Men's Tennis

Ross Duncan named Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year

Ross Duncan named Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year

Irvine Valley men's tennis coach Ross Duncan was recently named the Coach of the Year for all men's sports in the Orange Empire Conference. 

The award comes after Duncan led Irvine Valley to its second straight California Community College Athletic Association State Championship in late April in Ventura.

Irvine Valley finished the year with a record of 21-2 overall - with the only two losses being to ranked four-year colleges.

IVC, which was playing in its third consecutive state title match, won its final 16 contests of the season and completed a perfect season against community college opponents.

Over the last three years under Duncan, the Lasers have a record of 55-6 and have also won three Orange Empire Conference titles in a row.

The Lasers rolled through the competition in the postseason in 2016.

IVC, which won its first three playoff matches in the Southern California Regionals by the score of 5-0, defeated American River from Sacramento in the state title match, 5-1.

Irvine Valley won two of three doubles matches and the first three singles contests to earn another championship.

The IVC No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Scott Paz and Bruno Figlia won, 8-4, and the No. 3 team of freshman Gavin Lynch and sophomore Kevin Pham won, 8-3, to give IVC a 2-1 lead in matches heading into the singles round.

Then Irvine Valley won easy at the third, fourth and fifth singles spots to take the match.

Freshman Javier Callejo defeated Capaul, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 3 singles.

Freshman Octave Bellet beat Sean McDaniel, 6-0, 6-0, at the No. 4 spot.

And Figlia took down Dylan King, 6-1, 6-0, on the fifth court to give IVC the overall win.

Irvine Valley has a record of 38-5 over the last two seasons in which it won state titles.

Irvine Valley also ended up earning a Triple Crown of titles during the state championships with Callejo winning the program's first ever state singles title and the team of Figlia and Paz winning the doubles crown over teammates Sam Cohen and Callejo at the individual events that were held in Ojai.

Cohen ended up being named the Orange Empire Conference player of the year and was also Irvine Valley's male scholar athlete of the year.

Paz and Flavien Raveau earned scholarships to Division 1 Eastern Washington and Figlia moved on to play at Hawaii Hilo.

Besides being a great coach, Duncan is also a fine player in his own right.

He was chosen earlier this year to represent the U.S. against players from 25 other countries in the ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships.

Duncan was one of 24 of the top American players in the age categories of 35-45 that headed to Croatia for the event.

It was the highest-ranked event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for male and female players in these age categories.

Duncan competed in the Italia Cup for Men's 35 and over.

It was the fifth straight year that he had been named to the team. And Duncan was a captain for this year's squad.

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