WTen: Warriors advance at GSAC Tournament

Indian Wells – The #11 Westmont women’s tennis team took the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament First Round courts by storm this afternoon in sunny Indian Wells.

Thankfully, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is the perfect venue to perform well at. On courts where many professionals have practiced and played, Westmont (13-8, 10-2 GSAC) defeated Hope International (0-15, 0-12 GSAC) 5-0 in the quickest match of the day.

The Warriors started the day off with doubles play. Apparently, each of the duos were locked in with the same mindset because not one single point was given up in any of the three doubles competitions. Court number three, featuring Emily Keach and Grace Davis, was the first to finish with an 8-0 win over Alyssa Prichett and Gabriella Chavez. They were quickly followed by Alyson Meyer and Haley Strandness who swept their Royal opponents in a speedy 8-0 clinic. Lauren Stratman and Ines Costamagna showed out on court number one against Sabrina Miller and Alyssa Penner, adding yet another win to their now 19-1 doubles record together.

“We just did what we had to do,” opened head coach Kendyll McManigal. “We are pretty injured right now and a little exhausted just from the daily grind of college life. But we went out there and took care of business this afternoon. Credit to our girls who all pushed through and had three 8-0 wins in doubles play. They each played well.”

With complete confidence as individuals and as a team, the Warrior women headed into singles play. In an unusual turn of events, courts five and six were the first to finish up. But when you saw the grand performance of Emily Keach as she took down Chelsea Bollinger 6-1, 6-0 it was no surprise that she was the first to wrap up. Fernanda Rivera defeated Gabriella Chavez 6-0, 6-1 to be the second one to finish competition and earn the fifth team point of the day.

The way this tournament works is that as soon as you get to five points as a team, you have officially won the match. So, all other sets are stopped mid-way through as a way to save both the time and the energy of the players.  That being said, on court number one, Lauren Stratman was well on her way to a victory with scores of 6-1, 4-1 against Sabrina Miller. On court number two, Grace Davis was one point away from a first set with a score of 5-4 over Caroline Houston. On court number three, Haley Strandness was playing point for point with Alyssa Penner who was leading the match 6-4, 0-1.

“Hope played quite well in some of the singles matches. For us, it was cool to have five and six be the first courts to finish because usually they are the last ones on,” explained McManigal.

Tomorrow we need to be able to lock it in. The other teams are going to come in fired up with nothing to lose. We keep talking about expecting our opponents to come out play their best ever. We know that Concordia will bring their “A” game, but it is with that same belief that we expect to win. We are confident, but will not be surprised by their great performance.”

The semifinal round will be nothing short of a battle as #11 Westmont takes on #14 Concordia who currently holds a record of 10-11, 8-4 GSAC. The Warrior women defeated the Eagles both times in regular season conference play. But as all athletes know, anything can happen in playoffs. It’s not about past wins, it’s about the team who shows up to play, perform and compete to the best of their ability on that particular day. One thing is certain: the Westmont women have their eyes on the ultimate prize of winning the tournament.

Tomorrow April 16 at noon, the Warriors will take the courts and prove yet again what they are truly made of.


Singles competition
1. STRATMAN, Lauren (WC) vs. MILLER, Sabrina (HIU) 6-1, 4-1, unfinished
2. DAVIS, Grace (WC) vs. HOUSTON, Caroline (HIU) 5-4, unfinished
3. STRANDNESS, Haley (WC) vs. PENNER, Alyssa (HIU) 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
4. MEYER, Alyson (WC) vs. PRITCHETT, Alyssa (HIU) 6-0, 4-1, unfinished
5. KEACH, Emily (WC) def. BOLLINGER, Chelsea (HIU) 6-1, 6-0
6. RIVERA, Fernanda (WC) def. CHAVEZ, Gabriella (HIU) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. STRATMAN, Lauren/COSTAMAGNA, Ines (WC) def. MILLER, Sabrina/PENNER, Alyssa (HIU) 8-0
2. STRANDNESS, Haley/MEYER, Alyson (WC) def. HOUSTON, Caroline/BOLLINGER, Chelsea (HIU) 8-0
3. KEACH, Emily/DAVIS, Grace (WC) def. PRITCHETT, Alyssa/CHAVEZ, Gabriella (HIU) 8-0
Match Notes:
#7 Hope International 0-15
#2 Westmont 13-8; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,6)
GSAC Tournament First Round
Westmont advances semifinals
Official: John