Warriors Almost Upset Firestorm

Submitted by: Christy Cain - March 27th, 2015


w tennis 1By Christy Cain

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) The #11 Westmont women’s tennis team knew that they had a battle on their hands as they took the courts yesterday against #9 Arizona Christian’s undefeated team (19-0 overall, 10-0 GSAC).

While the challenge was set before them, the Warriors did an amazingly good job of navigating the course. They played the Firestorm point for point for most of the day, but unfortunately, despite the mental and physical strength of the match, Arizona Christian came out the ultimate victors with an overall score of 5-4.

The Warrior women started the day by winning three out of their six singles matches. “I knew that we only won one doubles last time we played Arizona Christian, so we were looking to do as well as possible in singles so that we could build momentum going into doubles play,” opened head coach Kendyll McManigal.

Lauren Stratman played at number one position against Firestorm competitor Desiree Jackson. Stratman handily won the first set 6-2 and then battled it out in the second to pull out a 7-5 victory, giving Westmont its first victory of the day. Ines Costamagna went three sets with Andrea Crook, but eventually won 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.

In the third singles spot, ACU’s Mikalya Morgan defeated Hayley Standness 6-1, 6-2, while Rafaella Zak Zak overcame a tough battle with Grace Davis with final scores of 6-4, 6-3 on court four. Senior Alyson Meyer beat Jessica Trink 6-0, 6-4 while Iulia Marceno capped off singles play with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Emily Keach.

Doubles play is where things really got to be interesting. With a tie score of 3-3, the team win was up for grabs. The dynamic duo of Stratman and Costamagna solidified an 8-3 win in the number one doubles position. This brings their season doubles total to 13 wins and just one loss as a duo. On the second court, the Firestorm’s Desiree Jackson and Jessica Trink swept Haley Strandness and Alyson Meyer 8-0.

Going into the final doubles match, the team score was tried 4-4, so the final point came down to senior duo Keach and Davis vs. Zak Zak and Marceno. The match was literally played point for point and eventually went into a tiebreaker. Towards the end, Westmont held double match point at 6-4 and 6-5, but then allowed Arizona Christian to tie up 6-6. The Firestorm continued their rally and took the next two points, producing a 9-8 (8-6) victory.

“There were five match points in the number three doubles match. Arizona Christian deserves the credit on that one because they made plays when it really mattered,” reflected McManigal. “Unfortunately, the match didn’t fall in our way. This one stings a bit, I am proud of the way that our seniors battled. Before the match, we talked about finding joy in the tough moments and they did just that.”

“After the match, we talked about not being discouraged, but filtering the energy towards our next match. Xavier is a really good team and our girls are looking forward to it. It will be especially good for our seniors who lost yesterday. It’s a chance for them to lay it all out on the line again and hopefully come out with a victory,” closed out McManigal.

The Warriors now hold a 9-6 overall record and are 7-2 in GSAC play. They take the Abbott Tennis Courts again this afternoon at 2 pm to host Xavier (La.) and tomorrow they hit the road to El Cajon, Calif. to play San Diego Christian at 2 pm.