Westmont Women’s Tennis (1-9, 1-1 GSAC) fell to #18 Westcliff (5-3, 4-0) on Saturday, as the visiting Warriors defeated the Santa Barbara-based Warriors 6-1. Westcliff opened the day by sweeping the doubles point, before carrying the momentum into singles with an early clinch.
“I’m proud of our team today,” said Westmont head coach Cade Pierson. “I don’t think the score indicated how close the match was overall. Considering the circumstances, it was just not our day, but we showed up and played really well regardless.”
In doubles Westcliff claimed all three sets, which included a 6-0 win on one, where Marielena Muench and Ruiz defeated Arden Samuels and Liska Knight. On two, Neele Marie Menssen and Kowalski defeated Francesca Aguirre and Sophia Ostovany 6-3, and on three, Shayee Sherif and Hurtado bested Sabina Salva and Justie Spitzer 6-4.
In singles Westmont was able to get their lone point of the match on four, where Samuels was able to outlast Lilian Burth 3-6, 7-6 (4), 11-9. Aside from four Westcliff controlled the match, which included a 6–0, 6-1 win on two for Ruiz over Salva. On six, Hurtado defeated Kaley Houshmand 6-2, 6-1 and on five, Menssen bested Logan Jackson 6-2, 6-2.
“Singles is where people really stood out,” offered Pierson. “Arden won her match, and she was in considerable pain throughout. She won in three sets which was a testament to her grit, and her determination. I’m really proud of the tennis that she played.
“Arden had to play not only gritty, but smart tennis as well. It was clutch and I know it was challenging for her physically, but I’m proud of her for getting us on the board. It was a huge win for her.
The two sides played past clinch, allowing Westcliff to also collect wins over Ostovany on one and Spitzer on three.
“Aside from Arden, Sophia and Justie stood out as well,” noted Pierson. “Justie did a really good job of achieving her goal, which was to play aggressive tennis today. Her opponent was steady and pushed her, but I’m really proud of the way she competed. Justie had a lot of fiery, up-beat energy, and I hope to see more of the same moving forward.
“Sophia, like everyone else, was playing at a higher position than normal. For her playing at one she had a great match, especially with how disappointed she’s been in the start of her season. She competed well, found confidence in her forehand, and had a great mindset today. Even though it wasn’t a win, I think there were a lot of small wins today inside that match.”
“Looking at our lineup, you might not realize how many things weren’t exactly ideal for us today,” revealed Pierson. “Francesca was dealing with a stomach-illness, and didn’t really feel well enough to play in doubles, but she did anyway. Then in doubles, Liska aggravated an injury and wasn’t able to play in singles, so that was another last-minute change.
“Then Arden played singles today, after not playing in singles for a month, and then Kaley was in the lineup today after only playing in one match all season as she comes back from injury.
“There were a lot of wild cards that made the circumstances less than ideal, but we did a really good job of competing regardless. We focused on what we could control and did our best with it.”
Westmont returns to action on Friday, March 17, when they host the Menlo Oaks in Santa Barbara.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.