PHOTOS by Byron Devers
The Marauders saw improved play in their match against College of the Canyons on Thursday but fell 2-7 in the end. As the match began, the AVC had the opportunity to take two of three doubles matches. Although No.1 Sydney Bush and Naia Smithley lost 1-8, No. 2 Nicole Padilla and Julie Tejeda held a 7-6 lead before falling 9-7. No. 3 Arianett Avina and Emily Lopez took an early 5-2 lead before falling behind 4-5. They then won four games in a row to secure the 8-5 victory.
In singles play, No. 1 Bush lost 3-6, 4-6, No. 2 Smithley lost 0-6, 2-6, No. 3 Padilla lost 2-6, 2-6, and No. 4 Tejeda lost 3-6, 0-6. At No. 5, Mary Willams won the first set 6-3 and took a 5-2 lead in the second set before dropping four of the next 5 games to go to a second-set tiebreak. Williams would fight off four set points in the tiebreak and finally won 12-10. At No. 6, Avina was unable to duplicate the success she had in doubles losing 2-6, 3-6. Coach Webb noted, " Ari and Emily played their best doubles match of the season. I was impressed with their ability to stay the course after falling behind. Mary's performance was equally impressive. She had several opportunities to give in and didn't. That will be a huge win for her mentally."
Back in action on Saturday, AVC turned things around with a 7-2 win against Mt. San Antonio College. AVC took an early 3-0 lead after doubles play that went back and forth in each match, with No. 1 Sydney Bush and Naia Smithley winning 8-5, No. 2 Nicole Padilla and Julie Tejeda winning 8-6, and No. 3 Arianett Avina and Emily Lopez were victorious 8-6.
In singles play, No. 1 Bush lost 5-7, 2-6, No. 2 Smithley won 6-4, 6-2, No. 3 Padilla fell 3-6, 4-6, and No. 4 Tejeda won 6-2, 6-0. Playing up in the lineup from No. 6, Avina was victorious at No. 5 6-4, 7-5, but it did not come easily. After winning the first, Avina was down 3-5 in the second before winning four straight to close out the match.
The theme would continue at No. 6 as Katie Secaida played up in the lineup from No. 8. After splitting the first two sets 6-2, 6-7(4), Secaida took control early in the third set tiebreak and won 10-3. "It was a great overall team win. Everyone contributed to the win between singles and doubles," said head coach Justin Webb. "In each doubles match, we were behind at some point and found a way to win to get off to a great start. We also demonstrated our ability to rise to the challenge and overcome adversity in singles. Ari was playing up in the lineup at No. 5 and, after taking the first set, was down 3-5 and found a way to win 4 straight to close it out. Katie was playing two spots up at 6. She got off to a strong start taking the first. Even tho she lost the second set in the tiebreak, she came back strong to take the third set tiebreak 10-3." Webb added. "We continue to see good things as we make our way to the conference tournament."
Weather permitting, the Marauders will return to conference play at home against Glendale College on Tuesday, March 21st, at 2:00 PM.