CLAREMONT, Calif. — The No. 15 University of La Verne tennis team beat No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer, 7-2, for the first time in recent memory on Friday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center to advance to the 2014 SCIAC Championship final. The Leopards will take on top-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Leopards made quick work of Whittier, 5-1, in the morning quarterfinal match to get to the semifinals.
The Leopards came up clutch time and time again against the Sagehens, winning four matches in tiebreakers.
All three La Verne doubles teams fell behind early and the No. 2 team of Bridget Etchegaray and Andrea Madrigal was down 7-4 at one point. But the duo roared back and took five consecutive games to claim the first point of the match, 9-7. The No. 1 and No. 3 doubles went to tiebreaker, where Jeanette Losaria and Laina Matsuda scored seven unanswered points at No. 1 and Lauren Torres and Shenelle Trujillo pulled out a 7-5 win at No. 3 to give La Verne a commanding 3-0 lead into singles play.
"I really felt like we stayed in the doubles and we played the big points well," La Verne head coach Yolanda Duron said. "And that's what helped us build up a 3-0 lead."
Pomona-Pitzer got the momentum back briefly when Arthi Padmanabhan got a quick win at No. 4 singles, but Etchegaray and Madrigal once again came through to provide the Leopards. Etchegaray dispatched Rosemary Pelch, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 6 and Madrigal got the clincher at No. 1 with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Samantha Chao to provide the win for La Verne.
Losaria and Matsuda each earned a hard-fought three-set win. After falling in the first set, Losaria came back to win the second set 6-3 and won the tiebreaker 11-9. Matsuda picked up a 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 win in the last completed match.
In the first-to-decision quarterfinal against Whittier, freshman Lauren Torres clinched match for La Verne, beating Ava Egan, 6-2, 6-1. Whittier's only point of the match came at No. 2 doubles where Liliana Serylo and Benay Weintraub earned a 9-8(7) win.
"I'm really proud of how every single girl put the effort out there and today was a great day," Duron added.Follow La Verne Athletics @ULV_Athletics Like La Verne Athletics on Facebook Sign up for our newsletter