PC's Claire Nuno

Porterville College's Claire Nuno serves the ball, Friday, March 1, 2019 during a set in the No. 1 match against the College of Sequoias at Porterville College. Nuno won the match 6-1, 6-1.

PC bests COS 5-2 for victory

Women’s tennis is back at Porterville College and the Lady Pirates picked up their first conference win with a 5-2 victory over the College of Sequoias in Friday’s Big 8 South Conference match at home.

The Giants (2-8, 1-4 B8SC) defaulted on both the No. 3 double’s and No. 6 single’s matches due to a lack of players, giving the Pirates (2-3, 1-2 B8SC) an automatic 2-0 lead. But Porterville defeated COS in three of five matches that were completed.

“I’m very pleased with the team,” PC head coach Kurt Nielsen. “[We have] five former No. 1s or No. 2s, so they’re competing every match.”

Getting the Pirates their first win in doubles was the No. 1 duo of Claire Nuno and Eileen Counihan-Rooney, who defeated their opponents 8-3 for the win. On the No. 2 court, Raquel Calo and Neelam Aziz were down 3-0 but rallied back to trail just 5-4. The two picked up one more game but fell 8-6 to their COS opponents.

In singles, Nuno played strong for a dominating 6-1, 6-1 win in the No. 1 match. No. 4 Viviana Meza also had a good outing with a 6-3, 6-0 win but Calo lost the No. 3 match 6-1, 6-1.

Rain began falling towards the end of the competition while No. 2 Counihan-Rooney and No. 5 Aziz were still playing. Counihan-Rooney advocated to keep playing the match but PC athletic director, Joe Cascio, called for an end to the matches due to the slickness of the courts. Counihan-Rooney won her first set 6-3 and was up 4-2 in the second set. Aziz had won the first set 6-1 and was down 2-1 in the second.

After coming off a 5-4 loss at home to previously undefeated Bakersfield (7-1) last week, and picking up this win, Nielsen said he believes his all-freshmen team is starting the season off well.

“The matches that we’ve lost, we’ve been very competitive,” Nielsen said. “The Bakersfield College one was fantastic. Lost to them 5-4. And this was a rivalry match, and even though they’re missing a couple ... it’s a little bit tainted. We only won 3-2 in matches that we finished but we were ahead in two matches.”

On the rest of the conference, Nielsen said, “Fresno City I heard is very strong. They beat Modesto 5-4, who beat us. So they may be the favorites, they and Modesto, the two favorites.”

The Pirates continue conference play with home matches against undefeated Fresno City (8-0, 4-0 B8SC) on Tuesday and another at home Thursday against Sacramento City (0-4, 0-4 B8SC). 

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