Being short a player didn’t affect Westminster’s performance Thursday against Stephens.
Bringing five players instead of the allotted six, the Blue Jays women’s tennis team overcame two forfeited matches to defeat the Stars 7-2.
“I knew it meant that we had to play well because we forfeited those two spots,” Westminster coach Jeff Borengasser said. “But I wasn’t worried about how they would play.”
Westminster was without Caralee Baker, who has the team’s best singles record, because of academic obligations. The Stars received victories in a doubles and singles match due to Baker’s absence.
The Blue Jays’ Elizabeth Bentz, Kelly Lewis, Trisha Peplinski and Jennifer Winslow all extended their singles winning streaks to four matches.
Despite the losses, Stephens coach Lori Towle did not complain.
“I was pleased with the singles and the intensity that they showed,” Towle said. “The singles played much better.”
The Westminster doubles teams of Joanna Carpenter and Bentz and Winslow and Peplinski also won their matches.
“For doubles, it’s just a matter of being more confident and aggressive,” Towle said. “Doubles were a little tentative.”
The Stars (0-4) were familiar with their opponent. Stephens’ most recent match was March 14 against Westminster.
“What we focused on was adding different dimensions to our game,” Towle said, “adding a certain volley and being aggressive.”
Towle said she thought her team played better the second time around.
“The first time was at the beginning of our season and this time, they’ve had time to improve and they definitely showed improvement,” Towle said. “Once you’ve seen a team you know their strengths and weaknesses and you can prepare ahead of time for what you’re about to see.”
Borengasser said that he also noticed some differences in Stephens’ play.
“I thought their No. 1 doubles team (Brittany Stevens and Jaclyn Cook) in particular played really well,” Borengasser said. “From last year to this, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement. They come out and work hard and make us play well.”
The victory extended Westminster’s (8-1) winning streak to four matches.
The Stars travel to Fulton to play Blackburn College on Saturday.