Women's tennis edges out tough win

The Santa Monica College Lady Corsairs fought it out at home on Thursday, winning five of the nine matches against the Ventura College Pirates.

SMC's number one ranked singles player, Carmel Peterson, beat Ventura's Katy Scheck in two decisive sets, 6-0 and 6-1.

Peterson's strategy seemed to have worked.

"I was focused on hitting the backhand, and after the backhand, I went in for some passing shots and that threw [Scheck] off," said Peterson. "Then I hit a volley to her forehand."

Peterson and Elin Hedberg, ranked second in doubles, lost their match to the Pirates' Georgia Ferrar and Christy Pulido, 8-3.

Kaori Tsuda, SMC's second ranked singles player, could not halt Ventura's Sonia Landeros' hot streak. Landeros has not lost a singles match since the season started.

"She was very good," said Tsuda. "Her shots were so hard. I tried to play defense as I usually do. I stayed back on the baseline, but this was different. I had to swing at the ball so quickly because it came off the ground so fast."

Juliana Nelkin, ranked third in singles at SMC, was able to roll over Laura Varela, 6-0 and 6-1.

"It wasn't me hitting as much as her missing," said Nelkin. "She hit a fair amount of balls to my backhand, but she eventually hit the ball out."

SMC's number one ranked doubles team, Nelkin and Tsuda, wrangled an 8-5 win over Landeros and Scheck, Ventura's number one ranked doubles team.

"They were hitting good shots and we missed a few," said Nelkin. "We didn't go for a lot. We played safe."

SMC's Jessica Goldbeck and Ana Beatriz de Sousa, who rank second as a doubles team, defeated Laura Varela and Charlene Thompson, 8-0.

"I feel like I was playing well from the base line, and Ana was controlling the net," said Goldbeck.

Despite the success, SMC suffered a blow when Angie Santago, who was tied with herVentura opponent at 7-7, came down with an unbearable cramp in her leg that caused her excruciating pain.

Santago tried to play through it, but the referee called the match and she lost the tie-breaker, 7-3.

"I began to hesitate," said Santago, "I wasn't playing my best. No long rallies, but the soft shots got me."

Overall, SMC head coach Richard Goldenson was very proud of his players for edging out a hard-earned victory.

"Our conference is the toughest because we've had the two top state championship players," said Goldenson. "On any given day you can win or lose."

The Lady Corsairs will rest up for a week, before their final regular season game on Tuesday, April 2 at home against El Camino.