The women’s tennis team left the foggy, big city of San Francisco at 6 a.m. last Friday to play the St. Mary’s invitational tournament in the small and isolated town of Moraga.
They started warming up while the sun rose up from behind the hills surrounding the campus. The sky was clear and pretty, announcing a hot and sunny day.
As in the Berkeley tournament two weeks earlier, several high-ranked teams were ready to play, such as Cal, Stanford, and Washington State. Every single player was focused and the Lady Dons knew it would be a tough and long day.
The girls did not start well with the doubles, as the three pairs lost. Gratian-Akerbrant and Mekpoh-Wartenburger’s matches did not last long, as both teams lost 8-1 respectively against Cal and Pacific. Reed-McMahon’s opponents had a harder time as our Lady Dons scored 5 games.
Our Lady Dons did not have time to moan, as the girls had to play their singles right after the end of their doubles.
Freshman Blair Reed and sophomore Alana McMahon played in the Moraga Country Club – a classy and luxurious tennis club which welcomed some singles on the first day.
Even though they were two miles away from their other teammates, Reed and McMahon won their first singles round respectively against LMU (6/4-6/2) and Sacramento State (4/6-6/0-6/1).
On the St. Mary’s courts, only junior Cecilia Gratian got an easy win against a player from Portland (6/4-6/0).
Hardly an hour after the first singles round, all the girls (except Reed) had to play a second match both in the main and consolation draws.
Unfortunately, Gratian and McMahon lost their second round respectively against players from Stanford and Cal.
In the consolation draw, due to an opponent injury, Akerbrant was able to play another match on the Saturday.
The Lady Dons arrived at the same time as the previous day, warmed up on the same court, and started their doubles at 8 a.m.
It was as hard as the day before for the pair Gratian-Akerbrant who lost 8-1 against Santa Clara players. However, the pairs Mekpoh-Wartenburger and Reed-McMahon played better, showed more consistency, good phases, and a high level of positive energy; despite the improvement, each pair lost 8-4 respectively against solid Gonzaga and St. Mary’s teams.
When the Lady Dons were done with doubles, they waited and cheered for teammates Reed and Akerbrant; who had a singles match to play in the consolation draw.
With a slow and hard start, Reed was defeated 6/0-6/4 by a player from Pacific.
Akerbrant’s match was an hour delayed, against a girl from Santa Clara, and when the match began it was just in time to play under the burning sun. Our player played amazingly well, beating her opponent quickly and neatly 6/2-6/2. It was a nice way for Akerbrant to finish the tournament.
Next Friday, the Lady Dons will go playing at Stanford which will be the last tournament of the fall semester.