Men's Tennis continues outstanding form
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So far, 2014 is characterized by an incredible season for Westmont Men’s Tennis, who are 11–5 overall. As the season comes to a close, the Warriors are looking forward to pursuing another GSAC title and playoff berth in the NAIA tournament, adding to this program’s already storied past.
The Warriors are now coached by former UCLA great, Mark Basham, who has been at the helm of the Warrior program since 2010. In his first three seasons as head coach, the Warriors have gone 48–37 in total, and have reached the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Tournament. In the 2013 season, Westmont advanced to the semifinals.
In 2011, Basham was honored with the title of the Golden State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Warriors to a second place finish in the conference.
In its history, Westmont’s tennis program has achieved a number of GSAC titles and made multiple NAIA championship appearances. Since the programs inception in the 1960s, the Warriors have made 17 appearances in the NAIA National
Tournament and have produced 19 NAIA All-Americans.
So far this season, Westmont has produced an 11–5 record, which is their best since Basham took over in 2010. Since February of this year, the Warriors have defeated excellent opponents like Fresno Pacific and Cal Lutheran, but their season truly began months back. Westmont’s success this season can be traced back to the countless hours that the team invested in training and preparation during the summer and fall. The team is led by key fourth-years including John Bertram, Rodrigo Schaefer, Nicholas Szyndlar and Tim Goranson.
For the most part, the Warriors have also played well against other schools in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Westmont ousted teams like Biola, Hope International and Arizona Christian University with 9–0 wins this season and recently toppled Concordia University by a wide margin of 8–1.
The Warriors, who are 6–2 in GSAC play, faced their first two losses against Vanguard University after tieing with them. On March 24, the Warriors took on Vanguard at home; after going down 4–1 early, they fought back to an even 4–4. Vanguard however, avoided the upset, winning in its final match.
Just six days later, Westmont faced the rivaled Lions of Vanguard again — this time in Costa Mesa, Calif. The end result was brutal, with Westmont’s defeat and a final score of 8–1, their worst loss of the season.
The Warriors, who are hungry for a decent seed in the GSAC tournament, have since bounced back with clutch “W’s” against Concordia, Williams College in Massachusetts and Arizona Christian.
Westmont will take on Hope International on April 8 at 2 p.m. in Fullerton, Calif. After that, they have two remaining home matches against UC Santa Cruz and Biola, to gear up for what will surely be an exciting GSAC tournament.