Athenas Fall in Narrow Nail-Biter to UCSD

After last week’s 9-0 blowout against California Lutheran University, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s tennis team (1-1, 1-0 SCIAC) hoped to emerge with another victory this week. They nearly did it, but fell short to the University of California San Diego Tritons 5-4 on Saturday, Feb. 13.

The Athenas held their own against UCSD, a Division II powerhouse ranked No.18 nationally and No. 5 regionally. CMS split the singles matches 3-3: Triton Kyra Scott emerged victorious against Caroline Ward CM ’16 in straight sets (6-2, 6-1), Britta Mosser defeated Athena Lindsay Brown CM ’18 (4-6, 6-2, 6-0), and Madison Hale pulled out a win over Bria Smith CM ’18 (6-3, 6-2).

CMS held their own with strong victories as Katie Kuosman CM ’17 took down Jasmine Hosseini (7-6, 6-2) in the No. 1 singles, and No. 4 singles Kyla Scott CM ’18 outplayed Triton Alexandra Weil (4-6, 6-4, 6-2). 

But perhaps the most thrilling match of the day was the No. 5 singles match, as Athena Jessie Cruz CM ’19 beat Monica Yassear in a nail-biting thriller (6-7, 6-3, 13-11). Although Yassear, an experienced senior, pulled out the first game, Cruz remained composed and fought for every point with precision and persistence, finally emerging with the victory. 

In the No.1 doubles match, CMS captains Kuosman and Ward showcased their synergy in a fierce 9-7 win over Mosser and Scott. However, the CMS No. 2 duo Brown and Scott could not overcome UCSD’s Ashley Chao and Shannon Theisen, falling 8-6. UCSD handed CMS its fifth loss in the No. 3 doubles, as Tritons Madison Hale and Alexandra Weil beat Lauren Livingston CM ’18 and Bria Smith CM ’18 in an 8-0 sweep. This final victory gave UCSD the narrow edge over CMS, and ended the day 5-4 in the Tritons’ favor.

Despite this close loss, CMS women’s tennis currently holds the No. 4 national NCAA Division III ranking. The Athenas will face four teams in the next week, with a critical match against Brandeis University (1-1, 0-0 Conf.) on Saturday, Feb. 20. CMS will also play Bates College (0-1, 0-0 Conf.) on Feb. 26 and compete in their second conference match against California Institute of Technology (0-3, 0-1 SCIAC) and Point Loma Nazarene University (2-2) on Feb. 27. 

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