Vaqs cruise in first match

Channels Staff Report

Assistant Coach Dave Conway took over the role of head coach and led the City College women’s tennis team to a 6-3 victory over Santa Monica College Thursday.
In their first mattch, the Vaqueros were without head coach Kendyll Whiting, who was with the men’s team at Pierce College. But Conway filled the void with a calm persona and a smile of confidence.
“Don’t be tentative, go all out and see what happens,” Conway told his athletes before the matches started. Though Conway emphasized sportsmanship in his speech, he made sure that they still had enough passion to go out and win.
Court one was the site of the afternoon’s featured match, City College’s Ayako Nagai versus Masuai Hashimoto of Santa Monica.
“There is a different level of competition on court one,” said Conway. “But winning the other courts is what got us the overall win.”
Nagai’s combination of power and finesse caused her opponent to step back when receiving a serve, and to dive on the hard surface to stop a drop shot.
Nagai’s sprained right wrist started to bother her when she missed an easy over hand smash. But frustration was diluted with a gulp of water and a “nice and smooth” from coach Conway.
The fast-paced battle was the only match of the day to go three sets. Having already finished their matches, Nagai’s teammates gathered around the court and created a cheering section on their ace’s behalf.
“I didn’t let the wrist affect my game,” said Nagai, but she seemed worn out by the third set, and Hashimoto outlasted Nagai 6-4, 4-6, 2-6.
“We showed poise,” said Conway. “This team is only going to improve.”
-Channels Staff Report