In leading up to the start of the 2017-18 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with the men's soccer team hosting Rio Hondo and the women's volleyball team hosting Citrus, the Laser athletic department will count down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2016-17 school year.
The No. 5 story on the list was all about the Irvine Valley women's tennis team's special season. The Lasers won their second Orange Empire Conference title in program history, were ranked No. 1 by the ITA in Southern California during the season, made the playoffs and reached the semifinals of the CCCAA Team Dual Playoffs.
Irvine Valley started the SoCal Regional Playoffs with an easy win in April.
The top-seeded Lasers, who were making their third straight appearance in the postseason, took care of No. 8 Grossmont, 5-0. Then fell to Glendale, 5-3, at home in the semis.
"It was a great season for a bunch of ladies who were not expected to accomplish much at the start of the year," IVC assistant coach Matt Harris said. "They won a conference title, earned a No. 1 regional ranking and were seeded first in the playoffs. For a team that was not ranked in the top 10 to start the season, it is pretty special.
"To top it all off, they were a team this year and fought for one another. The coaching staff is so proud of them."
IVC had one of the best seasons in school history in 2017. The Lasers won the program's second ever Orange Empire Conference title.
Irvine Valley also won a Southern California Regional Playoff match and finished with a record of 11-5 overall. The squad was 8-2 in conference and shared the title with Orange Coast.
IVC was ranked No. 1 in Southern California for a good part of the season by the ITA.
Orange Coast, which won the state title, was first in the final rankings. The rest of the top 10 was DeAnza, Santa Monica, Irvine Valley, Glendale, Canada, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Cerritos and Saddleback.
With individual rankings, Irvine Valley's Sarah Mae Garcia was ranked fourth in the state in singles.
Garcia, an all-Orange Empire Conference player, finished the year with a record of 11-5 overall in singles.
In doubles, Irvine Valley's team of Garcia and sophomore Samantha Paz was ranked No. 13 and the team of Baize and Morris was ranked 19th.