Men's Tennis

No. 1 Story of the Year - Javier Callejo's dominance at state

No. 1 Story of the Year - Javier Callejo's dominance at state

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. 1 story was the dominant performance turned in by sophomore men's tennis player Javier Callejo at the CCCAA State Championship events in Ventura and Ojai in late April. 

Callejo recorded a Triple Crown with a 6-2, 6-4 California Community College Athletic Association Men's Tennis doubles championship with sophomore teammate Lucas Lesoeur at Libbey Park in Ojai.

A few hours earlier, Callejo won the State singles championship with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph.

Last Wednesday, Callejo and his teammates opened the 117th Ojai Tournament with a 5-1 win in the State Dual Team final over American River, which was the top seed from Northern California.

Callejo, the No. 9 seed, won his second straight state singles title by sweeping No. 6 Vincent Reynaud of Cypress in an All-Orange Empire Conference final. He's the first repeat State champion since Dan Omaboe of Marymount in 1994-95 and only the third back-to-back winner all time.

He became the first Triple Crown winner since Adriano Biasella of Desert in 2002 and the 10th Triple Crown winner since the State Championships began in 1960.

Callejo, who played No. 3 singles for the Lasers all season, broke Reynaud's serve in the first and third games to take a 2-1 lead. After taking a medical timeout to tend to an ankle injury, Callejo won two straight games to take the first set 6-3.

Sunday was the first time that Callejo and Reynaud, a sophomore from France, had met on the court.

"We had tough matches in doubles this morning," said Reynaud. "We've had four days of tough matches. I didn't play my best, but Javi was very solid. He's good from the back and he plays very aggressive. He doesn't miss a lot, so it's hard to play him and counter punch."

Callejo, from Madrid, Spain, had his service broken in the seventh game of the second set and fell behind for the first time, 4-3. He promptly broke back on a long shot by Reynaud and then held his serve go up, 5-4.

Reynaud fell behind love-40 on his serve and the match ended on backhand winner by Callejo.

"It was kind of crazy with me having an injury and then he had to see the trainer between sets (for a shoulder injury)," said Callejo. "Vince played amazing the whole tournament. He plays everything offensive and that's different because normally people from France and Spain and even all of Europe, they tend to play defensively.

"We were both aggressive and I thought it was a beautiful match. I was happy to play the doubles semifinal this morning because I'm always more nervous for the first match of the day. In the singles final, I was playing pretty deep with a lot of spin on the ball and I think that hurt him a little bit."

Callejo wasn't sure he'd be able to pull off back-to-back State singles titles.

"It's amazing," he declared. "After all the injuries I've had this year, I didn't even know if I would play Ojai. I have no idea where I'm going to college next year but I'd love to keep playing."

Callejo and Lesoeur were seeded No. 2 in doubles. They beat No. 10 Thomas Kyle and Ingmar Remmerswaal of Cypress, 6-2, 6-2 in the early morning semifinals, then swept past top-seeded Nikita Katsnelson and Sasha Krasnov of Cerritos, 6-2, 6-4 in the afternoon final.

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