Westmont Women’s Tennis (0-8) came up one point short on Wednesday, when they fell to the Cal Lutheran Regals by a score of 4-3.
The Warriors were short-handed today with multiple starting players unavailable due to sickness, but still, Westmont’s less-familiar lineup came awfully close to tallying the club’s first win.
“This is one that could have been in the win column, so it’s hard,” said Westmont head coach Cade Pierson. “We never come into any match with expectations for an outcome, because the outcome is based on our effort and our attitude. The outcome is based on things we can control.
“We’ve taken really good lessons from really good opponents. Today, we faced off against a team right at our level, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase what we’ve learned. Instead, it’s been a week where multiple players on our team have fallen ill and we’ve had some injuries flare up. So, we went into today’s match without three of our starting players and a brand new lineup.”
In doubles the two sides split the first two decisions, which included Westmont’s Francesca Aguirre and Sabina Salva claiming victory on court two. What turned out to be a pivotal doubles point came down to court three, where Justie Spitzer and Arianne Vethan were in a tight-knit battle with Reya Maestas and Kayla Kling.
In a nail-biter, the Regals came away with a 7-6 (6) victory, giving Cal Lutheran the first point of the day.
“With our hectic week off the court, our team didn’t know their doubles partners until we were warming up,” revealed Pierson. “It’s the kind of match where you can’t control the circumstances, you can only control how you respond.”
The two sides split the six singles matches, with the Warriors claiming victory with Aguirre, Salva, and Spitzer on courts one, two, and three. The Regals commanded the remaining courts however, winning 6-2, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-2 on five and six.
The match came down to a winner-take-all on court four, where Kling was battling Westmont’s Liska Knight. Knight took the first set by a score of 7-5, but Kling responded with a dominating 6-0 win to even things up.
In the final set of the day, Kling defeated Knight 7-5 to give the Regals the 4-3 victory.
“All things considered, I thought we did respond well to the circumstances,” reflected Pierson. “We had doubles partners who had never played together. We had people in the lineup who haven’t been all year.
“Still, they fought. They didn’t lose focus, and they didn’t get caught up in their frustrations. Even playing without a normal lineup, this was a winnable match. You can still gain confidence from a performance like that.
“I’m really happy with how we controlled the factors that we could. Nobody played a bad match, and there was a lot of good stuff. At the end of the day, it was a frustrating match amidst a frustrating week. Luckily, there is a lot of tennis left to be played.”
The Warriors return to action next Friday, when they take on Arizona Christian at 2:30 p.m. in Glendale.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.