This past weekend, Goshen’s women’s tennis team played two matches against quality opponents. On Saturday afternoon the Leafs traveled to Marion, Indiana to take on Indiana Wesleyan University, where Goshen struggled to a 9-0 loss at the hands of the Wildcats.In fact, IWU did not drop a set that day. “IWU has been dominant for ages. They’ve been conference champions for 20-some years straight. IWU’s team has a lot of depth and their skill makes them a lot of fun to play. That helps us to improve our game as well,” said junior Joelle Friesen.
The next day, the Leafs looked to bounce back at home against NCAA Division II St. Joseph’s. Sunday was a different story as Goshen jumped out on top. Undermanned, St. Joseph’s had to forfeit the number 3 doubles and number 6 singles matches while the doubles team of Friesen and junior Lynnia Noel easily gained another point with an 8-2 victory.
“Sunday was actually the first time Lynnia and I played together, but we had a lot of fun as well as a win!” said Friesen. “One of the great things about our team’s small size is how we all can become close friends and enjoy playing together. I’ve loved playing with various people on the team, and look forward to more matches in the future.”
It looked like GC was ready to sweep doubles when junior Noemi Salvador and first-year Kendra Lozano were up a break and serving for the match leading 7-6. Unfortunately, the Pumas broke the serve to earn a point and powered back to narrowly beat the duo of Salvador and Lozano 9-7.
After the doubles matches, Goshen had a 3-1 advantage. Then St. Joseph’s won the first three singles matches to take the lead 4-3. The outcome looked grim with Salvador trailing her match 5-0; however, she was able to mount a spectacular comeback, winning five straight games to even the set, then two more to win it. She won a second set to take her match and more importantly even the team match at 4. The decisive match would be the number two singles as Lozano battled but ultimately fell 6-4, 7-5.
Despite the final outcome, the team is proud of the way they bounced back from Saturday. “Our team really stepped it up against St. Joseph,” said Friesen. “Despite the heat, fatigue, and injury we came incredibly close to pulling it out. Everyone gave full effort and having so many supporters here at home was so encouraging!”
Complete results can be found on goleafs.net.