The Sonoma State University women’s tennis team headed to Surprise, AZ over the weekend ready to end the season on a high note. Sonoma, the nationally ranked No. 17 team, took fifth place in the PacWest Championship. This would be the last time four seniors from Sonoma State, Karlee Budge, Jordyn Kearney, Kaitlyn Haithcock and Hillary Fazekas would suit up as Seawolves.
“There is so much I will miss about playing at Sonoma,” Kearney said, “but most importantly my team and the competition. I love competing and having a connection to my team and coaches. This team is unlike so many that I have seen and it was a true blessing to be a part of and I will truly miss it. Where it goes from here is unknown, but I will most definitely keep playing.”
The Seawolves kicked off the PacWest first round on Wednesday playing the Holy Names Hawks. Sonoma dominated the Hawks and won 5-0. On Thursday, Sonoma played Hawaii Pacific in the PAC West quarterfinals and lost 5-1. Fortunately, the Seawolves turned things around on Friday and were victorious over Point Loma in the PAC West consolation semifinal match 5-2.
On Saturday afternoon, Sonoma took on Azusa Pacific in hopes of taking fifth place in the PAC West Conference Championship. The Seawolves’ lineup consisted of Jensyn Warren, Amanda Zuidema, Haithcock, Kearney, Jenna DeTurk, Katherine Long and Fazekas.
In the doubles competition, Sonoma State came prepared to fight and won two out of the three matches. The Seawolves got off to a rocky start with Azusa’s Valeriia Kashina and Jackie Resler defeating Sonoma’s duo Fazekas and Long, 8-5. Fortunately, Zuidema and DeTurk turned things around for the Seawolves and took down Kara Hinton and Tatiana Betancourt 8-6. Warren and Kearney kept the pressure on and finished the last doubles match against Azusa’s Natalie Johnson and Lisa Schneider 9-8, 7-2.
Even with Sonoma being up 2-1 after the doubles competition over the Azusa Cougars, the Seawolves knew the singles competition would not be easy. The Cougars’ Kashina took down Haithcock 6-0, 6-4, tying up the score 2-2. Sonoma State’s Zuidema defeated Schneider with an outcome of 6-2, 6-2. Warren triumphantly followed, beating Johnson 6-3, 6-3. Azusa’s Hinton defeated Kearney 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. With two matches to go, Long battled Jourdan Jefferson for a successful win for the Seawolves 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Long’s win sealed the victory for Sonoma State 5-2. The final match with Resler and DeTurk went unfinished, as the Seawolves had secured fifth place in the championship over the Cougars.
“It felt amazing that we ended on such a great note. I could not be more proud of my team for all of our hard work.Beating Azusa as our last match was the cherry on top of an amazing season,” Kearney said.
Overall, Sonoma State had a solid season as they finished 14-7 and dominated their home court matches, ending 6-1. The team will miss the four seniors, but Sonoma State will have seven returning players with a strong team chemistry. With the young talent the Seawolves have in their repertoire, Sonoma has a bright future as they look forward to coming back stronger than ever next season.