The College of the Redwoods women’s tennis team debuted on the North Coast on Friday afternoon, while also posting the program’s first-ever win.
After dropping their season opener on the road at American River on Tuesday, the Corsairs enjoyed a successful home opener and defeated Sac City College 9-0.
Two local players are leading the way on this year’s team, with Jasmine Pearson of Del Norte and Emily Laursen of Fortuna each posting a pair of victories on Friday.
Laursen got the better of Sac City’s Selena Enriquez, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 2 Singles, while Pearson took the victory at No. 1 singles after Jillian Huey was forced to retire because of injury early in the match.
The CR duo also combined to win at No. 1 doubles, 8-2.
“I’m super proud of the girls, they did a great job,” head coach Jason Maki said of his players. “They executed the game plan, played some high percentage tennis and were aggressive when it was called for.”
Maki has a total of seven women on the team, but only Pearson and Laursen have any previous experience in the sport.
Still, with the newcomers coming along nicely, the coach believes the foundation is in place to help build the program for the future.
“CR’s never had a women’s tennis team in the history of the school, so this is a trailblazing team,” he said. “My expectations for this year is we’re looking to build more than anything, but with our top two we have the ability to do some damage this year.”
CR’s Sharon Diaz and Bel Clark took the No. 2 doubles match against Sac City, 8-1, with each of them also winning their singles matches.
Diaz defeated Sanuir Kaur, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 3, while Clark beat Helena Gonzalez, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 4.
The Corsairs also won by forfeit at Nos. 5 and 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.
The team has only been practicing together since late January and jumped right into conference play with a 9-0 loss at American River earlier in the week.
But both Pearson and Laursen have each impressed at some preseason tournaments and faced some tough competition to get them ready for the season.
The Corsairs, who compete in the Big 8 North Conference and will play at Shasta College on Tuesday.
This year’s team also features Regina Ricketson, Graciela Aguilera and Laysha Rodriquez.