Ventura serves up third loss in a row

Ben Westrup

The Vaqs were soundly defeated Thursday 9-0 by Ventura College for their third loss of the season.

This year’s team is young and, for the most part, inexperienced. But first-year coach Don Lowry believes that they can improve.

“We’re slow getting out of the starting gate this year,” said Lowry. “We need to spend some time chasing out the gremlins.”

Their team’s inexperience has been compounded by injuries to their top two singles players. Ivo Pitanguy had surgery to have his appendix removed this past week, and Mattias Neuman had suffered from a groin injury that kept him incapacitated until this last match.

Neuman played doubles against Ventura, but he said it might have been a poor decision because he is not at full strength yet.

“I’m still suffering from my injury. I rushed my return a little and it proved to not be the best idea,” Neuman said. “If I had been at full strength, we might have won (our doubles match).”

Even though they didn’t win a single match, Neuman said they acquitted themselves well as a team.

“I think Ventura could be the best team in the league. Tim (Binmoeller) played his singles match well, pushing his guy on a few sets,” said Neuman.

Lowry’s goals for his team are to get back to full strength and get a few more matches under their belt.

“They’re getting an understanding of what it takes to compete at this level.” said Lowry.

So far this season, the Vaqueros have yet to defeat an opponent. They lost their first match to Glendale 9-0, and were beaten by Bakersfield College 8-1 in their previous match.

But Lowry has hope for this team that first looked like a “ragtag P.E. class” before the start of the season.

“The second half of the season we’ll be a lot more solid,” said Lowry.