In hard fashion, the CMS Athenas handed the red-hot Pomona Pitzer Women’s tennis team their first and only conference loss of 2011.
The team fell by a score of 7-2, though many of the individual matchups were very close.
“I give credit to the CMS tennis team,” Coach Ann Lebedeff said. “They came out ready to play and were very focused.”
CMS jumped out to an early lead with wins in the #1 and #2 doubles matches, although Sammy Chao PO ’14 and Arthi Padmanabhan PO ’14 fought off the Athenas to win their #3 doubles match. That win marked Chao/Padmanabhan’s 14th straight doubles win, leaving them with a record of 14-0 on the regular season. The pair’s success continued despite Chao missing a week of play with a shoulder injury that subsequently dropped them out of the regional doubles rankings.
Down 2-1, winning four of six singles matches proved to be too tall a task for the Sagehens.
#1 singles player Jamie Solomon PZ ’13 battled with Kristin Lim CM ‘13, but ultimately Lim, the #1 ranked player in the West region, prevailed 6-2, 6-2. At #2 singles, Kara Wang PO ’13 jumped out to a sizable lead in the first set, but Crystal Lim CM ‘14 (no relation to Kristin) battled back to win in a tiebreaker. Wang, one set down, couldn’t break Lim and wound up on the wrong side of a 6-1 second set.
Padmanabhan took Chloe Dobbert CM ’14 to three sets at the #3 singles spot but couldn’t prevail in the 10-point tiebreaker. The day fared no better for #4 player Nicole Holsted PO ’12 who fell in straight sets to Jessie Huang CM ’14, 6-0, 6-2.
The only singles win came from Chao at the #5 spot. She easily handled Jacyln Smrecek SC ’13 in two quick sets. Just as the first set started well for Wang, Jess Hsu PO ’13 jumped out to a 4-1 lead before her opponent, Hannah Kornfeld CM ’11, won 10 straight games to ultimately win 6-4, 6-1.
“I knew it would be a tough match,” Coach Lebedeff said. “We hope to have the opportunity to play them again next week in the conference tournament.”
The Hens travel to Pasadena City College today, where they face La Verne in the first round of the SCIAC Tournament at 9:30 a.m. If the Sagehens beat the Leopards, they will face the winner of Redlands/Occidental that afternoon. The SCIAC Championship will take place Saturday at 10 a.m.