SURPRISE, Ariz. — The Westmont women’s tennis team (8-11) could not overcome an early hiccup on Tuesday in the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals.
At one point, the Warriors looked primed to claim the doubles point and give themselves a fighting chance to defeat San Diego Christian (5-10) for the second time this season.
Ultimately, the Hawks came back to claim the doubles point and never yielded momentum from there as they defeated the Warriors 4-1.
“Losing and having this be the end of our season is obviously disappointing,” said Westmont Associate Head Coach Cade Pierson. “It’s not the result that we hoped for and not the result that we prepared for, but I think we picked up a lot of confidence from the way we competed all season long.”
In doubles, Emily Peterson and Francesca Aguirre opened the day with a bang as they cruised to a 6-2 win over Franzi Niederle and Tatiana Harvey. Then Milana Hrudka and Liza Hinrichs came out with similar energy for the Haws, as the duo defeated Sophia Ostovany and Logan Jackson by the same score.
The day’s momentum fully swung on court one, when Rachal Jackson and Christine Hemry led 5-4 over Anthea Weiland and Angelika Sidorov. With both the serve and an opportunity to clinch with a win in the next game, the first jolt of the day seemed awfully close to landing with Westmont.
However, the opportunity slipped out of the Warriors’ hands as multiple serves found their way into the net before ever having the chance to be returned. Once the Warriors allowed the Hawks to tie the set, Weliand and Sidorov put their foot on the gas and took the next two games with ease, claiming the doubles point with a 7-5 win.
“Everyone came to play today,” reflected Pierson. “After they got the doubles point, I think we went into singles fresh-minded but they still kept momentum and got the better of us.”
In singles, Hinrichs kept momentum for the Hawks with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jackson on one, immediately putting the Warriors on the brink of elimination. Needing four of out of a possible five matches to go their way in order to advance, Westmont was able to muster just one.
On three, Aguirre was the lone and final Warrior to win a match as she defeated Weiland 6-3, 6-2.
Then Tomi Felix-Chavez defeated Ostovany 6-2, 6-2, and Niederle defeated Hemry 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to bring an end to Westmont’s season.
“It’s disappointing,” said Pierson. “It’s difficult but if there’s ever a team you hope to see do well after they beat you, it’s San Diego Christian. We have a lot of respect for them and their coaches. It’s a bummer that we were on this side of things today, but we have a bright future ahead.
“In retrospect, our team should have a lot of pride for the work we put in this season. Whether it’s four years for the seniors, or one year for the freshmen, they all should feel proud of what they gave to this program this season. For the seniors, they left everything they had on the court and that was always our goal within every match, regardless of outcome.
“For the freshmen, I hope they stay hungry for the future and realize they had an incredible first season. There is more to achieve and work we can do as we prepare for the future.”
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.