OCEANSIDE — In a hard-fought match Friday, the Westmont women’s tennis team (6-9, 4-2 GSAC) was unable to get the better of Saint Katherine (4-1,4-0 GSAC) in Oceanside.
Although the Warriors took the doubles point to start, the Firebirds took four of six singles matches to win it 4-3.
“Overall, it was a good day of tennis,” said Westmont Associate Head Coach Cade Pierson. “Nobody fell apart. There was nothing off or nothing broken about our game. The thing is, we were playing a top team, and we, too, are a top team. Both teams had to bring their best tennis, and they got us today.”
In doubles, the two sides split 12 straight games to open the day. First, on court two, McKenna Mountain and Evi Shellekens defeated Westmont’s Emily Peterson and Francesca Aguirre 6-0. Moments later, Rachal Jackson and Christine Hemry did the same thing to USK’s Laura Eugenio and Chahenda Galal on one.
Finally, on three, Sophia Ostovany and Logan Jackson defeated Nadine Heckert and Ashley Duncan 6-3 to earn Westmont the doubles point.
“We came out and played really strong in doubles from the start,” noted Pierson. “Our twos didn’t play their best match. On one and three though, we dictated the match. Our ones dominated and a lot came together for them against a really good team.
“Our threes also played a really good match. The way they closed the match was dominant and very composed.”
In singles, Westmont was only able to collect matches on three and six. On three, Aguirre continued her hot streak with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Galal. On six, Kaley Houshmand won a three-set affair over Duncan by a score of 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
After Jackson, Peterson and Hemry all fell in two sets, everyone’s focus turned to Ostovany on court five.
After dropping the first set 3-6, Ostovany bounced back to win a tiebreaker in set two by a score of 7-6 (1). Then, with the GSAC match on the line, Ostovany fell to Shellekens 6-2.
“We came into singles with good energy,” said Pierson. “We talked about wanting to have a fast start, but were unable to do that on every court. It came down to the last match and USK did some things in the end that made the difference.
“They’re a team that plays with a lot of energy and for the most part we did a good job staying composed. In the end, they pulled it out and we didn’t.”
The Warriors have a quick turnaround as they will head south to take on San Diego Christian this afternoon. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.