WTen: Warriors look strong in NAIA First Round

(MOBILE, Ala.) The Westmont women’s tennis team had an impressive performance in the Frist Round of the Women’s Tennis NAIA National Championship this afternoon in Mobile, Alabama. Despite the 85 degree weather and 90 percent humidity, the women worked their way to a 6-1 lead over Evangel University before the match was suspended due to stormy conditions. Thankfully the Warriors held enough points to solidify a team win before thunder and lightning rolled in.

They started the eventful afternoon with doubles play. On court number one, Lauren Stratman and Ines Costamagna were locked and loaded against top ranked Amy Fritz and Jenna Elliot. While it was one of their more difficult doubles matches of the season, the Warrior duo pulled out an 8-4 victory and the first win of the day. Court number three, featuring Emily Keach and Grace Davis, was the second duo to finish. The seniors came out with a very strong start, but slowly dropped points to the Crusaders who eventually won 8-6.

With the team doubles score split down the middle, the deciding match fell upon court number two. Haley Strandness and Alyson Meyer put on quite a performance against Breanna Feemster and Morgan Reilly. The teams went back and forth the entire time, and eventually worked their way to a score of 9-8 that led to a tiebreaker. Thankfully the Warriors had the right mindset and determination for the challenge and won the tiebreaker 7-4, putting Westmont up 2-1 going into singles play.

Lauren Stratman had her work cut out for her at the number one singles position this afternoon. She was up against another highly ranked NAIA player, Amy Fritz, but was able to come out with a 6-3, 6-2 win. Ines Costamagna rolled her way through her match to two 6-1 wins over her opponent on court two.

With the Warriors leading with a team score of 4-1, the women were looking for one final point to solidify a win. With four very close matches still going on, the final win was not going to come easily. Haley Strandness battled her way through a long, hard match that was played point for point the entire way. In the end, she kept calm and was able to close out her sets with great composure and final scores of 6-1, 7-5.

Grace Davis had the biggest comeback match of the day on court three with scores of 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Right about the time that she finished, a “typical” Alabama storm began to roll in. Since it was evident that the thunder and lightning were not going to stop anytime soon, the rest of the matches were suspended for the day.

At the time of the match suspension, Both Emily Keach and Fernanda Rivera were winning their competitions, but were marked as unfinished due to the weather conditions.

With this win, the women progress to 14-9 on the season. They will be taking the court again for the Second Round of the tournament tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM (CST) against #1 Georgia Gwinnett.

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