The No. 35 University of Redlands women's tennis kicked off the spring season with a busy Saturday of exhibition matches against tough competition on Verdieck Courts. The Bulldogs battled the Firebirds of Arizona Christian University to a 3-6 loss before coming up short to Azusa Pacific University, 0-9.
However, the Firebirds quickly reclaimed the momentum with a pair of wins at Nos. 2 and 3.
In singles, Ikioka continued to impress with her dominating 6-1, 6-1 result at the No. 1 slot before first-year Lexi Lehman (Scottsdale, AZ) made the most of her first collegiate dual match with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 3.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs' 3-2 advantage was short-lived, as the Firebirds responded with wins in the remaining singles matches. Junior Kate Dolan (St. Louis, MO) pushed her No. 4 opponent to a pair of tiebreakers, while junior Madison Ross (San Diego, CA) fell in three sets.
In the team's second match of the day, Redlands faced a high-caliber opponent from Azusa Pacific. Ikioka and Johnson battled to an 8-4 loss at No. 1 doubles, while Lehman won the most games of the singles matches in a 7-5, 6-2 defeat.
Redlands jumps right into Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Saturday, February 10, when it travels to Pasadena to face the Caltech Beavers at 1 p.m.