By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (2-1) won a non-conference match on Feb. 21 against a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school.
The No. 19 ranked Aztecs defeated Hastings College of Nebraska 7-2 at Mesa Community College. Pima won two of its doubles matches and earned the victory with five of six singles played.
Freshman Dana Pineda won a difficult match at No. 6 singles after dropping the second set to beat Molly Mitchell 7-6, 1-6, 13-11.
Sophomore Stephanie Nickles was in a close match at No. 3 singles and defeated Elizabeth Harlow 6-4, 6-4.
Freshman Samantha Ruth beat Alexa Obermier at No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-3.
Freshman Kelsey Brown and sophomore Ema Hernandez eaned shutout set victories.
Freshman Fernanda Miller lost at No. 5 singles 7-6, 6-0.
In doubles competition, Brown and Ruth won at the No. 3 doubles match 8-5.
The Aztecs opened its first match of the season at the Tucson Racquet Club against New Mexico State University on Feb. 12 with a 9-0 loss.
“Everyone was exposed to a higher level and realized they can play at that level with more hard work,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.
In doubles competition, No. 1 pair Brown and Ruth lost 8-0 to Rimpledeep Kaur and Ashvarya Shrivastav.
In the No. 2 doubles match, Miller and Nickles won on game but ultimately lost 8-1 to Erika Castillo-Lopez and Gabrielle Joyce. Sophomore Ema Hernandez and freshman Dana Pineda fell 8-0 to Chloe Jolliff and Lindsay Harlas.
In singles play, Brown lost to Shrivastav in the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-1 while Ruth fell to Castillo Lopez 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.
Nickles, however, picked up a game but ultimately lost to Jolliff 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
In No. 4 singles competition Hernandez was blanked by Mia Brandt 6-0, 6-0. Miller lost 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 5 singles match. Pineda went down in her No. 6 singles match to Elena Arnaudova 6-1, 6-0.
“I thought everyone on my team played great against New Mexico State, even though we lost I definitely think we played good competitive matches,” Nickles said.
Schantz seemed optimistic about the team going forward.
“Playing tough opponents early on changes the dynamic for the rest of the season,” Schantz said. “They know what level to expect from top junior colleges and what they are capable of.”
The match against Benedictine University scheduled for Feb. 20 was canceled.
“We couldn’t get a hold of the coach for a couple days and noticed he didn’t have a full roster online,” Schantz said. “Maybe next year.”
Feb. 25: Eastern Arizona
College, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 1: Mesa Community College, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 14: @ San Diego Mesa College, 2 p.m.