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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tennis fails to return season-opening serve

The Pierce College tennis team kicked off the season at home on Tuesday with a lopsided defeat to the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros, failing to win a single set in any of the seven matches played.

The contest consisted of five singles and two doubles matches. In singles play, Pierce’s Nick Kerhulas squared off with Sasha Hedberg of Santa Barbara. This paired each team’s number-one player. Hedberg took the match by winning the first two sets 6-0 each.

Kerhulas offered an explanation for the sweeping loss.

“I started off a little sluggish, a little slow in my legs,” Kerhulas said. “The first set was like a warm up set. I made more simple errors and he was just letting me make them.”

Hedberg believed the match to be less one-sided than the final score indicated.

“It was a lot closer than the score showed. There were a lot of deuces, a lot of advantages, and I was able to play pretty clutch at the end,” Hedberg said.

The most competitive match of the day was a doubles match that also featured Kerhulas. This was tied eight games each until Santa Barbara prevailed in the tiebreaker 7-4.

“I thought they showed a lot of heart considering the final scores,” said Santa Barbara Head Coach Randy Moharram. “They are gritty, they’re tough.”

Kerhulas agreed with this sentiment.

“We brought it back to a tie break, so I’m glad that we were fighting,” Kerhulas said.

Moharram was also proud of the way his team played.

“We had been struggling in pre-conference play so it was nice to get our first win, and we needed it,” Moharram said. “I saw a lot of good things from our guys and they competed well.”

Due to some odd scheduling Pierce had not yet played any games this season, and has their out of conference games scheduled for later in the semester. Santa Barbara entered after having already played four out of conference games.

Lao Dong made his first appearance as head coach for Pierce after being an assistant for five years.

“Towards the end of doubles it was really close. I was really happy with that,” Dong said. “It is our first match. They are still learning.”

Pierce’s next game is at home on Thursday against Glendale at 2 p.m.

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