Win Streak Snapped as Blue Tennis Falls In Tough 5-4 Final at Cerritos

Sophomore Korina Hernandez has now won six straight matches and is 4-0 playing in the No. 4 position in the Wellesley lineup (Gil Talbot).
Sophomore Korina Hernandez has now won six straight matches and is 4-0 playing in the No. 4 position in the Wellesley lineup (Gil Talbot).

NORWALK, Calif. – Wellesley College tennis entered Thursday night's match against Cerritos College with a perfect 4-0 record on their California road trip but in the end it was the host Falcons that would extend their own winning streak to 18 straight matches with a 5-4 victory over the Blue. 

Wellesley is now 8-5 overall after going 4-1 in five matches this week in California. Cerritos, a member of the California Community College Athletic Association's South Coast Conference, improves to 20-1 overall and remains unbeaten since February 3rd.

The Falcons jumped ahead in doubles play, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to victories at No. 1 and No. 2. At No. 2, Petra Such and Moa Lindström defeated Wellesley Korina Hernandez (Tampa, Calif.) and first year Abigail Schleichkorn (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), 8-3, to open the match. The Falcons then earned a crucial 8-6 victory in a tight No. 1 doubles match that saw Lisa Suzuki and Kseniia Prokopchuk top Justine Huang (Coto de Caza, Calif.) and Selina Peng (Taichung, Taiwan).

Wellesley would get on the board at No. 3 doubles, where first years Lizzy Kong (Mason, Ohio) and Lily Chu (Princeton, N.J.) would down Itzi Torres and Diviana Bravo, 8-6, to pick up a point for the Blue.

The Blue dropped into a 3-1 hole to start singles, as Prokopchuk topped Kong, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3, but Huang and Chu would rally in the next two matches to go final, tying the match 3-3 with victories at No. 1 and No. 6. Huang defeated Suzuki, 6-3, 6-3, and Chu defeated Bravo, 6-4, 6-1. Cerritos took the upper hand in the next two matches to clinch the victory, earning a pair of wins after the No. 2 and No. 5 matches ended at nearly the same time. At No. 2, Such topped Peng in a three-set decision, 6-0, 3-6, 6-0, while Torres took down junior Sojin Ki (Irvine, Calif.), 6-1, 6-4, to clinch the match.

Wellesley would get one back in the final match of the evening, where Hernandez outlasted Lindström in three, 2-6, 6-4, 10-6, to make the final score 5-4. Hernandez has now won six straight matches and is 4-0 playing in the No. 4 position in the Wellesley lineup.

The Blue return home and to the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) season on Tuesday, April 3 with a 4:30 PM match versus Clark.