Another local team in the process of defending a state championship is the Ventura College men's tennis team.
Sophomores Thomas Millett, Pedro Ayala and Gabriel Vlahos have been supplemented by freshmen like Oxnard High product Sasha Hedberg, Ventura native Sean Levesque and Brazilian Paolo Fernandez.
The Pirates (13-2) have already wrapped up their sixth straight Western State Conference title, but a 5-4 loss Saturday to Orange Empire Conference champion Cypress will have an impact on the postseason.
"Now we're going to have to go on the road," said Ventura coach Nelson Emery. "It's not football where you have thousands screaming at you, but it's always a little easier to play at home."
While both the Pirates' state titles have come on undefeated seasons, they still considering themselves unbeaten, in a sense. The losses were suffered when they were missing Hedberg, the No. 1 singles player, or Fernandez.
"At the end of the day, it's been one of those things where we've lost a couple of matches," said Emery. "But we haven't lost to anyone with our Top 6."
Ventura bounced back Tuesday with an 8-1 win over South Coast Conference champion Cerritos.
The Western State Conference singles and doubles championships come to Ventura today and Saturday, before the state doubles tournament begins later in the month.
With Cypress and College of the Desert in the South and Fresno City and Foothill in the North, there are plenty of obstacles for a VC repeat.
"Now the fun starts," said Emery. "We're good enough to win. We're in the conversation."