CLAREMONT, Calif. — The No. 15 University of La Verne tennis team split the singles portion of the match against a national title contender Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, but that wasn't enough to overcome a 2-1 doubles deficit in a 5-4 loss in the SCIAC Championship Final on Saturday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.
The Athenas clinched the match early with three straight wins at Nos. 4, 5 and 6 to open the singles portion. Victoria Santo clinched the match for CMS at No. 6 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Bridget Etchegaray.
Even with the match decided, the Leopards battled until the very end and won the last three matches at the top three spots. Andrea Madrigal notched the first singles win for La Verne at No. 1, beating Caroline Ward, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. Jeanette Losaria and Laina Matsuda started their respective singles matches by taking the first sets. Both dropped the second set, but pulled out the tiebreakers to give La Verne a split in singles. Matsuda beat higher-ranked Katie Kuosman, 7-6(7-4), 3-6, 10-3 at No. 2 and Losaria defeated Chloe Dobbert, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 10-6 at No. 3.
La Verne's lone doubles point came at No. 2, where Madrigal and Etchegaray beat Sarah Kukino/Chole Dobbert, 8-1.
The Leopards have shown a marked improvement from the regular season at the SCIAC Championships. Their only two regular season losses in conference play have come at the hands of No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer (6-3) and CMS (6-3), but La Verne turned it around against the Sagehens in the semifinal (7-2) and gave CMS all it could handle today.
The Leopards now wait for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. Selections will be announced on Monday, May 5.
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