Freshmen keep Gauchos rolling


Rodrigo Azurmendi

The Saddleback College women’s tennis notched another conference victory with a 9-0 sweep over Fullerton College, Thursday.

Led by Rylee Stowell’s power game and Emma Hulse’s heart, the Gauchos proved too much for a weaker Hornets team.

Playing at No.1, Stowell, a freshman from Tesoro High School, defeated the Hornets top player, Kristen Foss, with a solid 6-0, 6-1 score.

“At No.1 they hit harder, so it’s more of my game,” Stowell said. “It was a good accomplishment beating her badly. It was easy.”

Freshman No. 6  Emma Hulse, from Dana Hills High School, battled through the toughest match, coming back in both sets to achieve a well-earned 7-6, 7-5 victory.

“Emma was in the beginner’s tennis class and we asked her to join the team,” Gauchos head coach Jay Amos said. “She’s a really good competitor and she kept fighting through the nerves.

“Her opponent has a lot more experience, but she was able to come back twice,” he said. “She’s our most improved player, and I’m proud of her.”

Sophomore Erina Hung won her match at the No.2 spot (6-0, 6-2), as Amos decided to switch his top two players.

“Coach [Amos] said it would be a tough match,” Hung said. “I wanted to test myself because she’s very consistent.”

The match was interrupted and the trainer was called after Hornets No.2 Vanessa Lee tripped and fell to the court midway through the second set. When play resumed, Lee made a comeback attempt that Hung was able to control.

“I was worried when she fell,” Hung said. “After that I lost my momentum, but Jay [Amos] told me to start again and go back to hitting my shots.”

At No. 3, sophomore Andrea Warren avenged a previous loss to Hornets Melissa Pyper with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.  No.4 Casey Wood (6-4, 6-2) and No. 5 Summer Wallin (6-3, 6-3) also cruised to straight-set victories.

The doubles was also up to par as No.1 Hung/Warren clinched an 8-3 victory over Foss/Pyper. Hung/Warren are still undefeated this season.

No. 2 Stowell/Wallin won their match with a 8-6 score against Lee/Magliocchi.  At No.3, Casey Wood paired with Katie Sexton to defeat Marina Hiskey/Katelyn Villela in a thriller, escaping to a 9-7 victory that rounded out the final score.

With the victory, the Gauchos improve to 8-3 (6-1).

They next travel to Irvine Valley College to play the Lasers on April 1.

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