Photo by Michael Wong
CLAREMONT, Calif. (May 8, 2016) – The Caltech women's tennis team recorded its best finish at the SCIAC Championships since 2007, placing sixth with a victory over Chapman University sandwiched between defeats to national No. 4 and eventual champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges and the University of La Verne.
#7 seed Caltech 0, #2 No. 4 CMS 5
With rain already having shuffled start times across the conference, the Beavers and Athenas elected to start singles first and play to decision in an attempt to beat the weather. Although a short delay mid-match proved inevitable, CMS soon claimed the victory with wins at all but #1, where sophomore Vinci Chen (Austin, Texas / Westwood) had played West Region No. 6 Katie Kuosman to a 6-3 first set and taken another two games in the second. Freshman Julia Reisler (Plano, Texas / Greenhill) also won a pair of games in each set at #2.
#7 Caltech 7, #6 Chapman 2
Having fallen to the Panthers in the regular season during the absence of junior Sophia Chen (Newport Beach, Calif. / Corona Del Mar) due to injury, the Beavers were eager to reach this matchup. It showed from the outset as Caltech took both #2 (8-6) and #3(8-2) doubles, then claimed the first set in four singles matches. Chapman claimed #1 to level the match, but sophomore Erin Wang (Auburn, Calif. / Del Oro) and freshman Cecelia Andrews (Orinda, Calif. / Miramonte) pulled the Beavers within a point of clinching with identical 6-0, 6-0 wins at #5 and #6. Freshman Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) clinched the match soon after, 6-1, 6-1 at #3, with Reisler and Sophia Chen making the final score even more decisive at #2 (6-2, 7-5) and #4 (6-3, 6-1).
#7 Caltech 3, #5 La Verne 6
Looking to avenge another narrow 5-4 regular season defeat, the Beavers came up just short in the season finale. A 2-1 deficit after Reisler and Andrews picked up the only win at #3 doubles left Caltech needing four victories in singles play, but only Wang and Reisler could oblige at #5 (6-1, 6-4) and #2 (6-2, 5-7, 6-2) while Sophia Chen fell in three sets at #4 (1-6, 6-4, 6-1) and Moriyama succumbed after an epic tiebreak with the match already on hand at #3 (6-3, 2-6, 15-13).
Head Coach Mandy Gamble's squad enjoyed a number of impressive individual performances in addition to the team's major step forward. Reisler, Moriyama and Wang each reached double digits in singles wins, marking the first time that has happened since 1998. Reisler also recorded the program's first individual win over a regionally ranked opponent since 2014 NCAA participant Rebekah Kitto, while four Beavers notched victories between the ITA West Regional and Ojai Valley Tournament, including Reisler's run to the semifinals of the first consolation bracket in the fall.