It was a tough break for the women’s tennis team as they lost to Salisbury, 8-1, on Monday at the Claremont Club.
The loss comes after another one on March 13 against Skidmore, 9-0.
The two losses bring the Leopards’ overall record to 1-8.
The team’s conference record remains 1-3.
“The Friday team (Skidmore) was better than us, but we played a good game,” junior Jen Baca said. “It was a good match.”
“We’re just doing better than last year,” sophomore Rebecca Rodriguez said. “Many of the girls did really well.”
On Monday, the Leopards lost a heartbreaker in the No. 1 doubles match. Tied 8-8, senior Nicole Harden and Rodriguez could not win the tiebreaker, losing 7-5.
“That double match went really close,” Rodriguez said. “That was the closest one me and Nicole have had since being No.1 doubles.”
Junior Megan Dean and sophomore Samantha Melero lost in the No. 2 doubles against Salisbury 8-4.
After doubles, Rodriguez lost her No. 2 singles match to Salisbury’s Rachel Iosue, 6-1, 6-1.
The rest of the singles competitors did not fare well either, only going a combined 10 games out of the bottom four single matches.
The lone win for the Leopards came by forfeit from the Salisbury’s No. 1 singles player.
Against Skidmore, Harden and Rodriguez lost to Skidmore’s No. 1 doubles team by a score of 8-4.
In singles play, Harden lost to Skidmore’s Danika Robison, 6-2, 6-0. No. 2 singles player Rodriguez lost to Rachel Loeb, 6-1, 6-2.
La Verne’s biggest handicap is its small team size. With only seven members, it seems difficult to compete against good teams like Skidmore and Salisbury.
Both teams are ranked high in their regions.
But the Leopards make the best of the members they have.
“It would be easier if we had more girls but it is still helpful to have a sub,” Baca said.
Despite the two losses, the Leopards are looking forward to finishing the rest of the season.
La Verne will play UC Santa Cruz in its next match, at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Claremont Club.
The Leopards are looking to improve on their game when they begin Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play again against Pomona-Pitzer at 2 p.m. on April 3 at Pomona and Occidental on April 4.
The team hopes to rebound before SCIAC play. While the next game is a non-league match, the Leopards hope to learn from their non-league matches before their match against Pomona-Pitzer.
“We’re using these game to prepare for conference games,” Rodriguez said. “Every time we go out, we act like these are our practices and go out to do our best.”
“(UC Santa Cruz) is a pretty good team,” Rodriguez said. “We need to get better sets.”
Jonathan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org