Eagles take early bounce out of GSAC tourney

Biola men’s tennis fights hard but takes a second-round exit from GSAC tournament after loss to Westmont.

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Kyle Kohner, Writer

Biola locked up the number three seed in an exciting regular season finale against rival Arizona Christian University to secure the Eagles’ first winning record in program history and a first round by in the GSAC tournament. Confidence ran high going into their matchup versus Westmont.


“We can surprise anyone any time,” said sophomore David Garcia. “We are filled with energy on the court and if you get us going and fired up, the results can go in our favor, however, I believe Westmont has lots of confidence knowing that they are the big dogs in the GSAC.”

Coming out of the victory, the Eagles looked to translate their momentum into postseason tennis in the desert area for a matchup against the Westmont Warriors. The results disappointed.

Close Victory

Doubles play kicked off the scorching afternoon with mixed results. The number three doubles team composed of sophomores Garcia and Michael Vartuli turned in the matches’ first score, which was a 1-8 loss.

The number two pair of sophomores Joe Turnquist and Philip Westwood fared better than their teammates but still lost 2-8.

An exciting and close victory capped off doubles play for Biola as the dynamic number one pair comprised of junior Luke Mountain and sophomore Lucas Lee played gritty and relentlessly.

With the total match score at 1-2 and the Eagles down after doubles play, Biola looked to use their strong singles play against the Warriors with a win still in reach.

Out Flat 

The Eagles came out flat in singles, initiated by a quick losing set by Mountain at number three singles. Number six singles and senior Andrew Greenfield quickly followed Mountain but played a closer match after losing his first set 1-6 then barely losing the second set 5-7.

In the midst of trouble, the number one singles manned by Lee also fought to keep the Eagles’ hopes of winning alive but lost his first set 2-6, yet came close to tying up the second set until the number five singles held by Garcia retired from the match early.

Garcia losing gave the match win to the Westmont Warriors 5-1 — an unfortunate early end to the tournament for the Eagles.

Most Successful

The loss brings this relentless, Brent Worthington-led Eagles team closer to the end of their most successful season yet.

“This season has had its ups and downs, the team as a whole faced a big obstacle in the beginning of the season but we had the strength to overcome it and play the tennis we know how to play,” Garcia said. “This season was filled with lots of laughter and bonding. Our relationship towards each other has strengthened a lot.”

The Eagles will close out the season in Ojai Valley Tournament that starts Friday, April 22 and runs until Sunday, April 24.

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