by Kyle Cacoyannis
The women’s tennis team got their winning streak back on track playing at home last weekend, defeating the University of Puget Sound on Saturday and Pacific Lutheran University on Sunday.
Whitworth started the weekend off on Saturday with an 8-1 win against UPS at the Scotford Tennis Center. UPS only had five players competing due to injury, and thus had to forfeit one of their doubles and one of their singles matches.
“We played better singles today than we have in a long time, and that wasn’t even the ceiling of our singles play,” Coach Rachel Aldridge said. “We worked a lot on aggressive singles play in practice.”
The Bucs started off the day by splitting their two doubles matches and then ended strong by sweeping their singles matches 5-0. Senior Saryn Mooney started at the No. 2 spot and won her singles match in straight sets and also won her doubles match with Caylee Lamm 8-4.
“I think we did not know what to expect going into the singles matches, beside the fact that the other team didn’t have a winning record,” Mooney said. “We knew it was important for us to stay mentally tough.”
Whitworth not only won all of its singles matches in straight sets but had some convincing performances with sophomore Bella Hoyos and senior Morgan McDivitt both winning their singles matches in dominant fashion. Junior Taylor Peña also won her singles match 6-1 in the first set and 6-2 in the second set.
The match was Peña’s first singles win of the season, as she has had some challenging competition starting at the number one spot all year.
“The nice part is just playing my game and feeling good while I’m playing. Being happy with how I played is a good feeling,” Peña said. “Keeping the ball deep, staying consistent, and using my legs to brace against [my opponent’s] ball were keys to my success.”
On Sunday, the Bucs had another dominant performance against PLU, coming out as 7-2 victors.
“It felt pretty good to come back out after not playing very well in doubles yesterday,” McDivitt said. “Today we came out with more energy and confidence.”
McDivitt won her doubles match with Hoyos 8-2,and had a blowout singles match, winning 6-2 in both sets. Whitworth won five of six singles matches and two out of the three doubles matches against PLU.
Every Pirate player who won her respective singles match did so in straight sets, and both of the doubles wins were controlled by the Bucs.
“I’m pretty confident just because as a team we have been working hard to improve,” Hoyos said. “Being able to play tough competitors on my team in practice helps with my confidence in matches.”
Hoyos kept her singles win streak alive Sunday, winning again in straight sets. Hoyos is the only Buc to remain undefeated in singles in Northwest Conference play and appears determined to keep rolling over opponents.
Peña and freshman Jennifer Adams also won their doubles match together 8-3, and won both of their respective singles matches in straight sets. Aldridge said she was pleased overall with her team’s work over the weekend.
“The players are fun, and I like that this is a collective team. Tennis is such an individual sport, but this is very much a team,” Aldridge said.