May 10, 2014

Sagehens Turn Tables On La Verne, Advance To Regional Finals

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis team swept doubles and went on to take a 5-2 win over La Verne in the NCAA Regional semifinals on Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Sagehens improve to 17-7 overall and avenge last week's loss to La Verne in the SCIAC semifinals, when the Leopards swept doubles (9-8, 9-7, 9-8) and went on to a 7-2 win.

This time around, Pomona-Pitzer earned the 3-0 lead going into singles. Senior Claire Willey and freshman Maddie Gordon dominated at No. 3, winning 8-1 after jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Senior Arthi Padmanabhan and sophomore Mae Coyiuto led 5-2 at No. 2, had La Verne rally for a 6-5 lead, but regrouped and took an 8-6 win for a 2-0 lead.

At No. 1, senior Sammy Chao and sophomore Lea Lynn Yen jumped ahead 4-1, but the Leopards got back on serve and leveled the score at 6-6. After Chao's overhead gave the Sagehens a hold for a 7-6 lead, they were able to get the key break for an 8-6 win and complete the doubles sweep.

In singles, Yen and Padmanabhan rolled to quick 6-1 wins in the first sets at No. 3 and No. 4. Padmanabhan finished her match off quickly (6-1, 6-2) to give the Sagehens a 4-0 lead. Yen, meanwhile, fought off a tough challenge from Jeanette Losario in the second set before taking the final four games for a 6-1, 6-3 win.

La Verne picked up singles wins at No. 6 and No. 1 before Yen could finish her match, with the decision at No. 1 coming mere seconds before Yen's match point. However, Chao (6-4, 4-2) and Gordon (7-5, 4-1) were both in good position in their matches at No. 2 and No. 5 for a possible clincher if Yen wasn't able to take the second set at No. 3.

Pomona-Pitzer will advance to face CMS in the regional finals, which advanced with a 5-1 win over Whitman. The Athenas won the first meeting between the teams 8-1 back on April 5.

(pictured, left: Yen celebrates match point in singles to clinch the 5-2 team win)
(pictured, right: Chao celebrates match point in doubles to clinch the doubles 3-0 sweep)