Freshman Rebecca Roy returns a serve in the No. 4 singles match in the loss to Orange Coast. Roy took the first set 6-3, but lost the final two sets 0-6, 1-6. (Michael Grennell)
The Saddleback women’s tennis team was unable to overcome a strong performance by the Orange Coast Pirates Friday afternoon, as the Gauchos lost 7-2.
The loss dropped the Gauchos to 4-4 (2-2 in conference), as they remained winless when playing at home. Despite winning the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches, the Gauchos were swept in the No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 matches, before being swept in doubles play.
Freshman Jessica Wilcox had very little difficulty in singles play, as she swept the No. 2 match 6-3, 6-3. Wilcox said after the game, that she felt the team did well, but could stand to improve.
“I think everyone put out a good effort today, but I think a lot of our nerves got to us,” Wilcox said. “We missed a lot of shots that we usually don’t miss in practice.”
Coach Jay Amos was in agreement with much of what Wilcox said. He said that the loss was much closer than the score shows.
Jessica Wilcox had little trouble during singles play on Friday afternoon, as she took the No.2 singles match 6-3, 6-3. (Michael Grennell)
“We’re a young team, we’re all freshmen,” Amos said. “We’re just working on figuring out our identity as a team. Our whole theme is just to improve.”
The No. 1 singles match proved to be the day’s marquee event, as freshman Kiana Hein fought her way to victory in three sets (6-1, 3-6, 6-2). Hein and her opponent were so evenly matched, that by the time their match was finished, the other five singles matches had already been decided. The other players had moved on and started doubles play.
For the second day in a row, the Gauchos struggled in doubles play, as they lost all three matches. The No. 2 doubles match proved to be the hardest for the Gauchos, as freshmen Sidney Murai and Alayna Monteilh quickly fell behind 1-6. They were able to win one more game, but they couldn’t catch up as they lost 2-8.
Amos was in good spirits after the game, despite the loss.
“I don’t really talk to them about winning, because that would be skipping a lot of steps,” Amos said. “There’s no use crying over getting beat. Let’s do something about it, and the way you do it is to improve.”
He pointed out the fact that because the team is so young, they have this year and next year to continue to improve on their consistency and making some of the easier shots.
“We make a bunch of really great shots, but we miss some easy, normal shots,” Amos said. “Good players make the easy shots, all of them, and make only about half of the hard ones.”
Freshman Kiana Hein serves up the ball early in the No. 1 singles match Friday afternoon. Hein won her match 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. (Michael Grennell)
“We’ve got the athleticism and we’ve got the talent, but our experience level is kind of low,” Amos said. “The big picture in my mind is: Yeah, we’ll get there. I have a lot of faith in these girls. They’ll be good.”
Saddleback’s schedule has them playing three of the next five games at home. The Gauchos (4-4, 2-2) will play at home on Tuesday Mar. 5 against Fullerton College (6-2, 2-0), before they travel to Orange Coast (6-2, 3-1) for a rematch on Thursday Mar. 7.
(1) Kiana Hein WON 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
(2) Jessica Wilcox WON 6-3, 6-3
(3) Kelsey Markle LOST 1-6, 1-6
(4) Rebecca Roy LOST 6-3, 0-6, 1-6
(5) Sidney Murai LOST 2-6, 2-6
(6) Lindsey Ostrander LOST 0-6, 4-6
(1) Hein/Markle LOST 4-8
(2) Murai/ Monteilh LOST 2-8
(3) Wilcox/Roy LOST 5-8