SRJC tennis team looses heartbreaking playoff game

Alex Campbell, Sports Editor

The Bear Cubs
women’s tennis team hosted Fresno City College in the second round of the
NorCal Team Playoffs Tuesday at SRJC.Opening with singles matches at 2 p.m. SRJC’s number one
ranked singles player Monica Borowicz defeated Maddie Loomis in
straight sets, 6-4 and 6-1.

Nika Juricic
(SRJC) also won in straight sets defeat

Michelle Cardenas (in white) battles Fresno's Betsy Lauritzen in a singles match. Photo by Alex Campbell

 

ing Regina Leyba (FCC) 6-3, 6-3.

After that it was all Fresno. Meghan Woods (FCC) defeated
Maddy Heggli (SRJC) 6-4, 6-2. In a stunning upset, Kate Abston (FCC) defeated
Bear Cub standout Gienna Gonnella, after Gonnella won the first set in a tie
breaker, 6-7 (2), but then lost to Abston 7-5 and 6-3. Kelsea Thomas (SRJC) won
her first set with ease 6-0, but Allie O’neil (FCC) came back and defeated
Thomas 7-5 and 6-3 after Thomas appeared to struggle with exhaustion, although
never quitting and fighting valiantly to the end.

In the final singles match Michelle Cardenas (SRJC) was
defeated by Betsy Lauritzen (FCC) 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5. With Fresno up 4-2, the
playoff battle would come down to doubles matches, with SRJC having to against
all odds come back and sweep all three doubles matches and try and win 5-4.

With all three matches being played concurrently, SRJC’s
prospects were looking good as their teams starting winning sets and exhaustion
didn’t appear to be a factor. The team of Gonnella and Juricic exacted revenge
on the Abston (Abston earlier beat Gonnella) and Leyba team in straight sets,
7-5 and 6-4.

Following that match was an entertaining battle that
featured Cardenas and Heggli avenging earlier singles losses and dominating
Lauritzen and Woods. At times the heads up and crafty moves by Cardenas and
Heggi frustrated Lauritzen, causing her to lose to composure.

With the Bear Cubs winning the first two matches and
tying the score at 4-4, all SRJC needed to do to complete their improbable
comeback was the duo of Borowicz and Thomas to beat the Fresno duo of Loomis
and O’neill.

After a see-saw battle that went into a tie-breaker,
Loomis and O’neill prevailed 6-0, 1-6, 7-6(2) and Fresno City College ended the
women’s team playoffs after over four hours of tennis.

Fresno advances to the NorCal Regional Finals, May 2 at
West Valley College. The SRJC Women’s team ends the Season with an overall
record of 13-3.

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