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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 11:39 pm | Fair 51º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Westmont Women Fall to Rival Biola in GSAC Tournament

(INDIAN WELLS, Calif.) In the first round of the Women’s Tennis Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament, fifth seeded Westmont (3-16) faced fourth seeded Biola (7-13) and after going down 1-2 in doubles, the Warriors could not come back in singles and ultimately fell by a score of 2-5.

“It is unfortunate that today did not go in our favor,” explained head coach Ellie Johnson. “While I believe we showed up ready to play, Biola showed up ready to beat us and that is just what they did.”

The Eagles won at numbers two and three doubles with Brooke Sanford and Lauren Lee defeating Bruna Chaves and Zarina Huber 8-3; and Tinisee Kandakai and Katie Boesl defeating Sianna Verdult and Miyana Wagner 8-3. At number one, Westmont’s Isabel Lee and Cade Pierson conquered Madeline Heer and Kelsey Post 8-4.

Biola led 2-1 going into singles, putting the Warriors in the position of having to win four of six singles matches in order to win the overall match – GSAC Tournament matches end when one team gets to five points.

The Eagles earned another point when Post downed Verdult 6-1, 6-1 playing at number five; and Pierson earned the Warriors’ second point, when she defeated Sandford 6-1, 6-1 playing at number two. The Eagles earned the next two points and the overall victory when Kandakai conquered Huber 6-4, 6-1 playing at number four and Heer defeated Lee 7-5, 6-3 playing at number one.

The matches at number three and six were left unfinished - Westmont’s Chaves lost the first set 4-6, and was tied in the second set 5-5 and Westmont’s Wagner lost the first set 5-7 and was up in the second set 3-2 – both matches immediately stopped when the Eagles got to five points.

“Although this is not the way we wanted our season to end, we grew tremendously as a team this year and will carry what we learned this year into next season,” reflected Johnson. “These women were challenged from start to finish this year, but after four months I am beyond proud of our team.

“We started this season with a goal of having unity, and we finished our conference tournament as a team,” continued Johnson. “Our women also maintained the integrity of the game and respected their opponents on and off the court.” 

This young Westmont team, composed of four sophomores and two freshmen, has a lot to look forward to in the seasons to come. “I am not only excited to build off the foundation laid this season, but to execute some of what the team has strived for this season,” concluded Johnson.

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