Raul Roa Staff Photographer

Oleg Simonyan and Glendale Community College men's tennis lost a nonconference match Thursday. (Raul Roa Staff Photographer / March 20, 2014)

GLENDALE — Having already wrapped up the Western State Conference championship, the Glendale Community College men’s tennis team has begun a stretch of competing against four-year programs.

Playing teams at the next level comes with a purpose, Glendale Coach Bob MacKay said.

“You get a good perspective playing these kind of teams,” MacKay said after host Glendale suffered an 8-1 defeat against NCAA Division III Amherst College on Thursday. “It lets you know what you need to work on leading up to the Western State Conference Tournament and then the Ojai Invitational.

“You probably will see some things from the four-year players that can help you gear up for what we have in April. If you want to get to the next level, this is what you’ll likely be facing. That’s the way we want it to be.”

Glendale (9-4) will meet visiting New Mexico Military at 1 p.m. Friday and play host to Williams College on March 29. That will follow with the Vaqueros, who captured the conference championship for the first time since 2005, partaking in the conference tournament April 5-6 in Ventura.

Amherst improved to 10-1 and will complete a week-long trek through parts of Southern California that’s included matches against Cerritos, Azusa Pacific University, University of Redlands and Point Loma Nazarene.

The Vaqueros have played host to the Amherst the past several seasons. Glendale posted a 6-3 win in last season’s matchup. Amherst, which won the Division III championship in 2011, came into Thursday’s match bent on revenge.

The Jeffs swept all six singles sets. They received singles victories from Carlos de Bracamonte (6-4, 6-2), Ben Fife (6-1, 6-0), Philip Qu (6-1, 6-1), Sam Silver (6-3, 6-1), Birk Mitau (6-0, 7-5) and Karan Bains (4-6, 6-1, 11-9).

In doubles, the Jeffs received wins from Fife and de Bracamonte (8-6) and Qu and Silver (8-2).

The lone bright spot for the Vaqueros came when Cameron Braun and Clayton Pauff teamed up for an 8-5 victory.

“It’s good practice to play against this type of competition,” Braun said. “You are playing very good players.

“We think we have a good team, so we want to keep practicing and be ready for the tournament and the playoffs.”