MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's tennis team has prepared for the West Coast Conference season by playing on one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the country.
On Friday, that experience turned into a big time win against a very good opponent.
Saint Mary's captured the doubles point and then got singles wins from Jenny Jullien, Jade Frampton and Danielle Flores to earn a hard-fought 4-3 win over No. 30-ranked Texas Tech in the Gaels' first home dual match of the season.
Having not played competitive matches in Moraga since October, Saint Mary's (4-5) came out of the gate ready to go Friday. An 8-4 win by Flores and Jamie Pawid at No. 3 got the action started, but Texas Tech (9-5) evened the score with a win at No. 2.
That left the first point of the day hanging on court one and the team of Jullien and Parminder Kaur needed a tie-breaker to decide their match against Rashmi Teltumbde and and Nikki Sanders. Jullien and Kaur pulled it out, winning 8-5 to give the Gaels the lead going into singles play.
Strong doubles play gave the Gaels the early advantage, but it was a pair of quick singles wins that really turned the momentum in Saint Mary's favor. It started at the bottom of the lineup, as Frampton scored a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sam Czarniak Rego to put the Gaels up 2-0.
Next to finish was action on court one, where No. 8-ranked Jullien made quick work of Rashmi Teltumbde with a 6-3, 6-3 win to put the Gaels up 3-0. Jullien's win left the Gaels looking for just one more win to pick up an important victory.
Texas Tech got one back with a win at No. 4, but Saint Mary's had the answer it needed on court two. Flores dropped the first set at love in her match against Kenna Kilgo, but rallied to take the second 6-4 and force a decisive third. The San Diego, Calif. native took advantage of the opportunity, winning the third 6-4 and giving Saint Mary's the point it needed to clinch the match.
The Red Raiders closed the match out with wins at No. 3 and 5 but with the match already decided, Saint Mary's walked away with the victory. Next up for the Gaels is a 10:30 a.m. match against Tulane on Sunday. That will be the last match before Saint Mary's begins conference play as the Gaels visit San Diego on March 16.