Women's Tennis Suffers Tough Losses as Temprature Drops

The Christine Emerson Reed Park sits on the northern side of downtown Santa Monica and though the sunshine kept the small crowd warm at the start of the women's tennis matches against Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros on Thursday, soon the temperature dropped as the Santa Monica College Corsairs suffered tough losses.

The matches ended that day with Ana Carola Artigas, ranked third, and Mio Shimada, ranked fifth, defeating their opponents 8-6 for the only SMC doubles win of the afternoon. The crowd clapped to the small victory on a day where metaphorically, the sun wasn't really shinning at all.

Artigas said, "Santa Barbara has good players, they are very consistent." Of course that didn't stop her from adding a little cheer to the day as she took both games 6-1 and 6-3, winning her match against Tiana Kamen.

"Artigas has won four matches in a row, she has been winning all the games and she has been playing really hard," said Blanca Munoz, ranked second. Munoz suffered a tough defeat losing 0-2 overall.

Artigas, also, said that if she wins five more games she will qualify for the State Conference Championships.

All of the matches started off slow with warm weather, and the later cold weather kept the games stiff, full of missed shots combined with frustration as the women battled back and forth.

On court six during the singles matches, Helen Zaychik came back from 1-0 to tie Michelle Unger in a long drawn-out match. With her and Unger playing and playing, switching the lead back and forth, Zaychik eventually went 2 sets up in the second game winning and tying her matches at 1-1.

With their match the longest of the singles tournament, a crowd of players and spectators watched as she lost the tie-breaking game 2-6 ending with a 1-2 defeat overall. The stress and strain of playing for so long clearly showed on both players as they shook hands and walked-off in separate directions preparing for the doubles games.

Ayako Nagai, a SBCC player, when asked what she thought of her own game against SMC's own Masami Hashimoto, said, "She wasn't playing good today, I lost last time and today her serve was good, but her forehand was okay. I was playing better this time, too." Hashimoto, who is ranked number one, dropped one game 0-6 and the other she lost 3-6, losing her match 0-2.

"I had no concentration today so I lost my match," Hashimoto said. Hashimoto cut her finger playing doubles and out of all the players she seemed affected most by the cold.

The majority of the singles matches ended in a 0-2 SMC loss, which showed that Santa Barbara came to win, and win big.

The doubles matches started off in SMC's favor with the three doubles teams taking early leads and early wins in their first sets. Alas, as Julia Moskaleva, a spectator and SMC student said, "Santa Barbara has stronger serves, they run faster, the way they hold the racket is level-one tennis," forcing SMC to walk away with only the two wins from Artigas.