Pursuing to get back on track

By Josh Messmer / Staff Writer

Striving to win- Rebecca Roeser trains to help the Riverside City College women’s tennis team get one step closer to getting back to winning matches. (Jenna Owen / Staff Photographer)

By Josh Messmer / Staff Writer

The RCC women’s tennis team is off to a rocky start in the season.

Starting the season against non-conference opponents and going 4-0 against them, but unfortunately the team has lost the last four matches against conference opponents.

The team is well balanced with returning players, as well as a fresh supply of new players.

Returning players from last season include: last year’s all-conference doubles player Nadia Khamis.

Returning with Khamis are Jeannette Rodriguez, Rebecca Roeser, Courtney Seymore.

The most noticeable difference between this years and last year’s team, is the loss of Caroline Houston.

Houston was a two time all-conference player, and made it to the state tournament last year in singles and doubles, but lost both in the quarter finals.

Houston received a scholarship to attend Sonoma State this summer where she will continue her tennis career.

When ever good players leave, young players need to step in to make up for the loss, and this year is no different.

With the addition of standout freshman Brittney Gourlay, who hasn’t lost a game in single play this season and is just as exciting in doubles.

Another freshman is Dayana Salgado, who didn’t lose a set in single play in three straight matches at the beginning of the season.

She is in a bit of a slump, but the talent is there for her to overcome the recent adversity and is definitely someone to keep your eye on in the future.

Another freshmen is Sarah Racatain, who has only lost one match in doubles play this year and has been partnered with Gourlay for much of the season.

Also, new comer Ashleigh Smith who in the teams match against Irvine Valley, won both her single and doubles matches. Sadly, it was for a losing effort but it is something to build on for up coming matches.

In the team’s last match against top seated Saddleback, RCC was shut out 9-0, with top seated Saddleback establishing itself as the team to beat in the Orange Empire conference.

The win gave Saddleback College a overall 10-0 record with a 4-0 record in conference.

The loss dropped Riverside to a overall record to 4-4 with a 0-4 record in conference.

These two teams will meet again on April 1, where RCC can look to upset the top dogs and avenge the two losses to Saddleback this season.

Their next Orange Empire Conference match after the last loss to Saddleback, is against Orange Coast on March 18 in Costa Mesa, RCC will look to get their first win in conference play this season.

Orange Coast is having a rough season like Riverside, the team has gone 5-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play thus far, which gives RCC a shot to win a game in conference.

These teams met earlier this season with Orange Coast winning 7-2. With the only point in singles coming from Gourlay.

RCC next non-conference match is against Weslyn University on March 13.

It’s a tough road ahead for the Tigers, but the tough losses can serve as motivation for the upcoming conference matches.

Hard at work to improve- Dayana Salgado works hard during practice to get back on track to her winning ways. Salagdo and the women’s tennis team is looking to win their first conference play when they play Orange Coast on March 18. (Brandon Rivera / Staff Photographer)