CLAREMONT, CA. – The second round of the West Region section in the NCAA Tournament fell in favor for the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis Team as the Sagehens took down Trinity University (TX) 5-0 at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. The No. 7 Sagehens came out and looked sharp on the court, as they managed to control the match in doubles and singles to punch their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.
"I'm really proud of the fact we made improvements from the SCIAC to now," said Head Coach Michael Morgan. "Although they were taking final exams, they still made improvements tactically and looked confident. That says a lot about our team."
"Up and down, even though there was adversity, all of our players managed to worked their way through it. That has been our message all season, which was to find solutions."
In the doubles round, Maryann Zhao and Arianna Chen cruised to an 8-2 victory over Mary and Zoe Kaffen in no. 1 singles. Jay Kim and Summer Garrison followed with an 8-3 victory in no. 3 singles over Cheyenne Duncan and Caroline Kutach, and Emily Chen and Caroline Casper closed it out with an 8-1 win over Marie Lutz and Andrea De Leon in no. 2 singles to give Pomona-Pitzer a 3-0 lead.
Arianna was the first to lock up a point in singles, taking down Zoe Kaffen 6-0 and 6-3 in no. 3 singles. Garrison, matched up with a strong forehand player in Marie Lutz, managed to outplay her opponent with a combination of some crafty shots and smart ball placement. She emerged victorious in no. 3 singles 6-0 and 6-3 to clinch the match.
"Summer is a crafty player period," said Coach Morgan. "She just looks to make you uncomfortable with how she plays. She's able to take these kinds of matches and adjust to her own advantage."
Zhao played one of her best singles matches, putting on a clinical performance against Kutach in no. 1 singles and nearly clinching the match before Garrison beat her to it. The senior's shots were on point that day as she was able to put plenty of power mixed with precision to frustrate her matchup. She won the first set 6-1 and led 5-2 in the second before the decision was set.
"Maryann has been consistent all year long," said Coach Morgan. "She has been very dialed in and focused on putting her best performance every time. But today She stepped up."
Up Next: The Sagehens will next face cross-street rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Sweet Sixteen Round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow at 10 a.m. This will be the third time the two teams meet this season.
"We obviously played them twice before," said Coach Morgan. "We need to look at the risks and be willing to go after it. We must be willing to make adjustments We know what's coming and it should be a great match."