After a difficult but rewarding
stretch of matches in March, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s and men’s tennis teams continued their winning ways into the first weekend of
April, combining to win last weekend’s matches 41-4 against their five
opponents. Despite these dominant results, athletes from both teams emphasized camaraderie over their records accentuated the work that still must be put
in to finish the season on top.
After losing two out of three
doubles matches to Middlebury College March 28, the women’s team (11-4, 6-0 SCIAC) spent much of
the week leading up to their matches against Occidental College and
Chapman University working on their doubles play.
“Doubles can cause huge momentum
swings since after doubles finish, you have the potential to be only two wins
away from winning the entire match,” Emily Chen PO ’18 said. “Strong doubles is
something that will really help us throughout the rest of the season.”
This special attention to doubles play showed as
the women were able to win all three doubles matches against Occidental, including
an 8-0 shutout by Maddie Gordon PO ’17 and Maryann Zhao PO ’18. This domination
continued in singles as Emily Kuo PO ’18, Emily Chen PO ’18, Marie Fleming PZ
’16 and Mallory Roth PZ ’17 earned 6-0, 6-0 wins, leading P-P to an overall
9-0 stomping of the Tigers.
The women had a similar outcome on Saturday, beating Chapman by a score of 9-0. While there were many
individual highlights, the overall highlight of the weekend was celebrating the
juniors in the last home match of the season.
“Since we have no seniors, Saturday
was Junior Appreciation Day,” Chen said. “It allowed us to recognize everything
that our two juniors do for us and appreciate how they have stepped into the
roles of captains.”
The men’s team (22-3, 4-0 SCIAC) also started their
weekend on Friday with a match against Gustavus Adolphus College. Coming
off a few more days of rest than usual compared to their hectic schedule in
March, the Hens were more than ready for their No. 16-ranked opponent. Barely
pulling ahead 2-1 after doubles, the Hens knew they were in for a good match. Ultimately,
thanks to wins by Jake Yasgoor PZ ’17, Jonathan Kim PZ ’16 and Antony Bello PO
’17, the Hens were able to pull away for a narrow, 5-4 victory.
Despite these wins, Kalyan Chadalavada PO ’18 found the highlight of the weekend to actually be
senior Connor Hudson’s PO ’15 narrow singles loss to the Gusties.
“Every match we pride ourselves on
leaving absolutely everything we have on the court,” Chadalavada said. “For example, watching
Connor [Hudson] give everything he had at the number one spot, even though the match was
already clinched, serves as a great model of how to fight till the last point.”
The men continued their
winning streak later in the day as they beat Westmont College by a final
score of 9-0. To finish the dominance they
showed over the weekend, the P-P team beat Whittier College on Saturday at the Poets’ home court by a score of 9-0 for their 22nd overall win—their 12th in a row.
Looking ahead, both the men and
women play rivals Claremont-Mudd-Scripps April 10. For the women, this 2 p.m. match at CMS will be their
first meeting of the season. For the men, this home meet at 4 p.m. will be their
second match against the Stags, having lost last time 8-1. Nonetheless, both P-P
teams are confident they can pull off a win.
“We just have to overpower them with
our energy,” Chadalavada said. “I don’t think there is a single spot in our
lineup that cannot beat his CMS counterpart, so long as we come out fired up
from the start till the end. Plus, having a home crowd will be extremely
helpful. Be there!”