Indian Wells, CA - Despite holding a 4-2 team lead at one time, Hope International needed a win in the final match to hold off Arizona Christian 5-4 in the GSAC Tournament on Wednesday. Freshman Sabrina-Lee Miller fought through leg cramps and held on to give Hope International the victory.
Beginning in doubles play, Miller teamed with Junior Caroline Houston to produce an 8-0 win in number one doubles. Senior Jeannette Rodriguez and Sophomore Jasmin Zaragoza won 8-3 in number two doubles. The Firestorm duo of Lea Souvigne and Tiffany Levin won the third doubles 8-5.
Up 2-1 after doubles, Houston was putting together a solid match against Arizona Christian's Brianna Lopez after building a 5-0 in the first set. Lopez started to have back problems and eventually had to retire to give Houston the win and the Royals a 3-1 advantage.
Souvigne brought Arizona Christian with one at 3-2 after beating Rodriguez 6-0 and 6-2 on the number three court.
Zaragoza dominated in the first set of her match against Jessica Trink winning 6-0. Zaragoza was up 5-3 before Trink tied the second set at 5-5. But Zaragoza won the last two games for the win and a 4-2 Hope International scoring edge.
After two close first sets, Arizona Christian closed out singles play on the fifth and sixth courts 6-0 to tie the team match at 4-4.
That left Miller and Arizona Christian's Taylor Ales to decide the overall team winner. Miller started out well and was up 3-1 before Ales won the final five games for the 6-3 first set win. Miller found herself up 3-1 again when leg cramps hit her in a big way. But after receiving medical treatment, Miller came back and held Ales back for the 6-3 second set win. In the third set, Miller jump out early and never looked back as she won 6-2 to give Hope International the win.
Head Coach Ryan Young commented, "We got off to a great start in doubles. Jasmin and Jeannette probably played the best match they've played all year and even though Becca and Alyssa lost, we had a lot of momentum going into singles. It was a great match to watch as both teams really left everything they had out on the court today. "
On Thursday, the Royals will continue their season as they face off against top-seeded Westmont at 12:00 pm at the impressive Indian Wells Tennis Garden. With the loss, the Firestorm end their season.