Buyse sisters lead Vaqueros to a team sweep against Santa Monica

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Kevin Ham

Joica Buyse serves the ball as her sister Jamaica Buyse waits at the net during a doubles match against Santa Monica College Corsairs at Pershing Park on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Buyse twins won their match 8-1 and the Vaqueros swept the Corsairs 9-0.

Max Mullins, Sports Editor

The players in the number two doubles duo for the City College women’s tennis team expertly anticipated each other’s movements on the court Tuesday at Pershing Park. They looked like they had been playing with each other their whole lives.

There’s a reason their chemistry is so good, and it’s because they have played together their entire lives. The Buyse sisters’ communication and focus helped set the tone for a nine to zero team sweep of Santa Monica College.

“I’ve never played doubles with anyone else,” said Joica Buyse, referring to her partner and twin Jamaica.

“We felt each other pretty well,” Jamaica added.

The pair beat Santa Monica’s Sophie Ivens and Maya Brandis eight games to one, but they were not the only doubles team that dominated.

Kelly Coulson and Maura Mannix, who have been partners since high school, routed the visitors’ number one doubles team eight to zero. 

“We played really strong,” Coulson said. “We were steady and focused.”

They agreed that their experience together gives them an edge, and Mannix explained why it’s important that they work well together. 

“I know what she can get, she knows what I can get,” she said.

The number three duo of Sydney Paillon and Ashley Allen tacked on another eight to one victory.

Head Coach Christina Klein said that having two doubles teams with so much experience as partners is something she has never experienced in her time coaching.

“It’s a gift,” she said.

A sweep of the doubles matches meant that the team only needed to win two of the six singles matches to go home with a victory, but the Vaqueros did not settle for a narrow win. They went on to win all six games, and Santa Monica failed to claim a single set in the blowout. 

One of the tightest matches was Jamaica Buyse’s victory over Kiara Gulati. The first set was a hard-fought six to four win, with several games that felt endless. 

Buyse, who said she was fighting through an abdominal strain, took control in the second set, ending the match with a six to zero win.

Klein said that her team was expecting a tough match, and was happy with how they started.

“I was impressed with their overall demeanor, how ready they were,” she said. “They were aggressive across the board and never let up.”

She listed Jamaica Buyse and Mannix as players who stood out to her. 

Mannix bounced back from a loss against Orange Coast College last Friday to beat Ivens in straight sets, six to two and six to four.

The Vaqueros have been on a tear since a narrow season-opening loss, beating four straight teams and losing only three of their 35 matches in that span. They sit at 4-1, with a 3-0 conference record. 

City College will be back in action on Thursday on the road against Canyons before returning home to face Glendale on Tuesday, Feb. 18.