Tennis drops second straight game

Due to a shortage of players, men’s tennis suffered their second loss, Thursday, against the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros by a score of 9-0.

The Brahmas, with only two active players, were disqualified for not meeting the requirement for active roster players which is six.

Ashkon Hojati said the shortage of players on the roster is a struggle, but they are still using these matches to improve their skills.

“We go into our matches losing because we don’t have enough players, but we’re still trying to fight our hardest and improve,” Hojati said. “[Christian and I] really want to use this time, even if we already can’t win the matches, improve ourselves and win our games.”

Despite the automatic loss, a set of doubles and two sets of singles matches were played.

Christian Ponce and Hojati fell to SBCC in doubles with a score of 8-1.

Ponce, number one in singles, lost to Andres DeCock in two sets (6-2, 6-1).

Ponce said the strength and power of DeCock are what made him lose the match.

“Some balls I couldn’t get to and some I could,” Ponce said. “I just tried to keep up with the rallies, but I knew I wasn’t very consistent today.”

Hojati, number two ranked in singles, lost to Ronan Casteleyn in two sets (6-1, 6-0).

Hojati said he only started playing tennis three years ago, which put him at a disadvantage.

“He definitely had experience on me,” Hojati said. “I have a lot of struggling and a lot of catching up to do.”

Long Dao, head coach, was impressed with both Ponce and Hojati because they both showed improvement and are starting to become more aggressive.

Despite losing, Dao remains optimistic about the season.

“All of this will start to look better as we get more matches in,” Dao said. “Usually you have to start working out the kinks a little bit and then things start to roll after that.”

Ponce is currently trying to work himself back into shape after being sidelined for four months with a wrist injury. Dao believes the key to getting him back into shape is to not rush him.

“For this entire winter session we have been trying to ease him in slowly and make sure he doesn’t feel any pain and so far so good,” Dao said. “Looks like he’s starting to get back to his normal self.”

This situation is nothing new to Dao who experienced something similar in his first year coaching at Pierce.

“It’s tough right now, but the guys that stay and the guys that play all know what they want to do is put in the work,” Dao said.

Tennis is on the road against El Camino College next Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m.