IMPERIAL – The Imperial Valley College (IVC) Lady Arabs hit home court in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Tennis showdown Thursday against the San Jacinto Junior College Eagles, ending with a late evening final match between top seeded singles that decided the 5-4 Eagle win.
In the opening round, three pro-set (first to eight games by a margin of two) doubles matches ran simultaneously as the Lady Arabs’ number one doubles team of Gracie Favela and Jackie Marquez over- powered San Jacinto’s number one doubles team 8-6.
Natalia Garcia and Priscila Jaramillo were defeated in the number two doubles matchup 3-8 and the number three tandem of Jennica Vega and Gysandra Preciado dominated their set by a score of 8-3.
At the conclusion of the doubles round, the Lady Arabs were leading the Eagles 2-1 after winning two of three initial matches in the opening wave of play.
As the singles round commenced, Precadio went down one game to six in the first set and only managed to take four of six in the second as she lost her singles contest 1-6 and 4-6.
Jaramillo did not let a 6-1 losing effort in her first set taint her resiliency as she came back to keep it close in the second, but eventually fell 7-5.
Vega pulled out the 7-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-8 victory to score for IVC in a game that came down to a third set 10-6 tie breaker.
After losing the first set, Garcia rallied back to win the second and third for the comeback 1-6, 6-2, 7-6, 7-3 victory.
As the dust settled and the matches concluded, the score stood at an even 4-4. San Jacinto made up ground during the singles round taking three of five after being down 2-1.
The feature matchup of the night was between the leagues over all number three singles player of IVC’s Gracie Favela and Mount San Jacinto’s number two-ranked Stacy Klink.
“It came down to the last match,” said Mike Palacio, Jr. IVC women’s head tennis coach. “Number ones playing into the night was a nail-biter.”
Favela had a slow start as she conceded a loss in the first set. The ability to break Klink’s service was crucial for Favela in the second as she evened up the match at two sets a piece. The third set was neck and neck, however, Klink prevailed in the final set to claim the win and score the go-ahead point to give the Eagles the 5-4 road win over the Lady Arabs.
With an overall record of 3-5, and a league standing of 3-3, the Lady Arabs will next travel to Grossmont to face the Griffins at 2 p.m. March 14.