Warriors Advance to Finals

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - April 20th, 2016

 

Carl Lindqvist ( Photo by Kaci Mexico)

Carl Lindqvist ( Photo by Kaci Mexico)

By Kaci Mexico
April 20, 2016

In a semifinal match-up of the Men’s Tennis Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament, between sixteenth ranked and number two seeded Westmont Men’s Tennis (9-7) and number three seeded Biola (11-12), the Warriors secured an early victory over the Eagles defeating them 5-1, just three singles matches in. With this win, the Warriors will advance to the championship game.

The first team to reach five points would win the game. The doubles matches were played first and the Warriors won two out of the three.

“I thought our guys started out really well in the doubles, winning at numbers two and three,” reflected head coach Mark Basham. “It was lights out at three and really solid at two once we got it going. At number one I thought we were right there to win it, but Biola stepped up and earned the win. Both teams are good and played well so it was a pretty even matchup. I was happy being up two to one but certainly would have loved to have the cushion of going into singles three to 0.”

Playing at number three, Tommy Nightingale and Jordan Strandness set the Warriors off to a good start when they earned the first point of the game after they defeated David Garcia and Michael Vartuli 8-1. At number two, Christian Mathis and Luke Whalen added on another point when they were triumphant over Philip Westwood and Joe Turnquist by a score of 8-2.

The Eagles earned their first point of the game when Lucas Lee and Luke Mountain battled their way to a victory over Carl Lindqvist and Travis Kimsey defeating them by a score of 8-6.

The Warriors were up 2-1 going into singles and needed to win three of the six singles matches to win the game.

Coach Basham shared the mindset that he wanted to instill in the Warriors as they went into singles play.

“I told them that we have beaten Biola this year, that we have beaten them in the past and that even though we just came off of a loss at number one doubles that we are still in an advantageous position and we should be feeling very positive going into singles.”

The Warriors harnessed momentum from their doubles play and won the first three singles matches to end the game and ultimately conquer the Eagles.

Playing at number three, Kimsey defeated Mountain 6-0, 6-2; at number six, Strandness overcame Andrew Greenfield 6-1, 7-5; and at number five, Nightingale was victorious when Garcia retired from the match. When Garcia retired the the score was 1-6, 4-1.

The Warriors will play in the championship game tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. where they will face thirteenth ranked and number one seeded Lewis-Clark State (10-9).

Westmont will look to win their first Men’s Tennis GSAC Tournament Championship since 1997.

Coach Basham shared his thoughts about tomorrow’s matchup.

“We lost to them earlier this season in what was our most frustrating and difficult match of the year because I really felt like we should have won that match. But I am excited to see how the men respond – it is going to be a good match.”

The Warriors lost to Lewis-Clark state earlier this season 5-4.

Basham explained what the Warriors will need to do in order to be successful in tomorrow’s match.

“We will need to play similar to today in terms of being really good in doubles to set the tone. I think it is going to be about determination, belief, and preparation – preparation from now all the way into the game and responding well when things go up and down within each match.”