Westmont senior Cade Pierson has been named an ITA NAIA All-American for the second straight year, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced.
Pierson, a Santa Barbara High alum, earned the honor after finishing the shortened 2020 season as one of the top-20 singles players in the Oracle/ITA national rankings.
In 2019, she was an ITA NAIA All-American in singles and in doubles with her partner Taylor Cheung-Damonte. They finished as one of the top-10 ranked doubles teams by Oracle/ITA.
“Cade is extremely deserving of this honor,” Westmont head coach Ellie Johnson said. “She is a fierce competitor and has continued to develop her game each year. She played with outstanding character.”
The Solvang native held an 8-2 singles record this season, including 3-0 in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Two of those eight wins came against NCAA Division I opposition – Stephanie Nguyen of UC Irvine and Natalie Shamma of UC Riverside.
Her only two losses of the season were to NCAA Division I and II opponents – Ekatarina Repina of Cal State Northridge and Lea Falentin of Fresno Pacific, the 15th-ranked singles player in Division II.
She also held the best doubles record on the team with her partner Emily Peterson, with the duo going 6-7 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Pierson was named GSAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Month for February, becoming the only Warrior to receive the honor twice in a career.
“Cade is a leader on and off the court in all she does,” Johnson said. “From the way she shows up to train each day, pursuing perfection through focusing on her effort and attitude, to the fight she plays each match with.”
Pierson served as Westmont’s captain this year and was the lone senior on a team that finished the 2020 season ranked No. 18 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll and in second place in the GSAC, a half-game behind No. 12 San Diego Christian.
On March 1, she was honored as Westmont’s female student-athlete recipient of the GSAC Cliff Hamlow Champion of Character Award.
“She cares deeply about her teammates and is committed to loving them the best she can,” Johnson said. “She handled the role of captain and being the only senior with such grace. She stayed focused on what she can control rather than getting defeated and feeling lonely.”
Pierson is one of the most accomplished women’s tennis players ever during her four years as a Warrior. She is one of six Warriors to be selected to the All-GSAC Women’s Tennis Team on three occasions. She was seeking to become the first to earn the honor four times, but the GSAC is not selecting an All-Conference Team because of the shortened season.
As a freshman, Pierson was named 2017 ITA NAIA West Region Rookie of the Year and 2017 GSAC Newcomer of the Year. In 2019, she earned NAIA Second Team All-American honors and was named the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Year.
“I cannot justly describe the importance of Cade to the program the last four years,” Johnson said. “Cade has brought the level of our team up, but most importantly she has raised the standard of what it means to be a Westmont tennis player in how we train, live, treat others and pursue a life like Jesus.”
Pierson was recently honored as a Westmont Golden Eagle Scholar Award winner.