-3 in the SoCal final.
Dunmore is proud of his program’s dominance. “We’ve won 12 straight conference championships and have lost, I think, only two conference matches in 10 years. And we do it with all local players.”
Miller, who teams with Vicari to form the No. 1 doubles team in NorCal, is from Nevada Union High School. Sophomores Vicari (Argonaut) and Ho (Lincoln) are joined in the lineup by freshmen Bethany Caldwell (Bella Vista), Ali Doerr (Oakmont), Kaitlin Fischer (Lincoln), Lauren Griffen (Oakmont), and Stephanie Ramos (Elk Grove).
The 113th Ojai Tournament, the United States’ oldest amateur tournament played at the same location, will host this year’s CCCAA men’s and women’s team championships. On the men’s side, defending state champion Fresno City College takes on Ventura College in a battle of No. 1 north and south seeds.