By Pablo Reyes
The Rams dropped the ball against the Chabot College Gladiators on March 1, losing the tennis meet 3-7.
The unusually warm March day seemed it would favor City College. The Rams had the home-court advantage and the team looked strong in warm-ups as they perfected their backhands and forehands, slices and serves.
It looked as though the Rams were poised to make short work of the Gladiators. But looks can be deceiving.
“I just took a couple of deep breaths and knew I had to battle. I didn’t want this match to go into a third set.”
The only competitive doubles contest of the day was the first-ranked pair of Ram sophomores Vivian Dao and Emma Strope, which lived up to its top billing. Dao and Strope jumped to an early lead of 5-3 over Chabot’s Gladiators, but it was a battle to the bitter end.
If Dao and Strope failed to answer the Gladiators’ barrage, the match would become tied up with all the momentum Chabot’s favor. In the end that’s exactly what happened, with City College failing to win any of their doubles games against Chabot.
It was a demoralizing 0-8 shutout for the Ram’s second and third-seeded teams. City College needed to win this match to have any hope of being victorious at the end of the day.
The ninth set turned out to be key for the number-one-seeded match. The Rams made their stand and came out on top of long rallies to take the game and the next two to win their only match of the doubles portion, 8-4.
In the singles competition, it was pivotal for the lower-seeded players to be victorious if they wanted to have any shot at winning the overall match against Chabot.
Much to the chagrin of Rams supporters, the fourth through sixth seeded matches continued with an ugly streak of the Rams getting shut out. City College lost the fourth, fifth and sixth seeded matches with two of them ending in a 0-6 losses.
The first and second seeded singles matches ended up being the highlights of the day. Vivian Dao, the Rams’ number one singles player, had a firm grasp in her top seeded singles match against Melissa Young of Chabot College.
The second set had a couple of sticky moments but Dao persevered. “I just took a couple of deep breaths and knew I had to battle. I didn’t want this match to go into a third set,” Dao said. “I had to dig deep and take advantage of my opportunity to win this match.”
Dao tied the second set at four games each and went on to take the match in two straight sets, 6-4 and 7-5.
Rams’ second seed Emma Stoep wasn’t at fortunate, losing her match 1-6, 3-6. The final score for the day was City College three, Chabot seven.
The Rams have three victories and five defeats this season. Hopefully they can parlay this loss and turn their season around.
The Rams will face their next opponent, Cabrillo College, at home court on March 11.
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