CLAREMONT, Calif. – Facing two nationally-ranked opponents in back-to-back matches, the Linfield women’s tennis team came up empty handed in two nonconference losses to No. 9 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 28 UC-Santa Cruz Saturday on the CMS Courts.
Match 1 – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9, Linfield 0
The 30th-ranked Wildcats failed to score any points against the Athenas, who reached the Final Eight at the Division III Women's Tennis Championships a season ago.
Kristin Lim and Jessie Huang, the top-ranked duo in the West Region, handed Abby Olbrich and Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) an 8-2 loss at No. 1 doubles.
Sarah Kukino and Crystal Lim defeated Linfield’s sisterly duo, the Nips, by a score of 8-1 while Chloe Dobbert and Jaclyn Smrecek crushed Kelly Watanabe (Soph., Kirkland, Wash.) and Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.) 8-2.
Kristin Lim, who is the reigning Division III singles champion and the top-ranked player in the West, turned back Olbrich, the region’s fifth-best player, 6-2, 6-1 in the top singles flight. Lim’s younger sister Crystal earned a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Brigham as Huang topped Kaila Nip (Soph., Lahaina, Hawaii) 6-1, 6-2.
Kukino bested Thomas by a score of 6-0, 6-1. Dobbert handled Kiana Nip 6-0, 6-3 while Smrecek defeated Watanabe 6-3, 6-0.
Match 2 – UC-Santa Cruz 6, Linfield 3
Thomas and Watanabae won their respective singles matches and teamed to score a doubles victory to provide the Wildcats’ only points of their three-match Spring Break trek.
The Wildcat duo scored an 8-3 win over Rebecca Parker and Quyen Truong in the third doubles flight.
Individually, Thomas snapped a seven-match losing skid with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Sarah Malone at No. 4 singles. Watanabe nearly blanked her opponent, Parker, winning by a score of 6-1, 6-0.
The Banana Slugs owned the remaining four fights, however. In the top flight, Alexandra Scotten defeated Olbrich 6-3, 6-1. Laura Wade outlasted Brigham in three sets at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6-3).
Courtney Lymburner earned a close 6-4, 6-4 win over Kaila Nip. AnyaSophie Lundeberg survived a challenge by Kiana Nip to win at No. 5 singles by a score of 6-3, 1-6, 10-6.
In the top two doubles flights, Scotten and Wade soundly defeated Olbrich and Brigham 8-1 while Malone and Lymburner edged the Nip sisters 8-6.
'CAT SCRATCH: Linfield's record now stands at 9-4...the 'Cats are riding a four-match losing streak, including one loss to a Division I opponent, after opening the season with nine straight victories.
AHEAD: The Wildcats return to Northwest Conference action with a pair of road matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday against Whitman and Whitworth, respectively.
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Wildcats enter NWC Tournament as fourth seed
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