Westmont Warriors soldier past Kingsmen tennis team


Photo by Eric Klang - Reporter

Junior Nick Griffin was down but not out following injuring his knee on his way to victory in doubles.

Eric Klang, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen tennis team lost at home to Westmont College with a final score of 7-2. 

Assistant Coach Eugene Karimov said that coming into the game on Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Kingsmen knew that they were going to have a different lineup as certain members of the team were injured. 

“I think we gave it a great effort. Unfortunately, we had some injuries, and perhaps we can use a little bit more focus,” Karimov said. 

Westmont was dominant from the very beginning, as they claimed an 8-3 and 8-4 victory against the No. 1 and No. 2 Kingsmen doubles teams. Senior Darvel Lossangoye and first-year Jacob De La Paz were the No. 1 pair, and seniors Aaron Moylan and Parker McBride were the No. 2 pair. 

The first of the Kingsmen’s two points came by way of junior Nick Griffin and first-year Friedrich Ludwig, who won at the No. 3 spot in doubles. Despite Griffin injuring his knee at 6-6 in the tiebreaker, Griffin and Ludwig were able to take the tiebreaker 9-7 and win the match.

“That felt great, honestly, I wasn’t expecting that but I was ready to give it my all. Even though we’re down a knee…we came back and won it,” Griffin said. 

The Kingsmen’s struggles continued in their singles matches as well, winning only one of the six. Lossangoye lost his match at the No. 1 spot with a score of 3-6, 4-6 alongside the Kingsmen’s No. 2-5 players who also lost their matches.

“Personally, I’m not super happy about my performance. Definitely feel like I could have played a lot better…but it was a close match,” first-year Cade Haffner said. 

Following winning a doubles match, Ludwig delivered once more in singles by claiming a 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 win at the No. 6 spot to earn the Kingsmen’s second and final point of the match.

The Kingsmen faced No. 9 ranked Pomona-Pitzer at home on Friday, Feb. 17 in their opening conference game of the season, losing with a score of 7-2. However, there were positive signs for Cal Lutheran as five of the six singles matches went to a deciding third set. 

Despite these losses, the Kingsmen remain optimistic about the rest of their season with players determined to improve their standing within the team.

“Super excited to see where the season takes us, I’m trying to see if I can challenge my way up the ladder…just super excited to keep playing and keep working,” Haffner said.

The excitement was shared not just amongst players, but coaches as well.

“I’m very optimistic. A couple guys stepped up that had a chance to play. They look a little bit better than maybe I expected,” Karimov said. 

The Kingsmen’s record for this season now stands at 1-2, with their only win coming against Lewis & Clark College on Feb. 11. 

Cal Lutheran’s next game will be at home against Colorado College on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m.