Tennis drops home matches, women snag first win

Junior film production major Kelley Klebenow concentrates on her backhand during a match against Brandeis University Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Adam Ottke

Junior film production major Kelley Klebenow concentrates on her backhand during a match against Brandeis University Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Adam Ottke

The women’s tennis team nabbed its first victory of the season and first SCIAC matchup, defeating Cal Lutheran University Saturday.

The men’s tennis team lost its home match to Brandeis University 5-4 Thursday. The women also lost to Brandeis 7-2 Wednesday.

It was a hard-fought battle for the men. Chapman (2-2, 0-1) took two of the three doubles matches from Brandeis (2-3).  Freshman Brett Buford and junior Troy Akin fell in the first match, but the team was able to overcome the deficit and take the final two matches.

“I was dealing with a wrist injury, which caused me to be too conservative during doubles. I just wasn’t clicking with my [Buford],” Akin said.

The Panthers managed to win just two of the six singles matches against the Judges. Akin was able to bounce back nicely, winning his singles match 6-3, 1-6, 7-6.

“I played much better in singles. My wrist got looser and more comfortable, which added to my victory,” Akin said.

Junior Chris Williams was the other player to snag a singles victory, winning 7-6, 4-6, 11-9.

On the women’s side, the Panthers struggled early in their first match of the week. Chapman (1-2, 1-0) only managed to take one doubles win from Brandeis (2-3), which was won by junior Kelley Klebenow and senior Arielle Kubetschek.  The struggles didn’t stop there as No. 1 freshman Andrea Hammer dropped the first singles match 6-1, 6-0.

“I was way too tentative and not making my shots.  My shots kept going too long and I needed to put more spin on it,” Hammer said.

Head coach Will Marino was not thrilled with the women’s performance against the Judges.

“We need to work on our doubles strategy. They need to listen and trust each other better,” Marino said.

The women’s sole singles victory came in the No. 6 spot, where Klebenow defeated the Judges’ junior Alexa Katz 6-4, 7-6.

The women finally managed to get into the win column against Cal Lutheran (3-3, 0-2). The No. 1 doubles duo of Hammer and sophomore Sophia Duong started out the day with an 8-3 loss.  But the Panthers rebounded by taking the final two doubles matches of the day.

“I wasn’t mentally there.  I just wanted to get my matches over with. Fortunately the team is continuing to make progress,” Duong said.

The Panthers continued on to split the six singles matches. Hammer handily won her match 6-1, 6-2, while senior Genna Ford followed with a win of her own, beating sophomore Jacqueline Ramsay.  Klebenow closed out the day and gave her team a win by defeating senior Lauren Toohey.

Both teams will return to home court for nonconference action. The men are set to square off with Haverford College March 12 at 2 p.m., while the women will face Villanova University March 5 at 2 p.m.

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