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April 12, 2014

No. 17 U of R Women’s Tennis Blanks Caltech and Santa Cruz for Stellar Senior Day

The No. 17 University of Redlands women's tennis team rattled off a pair of 9-0 victories on Saturday, concluding the regular, dual-match season on a positive note.  In addition, the Bulldogs celebrated seniors Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) and Paige Press (La Jolla, CA) in fine fashion with a solid in-region win over UC Santa Cruz in the duo's final home competition on Verdieck Courts.

The great day began when the team traveled to Pasadena for a morning showdown against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competitor, Caltech.  The Maroon and Gray rolled to a doubles sweep by giving up only four games between the three matches.  The Bulldogs then prevailed in all six singles matches, taking five of them in straight sets with impressive scores.

Sophomores Lauren Villanueva (El Segundo, CA) and Gabriela Vasquez (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) initiated the onslaught with their 8-1 victory at the No. 3 slot, before sophomore Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) and junior Julia Pollak (Holland, PA) blanked their No. 2 opponents.  Ly and junior Ceara Sumida (Hilo, HI) capped off the sweep with an 8-3 decision at the top spot.

In singles, Redlands looked to new contributors at Nos. 5 and 6 to secure the overall team win.  Freshman Emily Murnin (Salt Lake City, UT) shut down her No. 6 counterpart, before Press cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 performance at No. 5, giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 decision.

Etchegaray, Sumida, and Villanueva also dominated their respective opponents, winning in straight sets by a combined 30-2 margin.  In addition, Ly finished off the sweep with her comeback triumph at No. 1, 4-6, 7-6, 10-1.

Redlands then returned home to the friendly confines of Verdieck Courts, where the Bulldogs honored Ly and Press in a short pre-match ceremony before taking on UC Santa Cruz on Senior Day.

The Bulldogs gained the early momentum with another doubles sweep, before winning all six singles matches for the 9-0 result against the Banana Slugs.

Villanueva and Vasquez set the tone with their 8-1 victory at No. 3, while Etchegaray and Pollak quickly followed suit by taking down their No. 2 opponents, 8-2.

In dramatic fashion, the top Bulldog duo of Ly and Sumida preserved the shutout by rallying back from a break down to capture the 9-7 win.

Leading 3-0 for the fourth time in as many matches, the Maroon and Gray gained impressive results from Villanueva, who blanked her No. 4 foe.  Sumida secured the deciding point with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 3.

Murnin also shut out her No. 2 foe, while Press gave up just one game in a straight-set showing.

Etchegaray and Ly also came away victorious for the Bulldogs.

Redlands (11-9, 5-3) enjoys a late-season break from competition before heading to the SCIAC Championships at Claremont on May 2-3.