By STEVEN FOWLER
The Pima Community College women’s tennis team closed out the Region I Championships at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale on April 20.
“I’m very proud of our runner-up finish at regionals this year,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.
The Aztecs advanced to eight of nine championship matches and finished in second place behind Mesa Community College.
“Every player competed well and has come a long way since the fall,” Schantz said.
In the singles competition, the Aztecs dropped all five single championship matches to Mesa players.
Sophomore Stephanie Nickles won the first set in her No. 4 singles match and rallied in the second set after trailing 1-4 to tie it at 4-4.
In the end, she fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Naa Ankrah.
Sophomore Kelsey Brown lost at No. 1 singles match to Emily Chang 6-1, 6-1 while freshman Samantha Ruth fell to Khanh Huynh 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Sophomore Ema Hernandez dropped her No. 5 singles match to Hanna Nelson 6-1, 6-0 and freshman Fernanda Miller lost to Maria Garduno at No. 6 singles 6-1, 6-0.
All three of Pima’s doubles teams also advanced to the championship round but fell to the Thunderbirds in the end.
Brown and Ruth led the first set 3-1 but surrendered five straight set points. They fell to Chang and Huynh at No. 1 doubles 6-3, 6-2.
Hernandez and sophomore Noelle Karp took a 3-0 lead in their first set but lost to Yolena Carlon and Garduno 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
The Aztecs compete in the NJCAA National tournament in Tyler, Texas, on May 7-13.
“We are training hard to be ready for the high level of competition and for very humid conditions.”
“I’m hopeful for a strong finish at nationals to wrap up a solid season,” she added.