Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College women's tennis team took part in the USTA/ITA West Regional this past weekend at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, Calif. led by freshman Meagan Zamilpa who knocked off two seeds to earn a spot in the semi-finals where she fell to No. 5 seed Crystal Lim in straight sets.
In tough conditions where players had to play in 100 degree heat and play two singles matches and two doubles matches per day, the Whittier College Poets proved to be one of the stronger programs in the tournament after strong finishes from Zamilpa and Liliana Serylo.
Sophomore Serylo entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed and cruised through her first round opponent Victoria Santoro (Claremont-M-S) in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and then prevailed in a three setter in the Round of 32 over Gabby Vasquez (Redlands) after dropping the first set 6-1. But in the next round Serylo found herself matched up against the No. 9 seed in Samantha Mae Coyiuto (Pomona-Pitzer) and was unable to get through falling in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
Zamilpa who joins the Poet squad in her first season had the best performance for a freshman in the tournament after she came in seeded No. 9. She went five rounds, which included wins over the No. 3 seed Samantha Chao (Pomona-Pitzer) who was nationally ranked No. 48 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 and then another No. 9 seed in Andrea Madrigal (La Verne) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Prior to these two rounds she cruised through Luz Vela Jimenez (Chapman) 6-0, 6-0 and then Emily Werman (Cal Lutheran) 6-3, 6-2.
"Defeating the #3 and #9 seeds in back to back three set matches lasting in excess of nearly five hours on court in 100 degree heat was nothing less than spectacular. She brings an amazing talent and fighting spirit to this team," explained Director of Tennis David Bojalad.
Junior Adrienne Hamada found success in her first round as she beat Claire Willey (Pomona-Pitzer) 6-4, 6-3 before dropping a straight sets decision to the No. 2 seed Alexandra Scotten 6-3, 6-1.
Whittier had three other players in the singles draw including Benay Weintraub, Lauren Gelgur, and Brianna Campanero but all three dropped their first round matches.
Weintraub lost to Marissa Cohen (Pomona-Pitzer) 6-0, 6-2, while Gelgur and Campanero were unable to get any games against Jazmine Ortiz (Claremont-M-S) and Caroline Ward (Claremont-M-S).
In doubles action Serylo and Zamilpa came in as the No. 5 seed and cruised through their first round opponent Alyssa Gilbert/Lauren Villanueva (Redlands) 8-3 before getting upset by Jessica Hsu/Lea Lynn Yen (Pomona-Pitzer) 8-4 in the Round of 16.
Campanero and Gelgur teamed up to play doubles and were unable to get past Yvonne Likomanova/Victoria Santoro (Claremont-M-S) in the round of 32 dropping an 8-2 decision.
Hamada and Weintraub were the last team who took part in the doubles but were matched up against the No. 2 seed Kristin Lim/Caroline Ward and ultimately fell 8-2.
The annual event helps establish team and individual rankings for the upcoming spring season which begins in February 2013.