Eagles’ play presents deceptive record

Despite two 2-7 losses on the week, Eagles battle and hang tough

The occasion was the 31st annual National Hispanic Conference, which was held Saturday at Biola.

The occasion was the 31st annual National Hispanic Conference, which was held Saturday at Biola.

Kyle Kohner, Writer

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Last Friday, the Biola men’s tennis team lost their match against Holy Names University and followed it up with the same result against No.15 nationally ranked and Golden State Athletic Conference rivals, the Westmont Warriors. Despite the results, the Eagles have a lot to be proud of.

Tight competition

Friday’s match versus the Hawks featured an onslaught of tight competition. In singles, only sophomore number one singles player Lucas Lee broke through the Hawks’ stronghold and won their singles match. However, the Eagles’ other five singles players kept the score close, but did not come away with any match wins.

Doubles produced similar results for the Eagles. Biola’s number three doubles team sophomores David Garcia and Michael Vartuli were on the losing end of a 1-8  match score. The number two duo of sophomores Joe Turnquist and Phillip Westwood were the only Eagles to win their doubles match 8-6. The number one pair comprised of Lee and Mountain played a fierce and exciting match. However, the pair lost in a hard-fought tie-breaker, 8-9 (5-7).

On the road to Santa Barbara

On Saturday the Eagles hit the road and headed up to Santa Barbara, taking on their stiffest competition yet, Westmont. However, the style of play and result proved eerily similar. The line up was shaken up a bit in singles, with Westwood manning the frontline as the number one singles player. Westwood fought and grinded, but it was not enough in a three set loss. Lee manned number two singles, and again reeled in the team's only win in singles.

In doubles the Eagles’ number three team of Garcia and Vartuli rebounded from a subpar performance together last match by soundly stomping out their opponents 8-4 .

Despite the losses, the Eagles can take away a positive in that they stayed competitive against two top teams.

Fight until the last point

“Although we have lost some close matches in tiebreakers, you have to look at the teams we have been playing. Last week against Westmont, we played hard and fought till the last point in every match,” Vartuli said.

The eight total tiebreakers on the week prove the Eagles were not down and out when the scoreboard looked rough.

The Eagles can do a lot of damage in the GSAC once those tie breakers start going their way.

“Because tennis is a sport that can feel individual, it is easy to lose a match bad just because you aren’t playing great,“ Vartuli said. “We are playing for our teammates, coaches, Biola, and ultimately for Christ. This is the thing that drives us to keep fighting when times get tough and we are tired.”

Goal still in sight

Biola still has their goal in sight despite their early losing record.

Our number one goal as a team this year was to make it to nationals and that has not changed,” Lee said. “After playing six matches, we are more aware of how much talent we really have on the team and our belief that we can do that is at an all time high.”

Biola’s next match is Saturday, Feb. 27, at home versus Cal Tech at 2 p.m.