Facing the Firestorm
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This past weekend featured a big GSAC match for the men’s and women’s tennis teams as they collided with the Arizona Christian University Firestorm. Coming into this match, the women had lost three consecutive matches. On the plus side, they had beat- en the Firestorm 8-1 in their previous meeting this year.
Starting at doubles #3 were Delaney Roche and Tatum Phil- lips, at doubles #2 were Cade Pierson and Taylor Cheung-Da- monte, and lastly at doubles #1 were Isabel Lee and Peyton Trebisky. Roche and Phillips rolled through their match winning 8-1, as well as Pierson and Cheung-Damonte, who won 8-3. Doubles #1 was a closer match, as it was a streaky match on both sides, but Lee and Tre- bisky came out on top 8-5.
Going into the singles matches with a 3-0 lead was great momentum for the Warriors as they swept through all six singles matches. Lee won at singles #1 4-5, where her opponent unfortunately had to retire with an elbow injury. Pierson won 6-4, 6-1 at sin-gles #2. Trebisky won 6-1, 7-6 (6). Phillips won at singles #4 6-3, 6-2. Roche won 6-1, 6-0. Cheung-Damonte won 6-2, 6-1.
Head Coach Ellie Johnson was pleased overall with this victory “This was a big GSAC match, we fought well today,” said Head Coach Ellie Johnson. “Next Saturday is another big GSAC match against San Diego Christian, so we’re looking forward to that.” The final score was 9-0, giving the Warriors a 4-1 record in conference play and an 8-8 overall record.
The men would have a much tougher battle against the top school in GSAC and ranked 10th in the NAIA. Be- ginning the day at singles was Luke Whalen at singles #1, Christian Mathis at singles #2, John Joens at singles #3, Miles Hale at singles #4, Jordan Strandness at singles #5, and Corey Stephens at singles #6. Whalen had a tough straight set loss 3-6, 3-6. Mathis pulled off a big win for the 16th ranked Warriors 6-3, 6-4. Joens had a long 3-hour physical test, but could not prevail as he lost 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Hale lost 4-6, 2-6. Strandness made a comeback in the second set, but could not carry that momentum into the third as he lost 2-6, 6-3, 1-6. Stephens lost 2-6, 2-6.
Unfortunately, before the doubles could begin, the Warriors were already down 5-1, meaning they could not win the match. At doubles #1, Joens and Hale put up a good fight, but the momentum swung towards the Firestorm side down the stretch, leaving Joens and Hale behind with a 7-9 loss. Whalen and Mathis paired up at doubles #2, but a subpar day left the duo to lose 2-8. Strandness and Stephens lost 5-8 at doubles #3.
When asked about how thematch played out, Head Coach Mark Basham replied, “It was disappointing day...[ACU] is a good team and we needed to at least go 3-3 in singles. On the topic of reaching Nationals, Basham stated “We’re going to need to beat San Diego Christian [on Saturday] to have a decent shot at Nationals this year.”