The No. 11 University of Redlands women's tennis team stepped up to the challenge of playing without captain and No. 1 singles player Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) on Saturday, earning a 5-4 victory over No. 24 Brandeis University (MA) on Verdieck Courts. The Bulldogs adjusted their lineup accordingly and successfully captured the first five points off the court en route to the non-conference triumph.
The Bulldogs swept the doubles after sophomores Lauren Villanueva (El Segundo, CA) and Gabriela Vasquez (Rancho Margarita, CA) cruised to an 8-4 showing at the No. 2 slot. The newly-formed duo of junior Ceara Sumida (Hilo, HI) and freshman Stephany Yang (Taipei, Taiwan) recorded an 8-3 victory, before sophomores Julia Pollak (Holland, PA) and Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) hung on for a 9-7 decision at the top spot.
Leading 3-0, the Bulldogs needed just two out of six singles victories to prevail over the Judges of Brandeis. Senior Paige Press (La Jolla, CA) was first to step up to the challenge with her 6-2, 6-2 performance at No.5, before Villanueva impressed in her season debut at No. 6, also earning a 6-2, 6-2 win.
With the match already decided, the opponents mustered two victories in three sets to go along with a positive straight-set result and a win due to injury, leading to the 5-4 tally.
Redlands (2-0) now looks forward to traveling to Greencastle, IN, for its inaugural appearance at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championship, hosted by DePauw University. The Bulldogs face familiar foe, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, in the first round of action on Friday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. EST.