WTen: Westmont women tripped up at GSACs

INDIAN WELLS – It was a day of upsets at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as both the number four seed Vanguard defeated the number one seed Arizona Christian and the number three seed Concordia defeated number two seed Westmont. Under the blazing desert sun, Westmont battled all afternoon in a competition that came down to the last two singles matches, but eventually fell 5-3 to the Eagles.

“First of all, we need to give credit to Concordia who played really, really well. They meshed their talent, focus and desire together to get a great win,” opened Coach McManigal. “On days like this it is hard because there are a few people on our team who won and I want them to know how well they did. Lauren and Ines in doubles and singles both really played well. They had to work hard against strong opponents and I know that these losses are especially hard for them.”

The afternoon started with doubles play against the Eagles. As usual, Ines Costamagna and Lauren Stratman handled the tough parts of their match with ease as they took down Ivana Vlakic and Ellie Johnson 8-3. Court number two featuring Haley Strandness and Alyson Meyer was a battle as they took on Caitlyn Uzzi and Layla Accorsi. Unfortunately, the Eagles took the 8-3 final win of that matchup. Court number three was the longest matchup of doubles play as Emily Keach and Grace Davis played Ulrike Hahn and Kelsey Markle. The set went back and forth so many times with multiple match points, but in a tiebreaker round, the Eagles came out victorious with scores of 9-8 (12-10).

“I was kind of banking on winning at least two of the doubles, so those losses got to us a bit. Third doubles was really close as we saved four match points. We had a couple of opportunities and couldn’t quite close it out,” reflected McManigal.

Trailing 1-2 going into singles play, the Warrior women knew that they needed to turn their play up a notch if they were going to win this. Costamagna kicked singles off with 6-1, 6-0 wins on court number two. On court number six, Emily Keach was the second to finish playing, but ended with 6-3, 6-4 losses to Kelsey Markle. Stratman battled it out on court number one against Vlakic, and ended with 6-2, 6-4 wins to tie the team score at 3-3.

On court five, Jensen defeated Meyer 7-5, 6-1 which put the Eagles within one point of a team victory. Grace Davis and Haley Strandness were the final two Warrior women on courts three and four respectively. After a tough doubles match, a very overheated Grace Davis pushed her way through her singles sets. While she dropped the first set 6-2 to Ulrike, she was able to rally back multiple times in set two. Sadly, the end of the match did not go her way as she came within two points of a win, but fell 6-4 to a very emotional and excited Concordia team.

Although she fought her way through the sets on court four, Strandness’ match against Uzzi will be marked as unfinished with scores of 6-4, 1-6, 4-5.

“Grace was having a hard time handling the heat, which kind of takes away from the tennis. She had some momentum, but was held back due to the tough conditions,” explained McManigal. “The girls rallied around each other and did what they could for each other, but ultimately Concordia just played really well. It’s a hard one for us to swallow.”

While the Women’s GSAC Tournament run has come to an end, there is still a little bit of time left in this season as they prepare for upcoming tournaments. “We still have a lot of tennis to play. We are going to have to reevaluate and make sure our academics are good and bodies are healthy so that we can have a bit of a fresh start at nationals,” closed out McManigal.

The women now hold a record of 13-8 overall and will be competing again in the Ojai Valley Independent College Tournament the weekend of April 24-26.