Defending National Champion CMS Women's Tennis Starts 2018-19 Strong at Fall Scramble

Defending National Champion CMS Women's Tennis Starts 2018-19 Strong at Fall Scramble

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team, winners of the 2018 Division III National Championship last spring at the Biszantz Tennis Center, returned to its home courts to open the fall season with a five-team scramble on Saturday and Sunday.

The scramble was co-hosted by Pomona-Pitzer and also featured players from Concordia (Irvine), Azusa Pacific and Westmont. The Athenas finished with the runner-up in singles in the A, B and C flights, as well as the runner-up in the A Doubles flight.

Sophomore Rebecca Berger and freshman Sydney Lee (pictured) each went 2-1 in the A flight of singles, with Berger reaching the championship match. Berger moved on the finals by taking a three-setter over Pomona-Pitzer No. 1 Caroline Casper in the semis on Saturday, before falling to Ghazal Pakbaten of Concordia in the finals. Lee, meanwhile, fell to Pakbaten 7-6, 6-3 in her first match, but bounced back to win her next two, winning the fifth-place match on Sunday morning 10-7 in a third-set tiebreaker over Anna Savchenko of Azusa Pacific. 

In the B flight of singles, freshman Sarah Bahsoun advanced to the championship round with a 6-1, 6-3 win in the quarterfinals over Lisa Sukuzi of Concordia and a 6-2, 6-3 win over Jackie Wagner of Azusa Pacific. However, she fell in the B flight finals on Sunday morning to Maria Lyven of Pomona-Pitzer to end in second place in the finals. Freshman Crystal Juan ended her tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Suzuki on Sunday morning. 

The C flight also saw the Athenas earn a spot in the finals as Georgia Tuckerman escaped Saturday's quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 win over Halle VanNatta of Concordia, and then advanced in the semifinals with another three-setter, 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 over Audrey Stewart of Azusa Pacific. However, a third three-setter on Sunday morning proved to be too much as she fell to April Wongo of Azusa Pacific 10-6 in the third set after winning the first set 7-5. Junior Juliette Martin finished fourth in the flight after opening with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Olivia Mendoza of Pomona-Pitzer. 

In doubles, junior Catherine Allen and Bahsoun reached the finals of the A flight with an 8-3 win over Azusa Pacific's No. 2 team in the quarters and an 8-6 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the semis, but they fell to Azusa Pacific's No. 1 team in the championship on Sunday morning 8-2. Martin and Lee won their opener over Concordia before falling to Azusa Pacific's team in the semis, but bounced back to win the third-place match over Pomona-Pitzer 8-7 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), giving Lee two tiebreaker wins for third-place finishes on Sunday after winning her singles match in three sets as well. 

The Athenas will be back in action in two weeks for the ITA West Regionals from Sept. 28-30, which will be hosted by Pomona-Pitzer and played at both Pomona-Pitzer's courts and CMS' Biszantz Family Tennis center.