Athenas Dominate Shorthanded Sagehens

No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis team faced off against No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
on Saturday, April 5 at Pauley Tennis Complex in a Sixth Street
rivalry game. The Athenas swept the doubles matches and won four of the five
singles matches to win 8-1.

Coming off of an 8-1 win against California Lutheran University, the Athenas’ (13-7, 6-0 SCIAC) win over P-P kept their momentum going in league play.
Following a 9-0 win against Occidental College in their last league match, the
Sagehens (11-5, 4-1 SCIAC) looked to keep their league win streak alive, but were
outmatched by CMS and overcome by injuries.

swept P-P in the doubles matches to take an overall 3-0 lead going into the
singles matches. At No. 1, Caroline Ward CM ’16 and Katie Kuosman CM ’17, the
West Region’s top-ranked doubles team, defeated Marie Fleming PZ ’16 and
Rosemary Pelch PO ’17 by a final score of 8-4. 
At No. 2, Maddie Gordon PO ’17 and Sammy Chao
PO ’14 put up a fight in their first doubles match together of the season, but ultimately lost 8-6. The Athena duo of Crystal Lim CM ’14 and Yvonne Likomanova CM ’16 won
their doubles match 8-2 at No. 3. 

Before Saturday, both teams were undefeated in the SCIAC, which only added to the anticipation of the rivalry match.

entire team was super pumped to face our Pomona-Pitzer rivals because both
teams were undefeated in SCIAC conference play,” Sarah Kukino CM ’15 said. “It was important for us
to start strong in doubles and gain the early lead.”

Sagehens were without Lea Lynn Yen PO ’16, who was sidelined by a rotator muscle strain; she usually plays No. 1 doubles and
No. 3 singles. In addition, an injury in Fleming’s doubles match forced the Sagehens to pull her from No. 4

“Injuries for any team are always
difficult and never ideal, but we did what we could with the players that were
healthy enough to play,” Chao said.

taking the lead in doubles matches, the Athenas did not look back. Mae Coyiuto
PO ’16 was the only Sagehen who won a singles match, securing a 6-1, 7-5 decision at
No. 2 over Chloe Dobbert CM ’14. Kukino took the victory in her match at No. 4
due to the injury sustained by Fleming. In the other three singles matches, the
Athenas won in straight sets. Lim won 6-2, 6-2 in her match at No. 5 to give
the Athenas a 4-0 lead. Just after the end of that match, Kuosman won her match
6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 to clinch the win for the Athenas. Ward won her match at No.
1, and Likomanova won her match at No. 6 to add to CMS’s overall 8-1 victory.

Athenas were happy with the improvements shown by their team in the win.

have seen improvement in all of our players in almost all of our matches this
season,” captain Sheena Patel HM ’14 said. “Against opponents like Pomona-Pitzer, it is really important to start
strong in doubles, so the team worked toward getting ahead early and keeping a
lead. All of our players came out strong and played well throughout the match.”

Sagehens were not content with their overall performance, but remained positive
after the match.

“I did not believe that the score was indicative of our team’s
performance,” Chao said. “I was really happy to see the effort people put into their
matches, and believe that even though we lost, there are still a lot of
positives to take from how we played.”

the win, CMS remains atop the SCIAC standings at 6-0 in league play. The University of La Verne is the only other undefeated team left, with a SCIAC record of 4-0.
The loss against No. 5 CMS was the Sagehens’ fourth loss of the season
to top-five opponents (Johns Hopkins University, Williams College, Amherst College, and CMS). The Sagehens are
now third in SCIAC rankings, behind CMS and La Verne.

The Athenas look to stay undefeated in league in their next game, when they take on
Occidental College (1-11, 0-6 SCIAC) on Saturday, April 12.

When asked about this weekend’s matches, Patel was confident, but not overly so.  

“We prepare for most of our matches in the same way,” she said. “We are continuously
working to improve, so this week we are still working on improving technique
and fitness, and our strategy this Saturday shouldn’t be any different. It will
be our senior night, so though our lineup will be different, we will continue
to emphasize starting out strong.”

is back in action on Friday, April 11 to face No. 15 La Verne at 2 p.m.
at Pauley Tennis Complex in a crucial SCIAC match.

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