Sports Women's Tennis

Men and women take fifth at conference tourney

Sophomore Madeline Saunders returns the ball during Chapman’s fifth place match against California Lutheran Saturday at Occidental. Chapman won the match 6-3.

Sophomore Madeline Saunders returns the ball during Chapman’s fifth place match against California Lutheran Saturday at Occidental. Chapman won the match 6-3.

Both of Chapman’s tennis teams won fifth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships this weekend.

“This season has been great for us. First time we have been nationally ranked in 10 years, and the highest regional ranking in a while,” said sophomore Charlie Werman. “We reached a lot of our goals this year, and we have a relatively young team, so we are really optimistic about next year.”

Friday began with a loss against California Lutheran for the men’s team, losing two doubles matches and four singles matches. That afternoon, Chapman went on to defeat Caltech. The Panthers won two doubles matches, and lost one singles match.

By defeating Caltech Friday, Chapman faced Whittier for the final fifth place match Saturday. The matches were identical to Caltech, winning twice in doubles and five in singles.

Even though the team placed fifth, Werman was happy with the team and what it accomplished this year, citing a specific moment.

“After we beat Rochester, who was ranked 40th in the nation at the time, the new rankings came out, in which we moved into the 40th ranked spot,” he said. “We all were pumped and super enthusiastic about not just being ranked but trying to improve it.”

The women’s tournament also began Friday, with a match against Redlands. At the end of doubles, Redlands was leading Chapman 2-1. The Panthers’ only win in singles came from Hammer, with three games going to Redlands and two left incomplete.

Chapman went on to win 7-2 against Occidental that afternoon. The Panthers swept the Tigers in doubles, and only lost two singles matches.

Saturday was the final match for Chapman, facing Cal Lu in a battle for fifth place. Chapman started strong, leading 2-1 after doubles, and continued the momentum to win four singles games.

Though the team feels it could’ve done better, Hammer said there is more to look forward to and improve upon for next year.

“Next season, we need a cohesive team that shares a similar work ethic,” Hammer said. “The drive to win has to come from each individual player’s desire to prevail for herself and for the team.”

Werman echoed her sentiment for the men’s team.

“We got a lot closer this year than years in the past,” he said. “I hope as we lose people and gain new guys that we can continue to have just as good or even better dynamic.”

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