El Camino women’s tennis team finds bright spots in loss to Irvine Valley College

There were two trends for the El Camino College women’s tennis team Tuesday.

One trend was its standout player, Violet Simpson, who was involved in big rallies in singles and doubles play that fell short each time.

The other was EC dropping all of its matches, as the Warriors were swept by visiting Irvine Valley College, 9-0.

“We got clobbered,” EC coach Steven Van Kanegan said. “We’re struggling, (Irvine Valley) is a very strong team, very solid one through six.”

Meanwhile, the Warriors (0-3) have had a fluctuating roster problem with some players dropping out due to eligibility and other issues, Van Kanegan said.

The brightest spots for El Camino Tuesday were Simpson and freshman Stephanie Kingham.

Kingham had the longest singles match of the day, falling to Irvine Valley’s Lou Baize, who won both sets 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Kingham and Simpson would then have the longest doubles match for the Warriors, rallying from being down 1-4 against Irvine Valley’s Sarah Mae Garcia and Fiorella Dreux. Kingham and Simpson made it a 7-7 tie at one point before losing the next two games.

“We had a lot of good rallies. It was close and fun,” Kingham said.

In Simpsons’ singles match against Garcia, the two started out cold. Garcia found her groove first and sped to a 6-2 win in the opening set.

In the second set, Simpson was down 1-4, then rallied before losing 4-6.

“Down 4-1, both times,” Simpson said.

Simpson, who is coming back to tennis after several months off recovering from an ankle injury, said she thought she played well despite returning to the game only two weeks ago.

Both Kingham and Van Kanegan were impressed with her performance.

“She’s healthy, and she should be a top-tier singles player for us,” Van Kanegan said. “She’s going to be a nice comeback story.”

Ross Duncan, coach for Irvine Valley (2-0), said he was also impressed with that particular doubles match. In its 5-4 upset of Glendale in the season opener, Irvine Valley only had one victory in doubles play, from its No. 3 pair.

“It was important for us to do well in doubles,” Duncan said. “I’m happy with the ways the girls took care of business.”

El Camino also saw the season debut of No. 3 singles player Natsuki Hoshiko. The sophomore was swept by Irvine Valley’s Lorna Morris in singles play. Hoshiko and teammate Giannina Ramos would later fall to Morris and Baize in doubles.

Van Kanegan said he is still looking for tennis players for both the men’s and women’s varsity teams, and there is still time to join. Those interested should contact him at [email protected]