Bishop Diego girls tennis was on the road to kick off the year, falling to Hueneme 11-7 on Tuesday.

“It was a good season opener for us as we competed well up and down the lineup,” Cardinals coach Peter Kirkwood said. “Our returning starters from last year carried the load as far as sets won but our new girls had tremendous growth today.”

Elisha McCullough, playing at the No. 2 in singles, finished 2-1 on the day. Haley Hubbs won two sets at the No. 1 spot while Marolene Bilhmaier, an exchange student from Germany, pulled out a set.

The Cardinals beat the Vikings 5-4 in sets in singles, and Kirkwood was “really pleased with singles play.”

In doubles, the No. 1 pairing of Galilea De La Cruz and Anja Faasbind won two of three sets.

“They were attacking well, taking care of serves and playing some fun points to watch,” Kirkwood said. “They had good energy all day.”

The Cardinals then fell in the other two doubles matchups, with Kirkwood citing the “inexperience bug.”

“These girls were a bit overwhelmed at the beginning,” Kirkwood said. “I think a couple thought this was a bit surreal. They haven’t played very long… but here they are with the uniform on and going [to] battle.”

According to Kirkwood, the other two pairings of Rafaela Fay/Victoria Heredia and Avery Carter/Leanna Ibarra played with more confidence as the day progressed and began to compete more later in their matchups.

Bishop Diego will take on Carpinteria High on the road on Thursday.

Noozhawk sports writer Diego Sandoval can be reached at dsandoval@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter @NoozhawkSports