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Tennis team serves up victories in Los Angeles tournament

The tennis team returned this past spring break with three out of four wins under their belt – making this year’s team trip to L.A. the Cyclones’ most successful one yet.

The Los Angeles trip is an annual tradition for the tennis team, and takes place every spring break. Eight members of the team are chosen to fly to L.A. to compete against three schools – though this year the team was able to compete against four.

On the same day they landed in L.A., Friday Mar. 20, the team kicked into gear for their first match against La Sierra College, where they grabbed their first victory with a score of 7-2, a total of seven wins and two losses.

In a tennis match, there are a total of three doubles games and six singles games, resulting in nine games altogether. “Doubles” consists of tennis pairs competing against another pair while “singles” are one-on-one matches.

Of the seven games won at the La Sierra match, Cyclones swooped up all three doubles and four of six singles. The following day, the team was up against Whittier College, where they won with a score of 7-4, two doubles wins and three singles to take home the overall victory.

Cal Tech, known amongst the team as the “under-the-radar rival,” was the Cyclone’s third match. The win against this team was particularly sweet for veterans such as junior Lisa Kelly, who remembers the numerous close calls from previous years against the highly competitive team.

While the Cyclones had an advantage because of one missing player from the Cal Tech team, which resulted in a default win for third in doubles and sixth in singles, the athletes continued to battle fiercely to gain the overall win.

Kelly was able to grab a win at number one, a position she had not played in season before. Tennis players are ranked by skill level on a team starting from number one as the highest skill level. Generally, they compete against the corresponding skill level from the opposing team during matches.

“It was amazing,” said Kelly. “I was really happy to play number one at some point in my college career and it was really gratifying to win against Cal. And I played against the same girl who beat me last year and I defeated her resoundingly.”

Yet the most satisfying match for the players, including Head Coach Marc Weinstein, was the last match on Tuesday Mar. 24 against California Lutheran College, which was actually a loss.

“I was most impressed with the team on the last day,” says Weinstein. “The reason being that we played a team that had higher skill levels, and yet we competed really well and hung in there mentally and emotionally, and made life miserable for them. So much so that if you watched the match you couldn’t tell who was winning and who wasn’t.”

Kelly agrees, stating that the last match was satisfying for her as well. “I wasn’t even mad that we lost,” says Kelly, “I was just happy that we played well against really good competitors.”

The team agreed that the trip overall was a success. For freshwoman Chelsea Bruno, the trip to L.A. was her first.

“It was really exciting,” said Bruno. “I think it bonded us as a team and we had a very successful season that culminated in a successful trip.”