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No. 23 Warriors Topple No. 12 Point Loma Nazarene

Westmont uses balanced attack to claim 6-3 victory in Palm Springs match.

Westmont women’s tennis head coach Kathy LeSage has been looking toward two matchups with No. 12 Point Loma Nazarene all season. She knew that if the No. 23 Warriors were going to put themselves in position for an at-large bid to the national tournament, they would need to pick up a victory over higher-ranked teams.

On Wednesday, she got her wish as the Warriors defeated the Sea Lions, 6-3, in Palm Springs in a nonconference match. The two squads will play again in April at Westmont in the final match of the year.

"That is our first victory over Point Loma in many, many years," LeSage said. "They had a big target on their backs and we hit the bull’s-eye."

The Warriors picked up two points in doubles play, winning at Nos. 2 and 3. On the No. 2 court, freshman Ilissa Mathews and senior Jennie Dunn defeated Leanne Piper and Brittany Hall, 8-5. At No. 3, Kristen Lee and Christina Klein picked up an 8-2 win over Taryn Zimmer Holly Robins. The No. 1 doubles match went to Point Loma’s Kristin Strimple and Kelsey Weir, who defeated Lauren Combs and Erin McGurty, 8-4.

Point Loma also won at Nos. 1 and 2 singles. Strimple defeated Combs, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 1 while Weir survived a battle on court two, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 over Mathews.

"Kelsey is a junior and a solid player," LeSage noted. "We have never been able to get a set off of her before so I am very pleased with how Ilissa played."

The Nos. 3 through 6 courts belonged to Westmont. McGurty picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win over Zimmer at No. 3 while Klein won at No. 5 by the same score over Hall. Dunn prevailed in a close battle at No. 6, defeating Robins, 6-4, 7-5.

"Jenny captured the fifth point for us and it was really sweet," LeSage said. "As a senior, she has experienced the disappointment of several close losses. This one tasted very good."

Lee won the finals singles match on court four. After splitting the first two sets, 4-6, 6-4, she and Piper played a super-tiebreaker that Lee won, 10-8.

Westmont plays Vanguard at 2 p.m. Thursday in Palm Springs.

Westmont 6, Point Loma Nazarene 3

No. 1 — Kristin Strimple (Point Loma Nazarene) defeated Lauren Combs (Westmont) 6-0, 6-2
No. 2 — Kelsey Weir (Point Loma Nazarene) defeated Ilissa Mathews (Westmont) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
No. 3 — Erin McGurty (Westmont) defeated Taryn Zimmer (Point Loma Nazarene) 6-2, 6-0
No. 4 — Kristen Lee (Westmont) defeated Leanne Piper (Point Loma Nazarene) 4-6, 6-4, (10-8)
No. 5 — Christina Klein (Westmont) defeated Brittany Hall (Point Loma Nazarene) 6-2, 6-0
No. 6 — Jennie Dunn (Westmont) defeated Holly Robins (Point Loma Nazarene) 6-4, 7-5

No. 1 — Kristin Strimple /Kelsey Weir (Point Loma Nazarene) defeated Lauren Combs / Erin McGurty (Westmont) 8-4
No. 2 — Ilissa Mathews / Jennie Dunn (Westmont) defeated Leanne Piper / Brittany Hall (Point Loma Nazarene) 8-5
No. 3 — Kristen Lee / Christina Klein (Westmont) defeated Taryn Zimmer / Holly Robins (Point Loma Nazarene) 8-2

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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