SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The opening day for the California Lutheran men's tennis team came down to the wire as the Kingsmen fell to Westmont College, the No. 14 team in NAIA, by a score of 5-4 Tuesday afternoon at the Abott Tennis Courts.
The Kingsmen crusied through the singles competition, winning four of the six, but came up short in doubles play and lost all three.
The match started with singles play. Braaten got the Kingsmen on track as he defeated Christian Mathis in the No. 1 spot (6-2, 6-3). Kashani made it 2-0 as he knocked off Jordan Strandness in the No. 4 spot (6-3, 4-6, 6-4).
Westmont cut the lead to 2-1 as Miles Hale beat Lucas Tilly in the No. 3 spot (7-5, 6-4). Austin Lee then tied the match for the Warriors as he defeated Sebastian Ariza in the No. 6 spot (2-6, 6-2, 6-4).
The final two singles competitors for the Kingsmen won their spots and gave the Violet and Gold a 4-2 lead. Sulahain defeated Corey Stephens in the No. 5 spot (6-4, 6-4), while Gawrit knocked off John T. Joens in the No 2 spot (7-5, 7-6 (7-3)).
The doubles competition was next. The first point was scored in the No. 2 spot as Westmont's Mathis and Lee defeated Tilly and Andrew Tufenkian (8-1). In the No. 1 spot, Westmont's Joens and Hale knocked off Braten and Kashani (8-1) to tie the match at 4-4. The Warriors won the match at 5-4 as Strandness and Corey Stephens beat Gawrit and Sulahian (8-4).
The Kingsmen have their season opener next as CLU welcomes UC Santa Cruz to Thousand Oaks, Calif., Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Box Score: WC 5, CLU 4
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director