WTen: Westmont falls to Azusa in old rivalry matchup

AZUSA – The Westmont women’s tennis team (6-3, 4-1 GSAC) unearthed an old rivalry this afternoon as they headed down south to take on Azusa Pacific University (6-2).

The Warriors have only matched up against the Cougars a handful of times since Azusa transferred out of the NAIA two years ago. But it looks like Division II has treated them well, since the Cougars took down Westmont 7-2 this afternoon on the Bavougian Tennis Courts.

Lauren Stratman and Ines Costamagna held it down on the number one doubles court as they notched the first victory of the day with a 9-8 (4) win over the Cougars’ Johnson and Ingwaldson. The win was not only another notch in the dynamic duo’s undefeated record this season, but brought Azusa’s point streak of 39 consecutive singles and doubles matches won to an abrupt end. “Lauren and Ines had to fight to pull out their doubles win,” opened head coach Kendyll McManigal, “They dug deep and raised the intensity as the match wore on.”

On the other doubles courts, both Alyson Meyer and Haley Strandness along with Emily Keach and Grace Davis dropped their respective matches 4-8. “It was great to have Grace Davis back today, playing with Emily. Even though they lost, they showed how strong their chemistry is together and they will just keep getting better,” explained McManigal.

Singles play was plagued with injuries on both sides of the net this afternoon. On court number one, Lauren Stratman went up against Natalie Johnson in a couple of very competitive sets. Stratman won the first set 6-2 and was at 2-3 in set two before Johnson retired the match due to injury. This gave the Warriors their second victory of the day.

Costamagna took on Keshina on court number two, but dropped the first set 1-6 and retired the second set at a score of 1-2 due to a back injury that continues to flare up. “I had to retire Ines from her set due to back pain. It was disappointing, but it was a non-conference match and I am looking out to April and May when we need her as healthy as possible,” McManigal said.

From this point on, Azusa swept the singles matches. Strandness lost 3-6, 1-6 to Ingwaldson. Alyson Meyer dropped her close sets 5-7, 5-7 to APU’s Lindsey Yeom. Emily Keach played in the number five position and was defeated 1-6, 3-6 and Rivera capped off the singles play with two scores of 4-6.

“I thought that many of our players played well despite the losses. Today was good practice for Nationals and made us want to continue to raise the bar. Azusa is a good team,” closed out coach.

The Warriors will be back in Santa Barbara to host Biola University this Saturday February 28 at 11 a.m. on the Abbott Tennis Courts.