By Joshua Laska - Entertainment Editor/Website Coordinator
The 13th ranked California Vulcans tennis team was able to defeat the 22nd ranked Concordia Clippers 8-1. This marks the first loss for the Clippers of the season; they are now 12-1 on the season. The Vulcans improved to 13-7 (0-0 in PSAC play).
The Vulcans captured double points in doubles by sweeping the Clippers. The 20th-ranked doubles team of junior Annabel Pieschl and sophomore Jade Pondicas started things off by defeating the eighth ranked doubles team of Yuliya Plevako and Ola Roberts (8-2). Junior Axelle Fernandez and classmate Anastassiya Zherdeva were able to defeat Clara Catanzano and Ana Mendes (8-3). Senior Laurie Navarro and junior Franziska Steinhardt finished doubles play for the Vulcans by capturing the win over Juliana Frey and Maria Ortiz (8-1).
In singles play 30th Pieschl suffered a defeat to 48th ranked Roberts (2-6, 6-2, 6-2), this was the only win for the Clippers in the match. Thirty-seventh ranked Pondicas handily defeated Catanzano (6-0, 6-0), Steinhardt defeated Plevako in the third position (6-2, 6-3). Zherdeva captured her second win of the match by beating Frey (6-3, 2-6, 6-3). Fernandez captured the victory over Adeline Brennan (6-1, 6-3). Navarro rounded out the match and singles play by defeating Ortiz (7-6, 7-6).
After the victory over Concordia, Pondicas was selected the PSAC West Athlete of the Week, announced the league office on Monday.
For the season, Pondicas has tied her win total from last year and ranks second on the team with a 21-6 record behind a 15-5 mark in dual matches. The sophomore from South Africa is currently tied for the team lead with a 20-9 record in doubles play while playing with three different teammates.
As a freshman last season, Pondicas finished second amng individual leaders with a 21-2 record, including a 3-0 record against regionally ranked opponents and a 1-0 record against nationally ranked. She was also undefeated against PSAC West opponents (5-0), and finished the season on an 18-game winning streak in singles play.
In doubles play last season, Pondicas was teamed with Zherdeva and finished with a 14-3 overall record, including a 5-0 record in PSAC West play. The pair finished 0-3 against nationally and regionally ranked opponents, but finished 9-1 in their final 10 games.
She also was paired with Jutta Bornfeld for seven matches, and the two finished with a 3-4 record. Bornfeld and Pondicas, however, recorded a 1-0 record against regionally ranked opponents.
The Vulcans begin PSAC play today when the travel to Clarion to take on the Golden Eagles at 3 p.m. The Vulcans then return home tomorrow to take on Holy Family at 11 a.m. followed by PSAC rival Indiana at 2:30 p.m.