INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - On a sizzling day in Indian Wells, No. 2-seeded (No. 11-ranked) Westmont Women's Tennis (11-11) had their racquets a blaze en route to a resolute 5-0 Golden State Athletic Conference Women's Tournament Semifinals victory over no. 3-seeded (No. 14) Concordia (8-11).
With the win, the Lady Warriors are now poised to face the conference's top seed, ninth-ranked Vanguard (15-8), in tomorrow's championship match, starting at 9 a.m.
The day began with a maroon and white sweep of doubles competition. To commence the action, Westmont's No. 3 pair, composed of Emily Keach and Grace Davis, made quick work of Caitlyn Uzzi and Kristin Lampe, winning 8-2.
Next, the Stratman sisters, eighth-ranked* Lauren and Kate, defeated the Eagles' ninth-ranked duo of Mona Piller and Ulrike Hahn 8-5 on the No. 1 court. Lastly, 16th-ranked Jessica Cedillo and Haley Strandness wrapped up team play by dropping 18th-ranked Summer Beaird and Ellie Johnson 8-6 at No. 2.
"We always challenge ourselves to go 3-0 in doubles," commented Westmont head coach Kendyll McManigal. "Even though that's something we normally struggle with, the team came out fired up and ready to dictate the action."
The elder Stratman, sixth-ranked Lauren, stretched the match score to 4-0 after garnering 12-straight games at No. 1 singles to blank (#37) Piller 6-0, 6-0. The sophomore transfer from Columbia now stands at 19-2 in individual competition on the year.
Westmont's invitation to the finals was requisitioned by Keach. The junior who hails from Alpine outpaced Lampe 6-1, 6-3, on the No. 6 court to finalize the Warriors' third contest against the Lions of the 2014 campaign.
For the second straight year, the two sides will meet in the final match of the GSAC Women's Tournament.
Last season, Westmont took the crown, winning 5-1 to complete a season sweep of the Lions. Conversely, the crew from Costa Mesa topped the Santa Barbarians back on March 24 by a score of 5-3, as well as 5-4 on March 29, and will be looking to spoil Westmont's pursuit of another postseason title with an unspoiled stretch of their own.
"Putting all the previous history aside, we just don't want to lose three-straight matches to Vanguard," remarked a forthright McManigal. "We'll need the same level of composure and focus to win the day again."