Quest for victories not so simple

Tyler McGinty

The Bakersfield College women’s tennis team has had ups and downs this season. After losing its first match against Ventura College, the team bounced back, defeating Glendale College 6-3 on March 1 and Allan Hancock College 9-1 on March 3.

However, the team’s matches against Santa Monica College on March 8 and Santa Barbara College on March 10 didn’t fare so well.

The team lost both matches 8-1. Coach Gene Lundquist said that Santa Monica was “the number two team in the last year, and stronger this year, unfortunately for us.”

Although it was a defeat for the team as a whole, singles player Denisa Hromadkova was able to keep her undefeated conference record for this game.

“Our number one player, Denisa Hromadkova, was able to win against one of the very top players in the conference: Criss Rodriguez,” said Lundquist.

“She was previously undefeated in the conference and Denisa played probably the best ladies tennis match that I’ve seen since I’ve been here. It was a terrific match from both players and [Hromadkova] beat her 6-3, 6-2. So that was a nice victory for Denisa.”

After taking away someone else’s perfect record, Hromadkova was unable to hold on to hers.

Hromadkova lost 6-2, 6-4 against Elizabeth “Betsy” Sauer, who Lundquist feels is Santa Barbara’s best player.

Lundquist said that Hromadkova was likely not at full strength for her match, since she had sustained two injuries before the match: a slight hip muscle pull after her Ventura match and a foot injury during her Santa Monica match.

The team’s only victory against Santa Barbara came from Jennifer Chan, who defeated Anna Slyutova in a three-set match, coming up 7-5 in the last set.

“It was a real nailbiter,” said Lundquist.

The women’s team ends the first half of their season 2-3, but Lundquist remains optimistic. “The whole team shows improvement, despite losing to those powerhouses decidedly,” he said.

The BC men’s team has also had a tough time this season losing to Glendale 5-4 on March 1 and to LA Pierce 9-0 on March 4, but winning a 5-4 victory against Santa Barbara on March 10.

“We played a really good match against Glendale, had chances to win it, but we lost two three-setters in singles, and if we had pulled out one of them, we would have won the match,” said Coach Rob Slaybaugh.

The men’s team ended their first half 1-3 and Slaybaugh acknowledges the next half will continue to challenge the team.

“The league is about as tough as I’ve seen it for a while. Last year we tied with LA Pierce for fourth in the league, and this year we’ve got a better team than last year, but every team in the league is better. From looking at other leagues, I’d say it’s the toughest league in the state,” said Slaybaugh.

“We’ve had a couple matches that we lost 5-4, so we’re putting out effort. Hopefully we’ll have a good second half, I’m not giving up on it by any stretch of the imagination.”

Both teams start the second half of the season against Ventura College on March 22, with the women’s team playing at home and the men’s playing away.

Lundquist is optimistic about the rematch against Ventura College.

“It was so close last time and we weren’t at full strength, we didn’t have all of our players there and hopefully this time we will [beat them].”