The women’s tennis team participated in the 115th annual Ojai Tennis Tournament in Ojai April 23.
Along with La Verne, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer, Hope International, Abliene Christian, Westmont, Caltech, Biola, Whittier, Grand Canyon, Chapman and Cal Lutheran all participated in the tournament.
The Leopards advanced to the semifinals in doubles play and junior Andrea Madrigal reached the quarterfinals in singles. “We just need to keep improving our singles game strategies and work on our emotional toughness,” head coach Yolanda Duron said.
After the first round, sophomore Bridget Etchegaray and senior Laina Matsuda made quick work of the team from Whitter, sophomore Ruthie Kaplan and senior Benay Weintraub, in two sets, 6-0 and 6-1.
They then went on to defeat sophomores Mari Deleval and Lana Rinaldi from Grand Canyon in three-sets, 6-4, 6-3 and 10-8, in the quarterfinals.
This marked the second straight year that a La Verne pair made the semifinals.
Matsuda’s and Etchegaray’s dominance came to a halt in the semifinals when they lost to the eventual champions, freshman Lucile Pothier and sophomore Erin Walker, from Abliene Christian, Texas, in two sets, 6-3 and 6-0.
“Ojai was fun and a great experience for us. It gave all of us the confidence and experience we needed to go into SCIAC’s this weekend,” Matsuda said.
The other doubles team of freshman Janae Chinn and junior Andrea Madrigal did not fare as well, though the duo was able to defeat Cal Lutheran’s freshman Mallory C. Kenny and sophomore Shelby Kubota in two sets, 6-0 and 7-5.
Chinn and Madrigal then lost to the team of freshman Ines Costamagna and junior Lauren Stratman from Westmont in the round of 16.
Chinn, Madrigal, Matsuda and Etchegaray then were the only players for La Verne to participate in the singles tournament.
Madrigal was the only La Verne player to make it past the third round and into the quarterfinals. She was seeded fifth and earned a first round bye in the singles tournament.
In the round of 32, she defeated freshman Annette Sousa from Cal Lutheran in two sets, 6-1 and 6-0. Madrigal then defeated sophomore Alexandra Petrzalkova from Grand Canyon in two sets, 6-4 and 6-2.
Madrigal was finally defeated by in the quarterfinals to the No. 1 seeded Stratman in two sets, 6-1 and 6-1.
Matsuda, seeded at No. 12, defeated senior Jax Mota from Biola in the first round in two sets, 6-0 and 6-0.
Matsuda fought hard in the round of 32 against freshman Bria Smith from CMS, winning in three sets, 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4.
She then lost to senior Brittney Reed from Abilene Christian in the round of 16 in two sets, 6-4 and 6-2. Both Etchegaray and Chinn lost in the first round of their respective matches. Chinn lost to Pothier in two sets, 6-0 and 6-0.
Etchegaray was defeated by Rinaldi in two sets, 6-2 and 6-0.
“Although we did not win, as a team we got a lot out of the tournament,” Etchegaray said.
Next up for the Leopards’ tennis team is the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center and at Pauley Tennis Complex at Pomona-Pitzer, both hosted by CMS.
Chris McMahan can be reached at email@example.com.