After dropping a pair of games on the road to open the year, the Westmont women’s tennis team got to return to Montecito for their opener on Saturday.
While the Warriors’ score has improved in each of their three contests this season, Westmont (0-3) dropped Saturday’s match against Caltech by a score of 5-2.
In doubles, Anika Arora and Athena Kolli opened the match by handing Francesca Aguirre and Sophia Ostovany a 6-1 loss on court three. Then, the Warriors bounced back and matched the oppositions’ energy when Christine Hemry and Olivia Madarang defeated Michelle Hyun and Riti Agarwal 6-1 on court two.
The doubles point came down to court one, where Rachal Jackson and Emily Peterson went head-to-head with Anna Tifrea and Emily Zhang. While Jackson and Peterson put up a valiant effort for the Warriors, the Beavers prevailed with a 6-4 win to claim the doubles point.
“Like yesterday, I was still satisfied with our performance,” said Westmont associate head coach Cade Pierson. “In doubles it came down to the last court, and on this occasion it came down to Rachal and Emily on court one.
“It was a battle and I think Rachal and Emily applied a lot of what they learned yesterday in today’s match. I was proud of how they set up their points and how they competed and problem solved. I trust that with more match experience, they’re going to adjust and execute those final shots.
“On court three, I thought we competed well, but the opposing team just executed their game plan first. I think we did a good job committing to our plan, but I do think we could have done a better job trying to make adjustments as the match went on.”
Pierson and the rest of the Warriors were pleased with court two’s result regardless of the final tally.
“On line two, I was happy to see them take the match so decisively,” noted Pierson. “After yesterday’s match, I think they continued their really good communication with each other and planned each point well. I was really happy to see them execute as planned.”
Westmont’s two points on Saturday were earned by Jackson on court one, and Aguirre on court four. Jackson outdueled Tifrea 7-6 (2), 6-4 on court one, while Aguirre defeated Arora 6-3, 6-4 on four.
The Beavers won decisively on court five and six. On court five, Yochana Benchetrit defeated Madarang 6-4, 6-0, and on six, Nin Solovyeva defeated Ostovany 6-1, 6-2.
Hemry fell to Agarwal 6-3, 6-4 on court three, while Peterson fell to Emily Zhang 6-4, 6-4 on court two.
“We’ve continually built upon each we’ve played,” reflected Pierson. “I’m excited to see each player continue to move in the right direction. Today’s match revealed a few more specifics for each player that we plan to dive into leading into conference play.”
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.