Women's tennis secures playoff spot

The Santa Monica College women's tennis team endured the hot weather, retook the Western State Conference Championship, and secured a spot in the playoffs by defeating the Glendale College Vaqueros on the road.

The singles matches were hard fought as SMC's first-ranked Carmel Peterson lost to Glendale's top singles player Sofia Tavitian 6-4 and 6-4. The exchanges between Peterson and Tavitian were heated, but Peterson could not convert them to a win.

Peterson had a stronger showing in her doubles match with partner Victoria Mamatova, winning 8-6.

"We started attacking and mixing up shots," said Mamatova. "They pulled close to us toward the end, but we stayed the course and pulled through."

Mamatova was able to wrangle a win in her singles match in three sets against Glendale's Ashley Sumudio, 6-1, 4-6 and 6-3.

Kaori Tsuda, SMC's second-ranked singles player, won her singles match against Glendale's Alexandra Amor, 6-4 and 6-1.

"It started off slow; it was very hot so my control wasn't good," said Tsuda. "I wasn't concentrating and I had to get used to the heat. Santa Monica is so much cooler."

Tsuda also won her doubles match with partner Juliana Nelkin, 8-5.

"We tried to keep communicating on court," said Nelkin "They were attacking my backhand, and Tsuda poached a lot."

Tsuda and Nelkin rank first in doubles on the team.

Nelkin, who ranks third in singles, easily won against her opponent Fnu Nerrissa, 6-1 and 6-0.

SMC's Jessica Goldbeck pounced on her opponent, winning her singles match against Glendale's Amanda Dring, 6-0 and 6-0.

Goldbeck and doubles partner Elin Hedberg managed a win 8-6 in their doubles match.

"We had less unforced errors, and we rallied well because it usually ended up with them hitting the ball out," said Hedberg.

But Hedberg lost her singles match to the Vaqueros' Sydney Farzadkish, 6-3 and 6-1.

"It's hard to play when it's hot like this," said Hedberg.

Farzadkish had only one singles loss this season, and that was last month to Mamatova.

Following the match, SMC's head coach Richard Goldenson was beaming with praise for his team.

"We improved our score in doubles, our quality of play, and we also played better tactically," said Goldenson. "This is the third time in four years they have been champions of the Western State Conference."

The Lady Corsairs will gear up for the playoffs with three remaining home matches against Bakersfield, Ventura and El Camino.