La Verne suffered a pair of losses over the weekend against Redlands and Whittier. The Bulldogs dominated the Leopards at the Claremont Club on Friday, 9-0, and the Poets continued dominance on Saturday, winning 7-2.
The Leopards are a young team with a roster that boasts six freshman, one sophomore and two juniors, but they feel confident that they will grow together over the next few years in all aspects of the game.
“The team is really young this year, we have six freshmen so it’s a dramatic change,” freshman Valerie Lezin said. “It will benefit us in the future; we will all be used to playing with each other and we will be able to play college tennis.”
“This is a young team and the girls are experiencing new things every day and what they’ve realized is that college tennis is a whole new game,” junior Arielle Monteilh said. “They are extracting bits and pieces of their losses and victories and piecing together the ideal game plan for the important SCIAC matches.”
In the singles matches on Friday, freshman Allison Moncrief battled Redlands’ Julia Galbraith losing both sets, 6-3.
Freshman Carly Tucker was the only Leopard to bring in five wins in a single set. In the first set she lost 6-2, but managed to fight back in the second set against Amanda Alvarez, winning five of the seven games in the set.
Tucker proved her worth on Saturday against the Poets’ Maryrose Vigorita by winning the first and third sets, 7-5 and 7-6.
Moncrief joined Tucker as the only other singles player to defeat Whittier’s Lauren Gelgur, 7-6 and 6-1.
Tarika Krishnamurthy came back on Friday from an injury from last weekend and fought hard with doubles partner freshman Lila Luna and played against Rachael Miller and Sara Yoshinaga from Redlands.
“If I got more balls in I could have made her make the mistake instead of me making the mistake before her,” Krishnamurthy said.
The two freshman challenged Redlands’ No. 1 senior twosome but fell short, 8-2, on Friday, and challenged the Poets’ double-pair of Adrienne Hamada and Liliana Serylo on Saturday in a close match, losing 8-6.
“Ultimately, I expect for the team to grow in various aspects and rank in the top three for SCIAC,” Monteilh said.
La Verne bounced back on Wednesday beating Pacific Lutheran 8-1 in a non-conference match.
The Leopards face Pomona-Pitzer at 2 p.m. today at the Claremont Club.
Krista Franceschini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.