The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

El Camino women’s tennis submits to Mt. San Antonio in first home game of the season

El Camino sophomore and computer science major Pranathi Chamarthi, 19, poses next to sophomore and psychology major Kamila Bustos, 19, at the ECC Tennis Courts on Tuesday, Feb. 27, following the end of their single matches, which they lost to Mt. San Antonio College. Chamarthi joined the team last summer and Bustos joined last spring, although the season was canceled that year due to a lack of players. “I’m actually very proud of everyone on the team…knowing my team and knowing how they do in practice, I know that they put their all in,” Chamarthi said. (Angela Osorio | The Union)

After not being on the courts for two years, the El Camino College Women’s Tennis team played its first home game on Tuesday, Feb. 27, against the Mt. San Antonio College Mounties.

This is the first women’s tennis season at El Camino since 2022, as the 2023 season was canceled due to a lack of players to fill the roster.

Tensions were high at El Camino’s tennis courts as the Warriors competed in fierce single and double matches, resulting in the Warriors’ 8-1 loss to the Mounties.

El Camino coach Sergiu Boerica was not present at the Feb. 27 home game as he had accompanied the men’s tennis team to an away game.

Full-time professor for El Camino’s athletics department Tom Hazell substituted as coach and supervised the Warriors during the game.

Hazell criticized the ECC Tennis Courts, saying they were in poor condition: having cracked surfaces, a broken windscreen and half of the lights not functioning.

“When you look at the [playing environment]…you see a lot of disadvantages that [the Warriors] have that I guarantee Mt. [San Antonio College] doesn’t,” he said. “I would consider it the worst student facility we have here at El Camino College.”

He said the tennis court is a classroom and students need the “right tools and environment” to achieve success.

The game started at 2:30 p.m. and consisted of two doubles matches and five singles matches.

The Mounties started dominant in the doubles matches, leading to their first victory of the day, 8-0.

The ball bounced back and forth as the Warriors tried to keep up with the Mounties’ strong serves and fast throws.

Sneakers squeaked on the floor as the Warriors anticipated the ball, armed with rackets in hand.

El Camino sophomore Jhanine Estigoy, 18, said it was “hard to keep up with them [Mounties].”

“We had some good serves, you know, good hits, but overall, it was tough…but it was an experience, so we were not mad about our score,” she said.

Estigoy’s match was not the most intense of the day, however.

The second doubles match ended after a brutal hour-and-a-half of high tensions and close competition.

The Warriors started strong, leading with a score of 1-0 and then 2-1. However, the Mounties quickly gained momentum, scoring 2-2.

From then on, it was back and forth between the Warriors and Mounties, as the Warriors took the lead scoring and the Mounties responded with a tie.

The Mounties were relentless as they seized the lead with a score of 7-6. One more point would bring the Mounties to victory.

Then the Warriors scored another point, and the score was now 7-7. The team faced a dilemma – whether they should do a tiebreaker or play up to nine points. A player must win by two points in tennis.

Warrior sophomore and computer science major Pranathi Chamarthi, 19, said the team had never scored a tie like this, so they were unsure of what to do.

After the coaches and players talked, they decided to play until one team reached nine points.

Eventually, the Mounties scored nine points earning back-to-back match wins, resulting in the Warriors’ second loss.

Tired and burnt out, the day was not over for the Warriors as they faced their next challenge, singles matches.

As evening approached, bringing a chill into the air, the teams shivered in their shorts and skirts but continued to swing rackets until around 6 p.m.

Out of all five singles matches, Estigoy won one of them. Yet it was not enough to defeat the Mounties.

The Mounties earned their third win in a row after previously defeating Fullerton and Victor Valley College and look to continue the streak when they return to action on March 16.

Warrior sophomore and psychology major Kamila Bustos,19, said she would describe it as a “close game.”

“We tied a bunch,” she said. “But ultimately they won.”

One Mountie, 18-year-old kinesiology major Paige Valenzuela, said “It was very windy, which we’re not really used to back at our school.”

Despite the windy, chilly conditions, Valenzuela said it was a good game.

“Practice-wise we’re just trying to be very consistent and just have a positive mindset going into every match,” she said.

This game makes it the Warriors’ third consecutive loss of the season, after their first two away games against Saddleback College and Fullerton College.

This does not faze the Warriors, however, who are determined to continue working hard throughout the rest of the season.

“We’re doing our best and doing whatever we can to get as far as possible,” Chamarthi said.

The tennis team consists of five players, many of whom learned about the team through their physical education tennis courses.

Chamarthi said most of the players, herself included, lack several years of tennis experience. She said she would consider the team to be intermediate-level.

“But when we’re on the courts we all do our level best,” she said. “Knowing my team and knowing how they do in practice, I know that they put their all in.”

Despite the loss, the Warriors remain determined and motivated for the next game.

“Even if we do go against tough opponents, it’s all about the experience…if we lose a couple [of] matches we’re gonna learn from our mistakes,” Estigoy said. “We’ll know what to do next time and if we’re not going against tougher opponents, then we’re not improving.”

Next game
El Camino vs Victor Valley College
@ Victor Valley College
Thursday, Feb. 29, 2 p.m.

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