By Morgan Taylor
The Lewis & Clark women’s tennis team had an impressive start to their season, winning their first six matches with ease. In the first match of the year against George Fox University, the women won every singles match and gave up one doubles match for a score of 8-1. Christine Eliazio ’18 played the position of first singles and won in a decisive two sets. Chloe Sermet ’20 did the same, winning fourth singles with 6-0 and 6-1 matches.
The successful start to the season has transformed LC women’s tennis into a regional powerhouse, as no rival team has won more than two matches in their first five games
“We came into the season having lost our former number one and two players, but we are doing really well without them,” Sermet said. “These last few matches we have been pushing ourselves and working really hard, raising the intensity match after match.”
The team gained Riley Hanks ’21 of Redland, Oregon and Madelyn Landerfelt ’21 of Minden, Nevada. With a team of only 11 players, everyone in the lineup has the opportunity to play.
The next game against Hardin-Simmons University of Abilene, Texas was won with a 9-0 sweep. Tash Hood ’20 won her singles 6-1 and 6-0, as well as her doubles match with teammate Riley Hanks ’21.
LC is ranked seventh in the West region, just below regional rival Linfield College. In the 2017-2018 Northwest Conference standings, LC is competitive at third place.
The University of Puget Sound (UPS) is following close behind in fourth, with the same win percentage in conference as LC. However, the Pios had no problem defeating UPS on March 3, coming out with an 8-1 win. The women came out yet again with a sweep of the singles matches, with several players winning in just two sets.
The Pioneers had one of their first season challenges when they played Whitman College on March 11. A highlight of the competition was when Natalie Kelly ’18 and Glenna Gee-Taylor ’18 played a close match but came out on top 8-5 in doubles. Of the nine conference teams, LC has already beat four.
The Pios play Austin College of Sherman, Texas on March 17, followed by a match against George Fox University on March 18. Both matches are at home before the team travels to California the following weekend.
“Our record during season is less important than how we do on conference day,” Caroline Hennes ‘20 said, “so every match we play is preparing us for the end of the season when we have to go head-to-head with the best teams in the conference to try and come out on top.”