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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Regals tennis dominates Whitman College

Giselle Hernandez
The Regals tennis team topped Whitman College 5-4 in their dual on Thursday.

California Lutheran University’s Regals tennis team dominated the Whitman College Blues 5-4, in Thursday night’s match.

“[Regals] won four out of the six singles matches, but we had already won all three doubles, so all we needed were two singles matches to still win the whole game,” Head Coach for Men and Women’s Tennis Mike Gennette said.

The Regals swept doubles, according to Gennette.

“Doubles tournaments matter a lot so we just gotta go together. We play as one. We play as a team. We win as a team,” junior Kayla Kling said.

From doubles to singles, the Regals advanced to 6-3 overall and 4-1 against teams of the Northwest Conference, according to CLUSports.

“This was the most intense [doubles match] I’ve had this semester…Honestly, one of the most intense ones in the year,” junior Gerda Jucys said.

Jucys said it is a rare occurrence to get so close in a game, and said that the team’s experience combined with the pressure was good for competition. Jucys and her partner, junior Luisa Garcia were glad they came out on top, defeating the Blues 8-7 in doubles, on court three.

“There’s a part where we were up a lot, and then we lost like five games in a row, and then we got it back together. We had a goal to win and we carried through,” Jucys said.

First-years Kylee Limpias and Maddy Ford played on court two of doubles, conquering the Blues with a score of 8-4. Jucys said Limpias and Ford are experts at doubles.

On court one of doubles were junior team captain Carmen Bufkin, and junior Mina Ahmadi who also dominated the Blues with a score of 8-4.

“We have Carmen Bufkin who’s our number one. She’s always been MVP, so she and Ahmadi are definitely a powerhouse,” Kling said.

Jucys said the friendships built from the team, especially this year, have been one of the best.

“But this year, our first doubles, Carmen and Mina; they’ve been playing together forever, and they’re super close. I mean, they’re roommates, they’re like best friends,” Jucys said.

Jucys said that the team struggled in previous years because they switched partners back and forth a lot which made it difficult to bond on and off the court, however, this year is different.

“I think all of our doubles are really strong. I think this is one of the first years where we really have set teams,” Jucys said. “The friendships we have are really good, and that really helps in doubles because you can tell each other criticism, but it helps instead of hindering, and no one gets mad at each other.”

After celebrating a victorious doubles match, the Regals lost four of the singles matches, but ultimately had won enough matches to stay in the lead. Limpias completed singles taking over the No. 5 spot against the Blues with scores of 6-4, 3-6 and 6-2.

“Kylee is just a freshman and she was the key. She was the clinch match and the final match. Everything was on her shoulders, and she came through for us,” Gennette said. “It was really amazing to watch and so proud of her for how she was able to perform under that kind of pressure.”

Bufkin took the lead on singles and placed No. 1 for the match against Whitman. Bufkin also finished singles with scores of 7-6, 7-2 and 6-0. Garcia lost the No. 2 spot, Ford was defeated at No. 3, and Ahmadi fell at No. 4.

Gennette said he was very happy with the Regals’ performance and he sees the team’s skills, strength, endurance, and speed improving thanks to Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Spencer Afshari.

Gennette said the coaching staff, including Assistant Coach Chuck Nester and Assistant Coach Jonathan Garcia, is very excited about this team and the remainder of the season.

“We’ve got Chuck Nester who everyone on the team loves… He is kind of the rock for the team, I would say. He keeps everybody stable and healthy, emotionally and everything,” Gennette said.

Gennette said Garcia was recently hired as an assistant coach for the team.

“He’s bringing a new young energy as an assistant coach for the team and he already has amazing new ideas and he just got hired on so we’re really excited about the coaching staff, where we’re at right now, and just the fun we’re all having as a unit,” Gennette said.

The following Sunday, the Regals won their dual against the Colorado College Tigers 5-4 in a back-and-forth affair, improving their overall record to 7-3 and extending their dual winning streak to three.

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    Martha I ReyesMar 19, 2024 at 9:33 am

    Great story, very uplifting. By a great writer.