Women's Tennis Splits Weekend

    A true test of a team’s character is how it responds to a heart-breaking loss. Strong teams find a way to bounce back, while weak ones often fold under the building pressure. The women’s tennis team proved what it is made of last Saturday when it rebounded from a tough defeat at the hands of arch-rival UC Davis to defeat Cal State Bakersfield 6-3.

    David Pilz
    Guardian

    The win brought the Tritons’ record to 5-2 overall and 4-1 within the CCAA. This record is good enough to put UCSD in second place in the conference.

    The match started out in doubles where Lyndsey Tadlock and Stephanie Moriarty ran into some stiff competition at No. 1. Things started out well for the pair, as they won the first three games and looked to be rolling to an easy victory. Kristina Tomas and Mary Pung of Bakersfield had other ideas, though, and the match was quickly deadlocked again at four. The team exchanged breaks over the next four games and the match was tied at six. The team from Bakersfield, however, was too tough, as it broke Tadlock’s serve and held on for the 8-6 win.

    At No. 2 doubles, Melisa Liao and Julie Westerman raced out to a 5-2 lead and looked to be running away with the match. This changed quickly, and before long the match was back on serve at 6-5. Liao and Westerman, however, did not fold under the pressure and came back to take the match 8-5.

    Ashley O’Neil and Kristina Jansen had a similar start at No. 3 doubles, but they never let their opponents back in the game to secure the victory and take the match 8-4.

    Carrying a 2-1 edge into singles play gave the Tritons confidence, but quickly they saw that that edge wouldn’t be needed.

    O’Neil took on Tomas at No. 1 singles and had a rough time. Tomas hit almost every ball within inches of the line and made it almost impossible for O’Neil to gather any momentum. The match ended in a 6-1, 6-1 win for Tomas and Bakersfield.

    Coach Liz Laplante knew that that match-up would be difficult.

    “”We knew they’d be strong up top,”” LaPlante said. “”Ashley had actually played Tomas at [the] Rolex [tournament] in October and got beaten pretty bad.””

    At No. 2, Tadlock got off to a quick start, breezing through the first set by a score of 6-0. There was then a complete 180 degree turnaround in the match as Tadlock was beaten 1-6 in the second set. Although her conditioning was tested, she came out firing in the third and took it 6-3 to win the match.

    Liao had an outstanding match at No. 3 singles. She obliterated her opponent 6-0, 6-0 without even breaking a sweat.

    “”Melisa is playing with more confidence then ever and is playing super aggressive,”” LaPlante said. “”She had a great day.””

    Jansen had similar success at No. 4 singles, winning in a wash 6-1, 6-0.

    Westerman lost her first set at No. 5 singles but quickly rebounded to take the next two to win the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

    After the match, LaPlante was happy with her team’s performance.

    “”Bakersfield is actually a pretty good team,”” LaPlante said. “”They were just below Sonoma in the conference. Overall everyone played well, played aggressive and played to win.””

    At No. 6 singles, senior Jaime Walker got a rare start. She fought through some tough droughts during the match, but in the end, it was not enough as she fell 2-6, 3-6.

    The Tritons will be in action next on Wednesday, when they take on Emory University at home at 2 p.m.

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