Sagehens Slash Top-Ranked Opponents Despite Demanding Schedules

While their fellow students spent the past week battling the post-spring break daze, the Pomona-Pitzer
women’s (7-3, 3-0 SCIAC) and men’s (16-3, 3-0 SCIAC) tennis teams have had no
time for respite as they continue to forage on through the midst of their
demanding schedule. After a rigorous but successful spring break, both teams
continued their winning ways as the men’s team beat Middlebury College by
a score of 5-4 and Williams College by a score of 6-3 while the women
also chalked one up in the win column, beating the University of Chicago by a final score of 5-4.

For both the men and women’s teams,
spring break is far from an athletic break. In one week, the teams played a
combined total of eight matches, including tough match-ups against Amherst College. Although Amherst ultimately beat the women,
the men were able to knock off the reigning national champs in a huge victory.

“The results were fantastic last
week, better than a lot of us could have hoped for,” Connor Hudson PO ’15 said.
“We knocked off a lot of top teams, not because we are the most talented team, but because we worked so hard for it. Amherst was just another great example of
that.”

Despite the women’s loss to
Amherst, they were still proud of young team’s effort and were more
than ready for UChicago.

“[The UChicago match] was our first match back from
having a few days off, so we wanted to come out strong as we were finally
well-rested,” Lea Lynn Yen PO ’16 said. “Our goal is to gain momentum in
doubles and carry it over to singles.”

Ultimately, the UChicago women came out
stronger in doubles March 25, pulling ahead with two wins to the
Hens’ one doubles win by Shivani Doraiswami PO ’18 and Emily Chen PO ’18. However,
the P-P women fought back during singles to defeat the Maroons by a narrow 5-4
margin.

For Yen, the highpoint of the match
against Middlebury was the final closer by Grace Hruska PZ ’18, who was recently
named the West Region Women’s Player of the Week.

“The highlight is almost always the
clincher,” Yen said. “Today it was Grace, who split sets with her opponent. The final game
felt like it lasted forever, but of course Grace was a champ and closed out the
match.”

For the men’s team, their week
started on Tuesday against Middlebury. After having a few days of rest, the
Hens came out strong and picked up a 2-1 lead in doubles. Jake Yasgoor PZ
’17, Graham Maassen PZ ’17 and Sam Malech PZ ’18 added singles wins for an
overall 5-4 victory.

The Hens continued their march over
top-ranked teams on Wednesday as they defeated the 2013 national champion,
Williams. Spencer Simonides PO ’17 and Antony Bello PO ’17 contributed with a
win in doubles while Hudson, Yasgoor, Simonides, Jonathan Kim PZ ‘16 and Josh
Kim PO ’17 won in singles for an overall 6-3 win.

According to Hudson, this win was
just another valiant team effort.

“I don’t really think there were
MVPs to either match,” Hudson said. “Both wins were the product of a team effort, including
both cheering and actual play. However, the highlight for me was
watching Jonathan Kim go from food poisoning the night before to a third-set
victory.”

Despite all of these victories, the
week is not over for either group of Hens. The men continue their play Friday
with home matches against UChicago as well as Lewis and Clark, and
a match against the University of California, Santa Cruz, March 28. The
women face Whittier College March 27 and Middlebury March 28. Even though the schedule is daunting, both teams feel prepared. 

“The other teams that we play
aren’t necessarily going through the same schedule as us, but we put in all the
work with on- and off-court conditioning, and I think we are prepared for the
road ahead,” Yen said.

As for the rest of the season, both
teams have ambitious goals.

“We as a team only
have one goal, to win a national championship, and this year has shown us that
it really is within our grasp,” Hudson said.

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