The Fullerton women’s tennis team faced off against Saddleback on Tuesday, winning the match by default of Saddleback not having enough players.

Saddleback had only two players available, and while a doubles and two singles matches were played, Fullerton won despite the result of those matches.

The usual rules for the tennis matches are three doubles matches are played simultaneously, followed by six singles matches. Each match is worth one point and the first school to five wins.

It was the Hornet’s first competitive match of the season after both matches against Irvine Valley were cancelled last week due to a positive COVID test from one of Irvine Valley’s players.

Ashley Castro is in mid-swing during her doubles match with partner Haena So.

Ashley Castro is in mid-swing during her doubles match with partner Haena So. Photo credit: Will Hollon

In the doubles match played by Ashley Castro and Haena So, Saddleback won two out of the first three games, giving a 2-1 lead.

Castro and So battled back and won seven straight games to win the doubles match 8-2.

“This was our first match. I think everyone was really nervous and anxious. It took us a while to get settled back on the court, but I think everyone enjoyed being back,” So said.

After the doubles match, Fullerton played two singles matches.

Ashley Fabella and Suphia Sidiqui each played one set, fighting hard but in the end losing their own individual set 6-2.

Jeanelle Canal is in mid-swing while Ashley Fabella plays her own singles match.

Jeanelle Canal is in mid-swing while Ashley Fabella plays her own singles match. Photo credit: Will Hollon

Jeanelle Canal got behind in her singles match with Saddleback starting off with a 3-0 lead. Canal was able to get a game but lost 6-1.

In the second set, Canal won the first game but Saddleback fought back, getting a 3-2 lead.

After a lot of back and forth Saddleback led 5-4 and ended up winning the second set with a score of 6-4.

Haena So gets ready to return a ball as Ashley Castro stays ready near the net.

Haena So gets ready to return a ball as Ashley Castro stays ready near the net. Photo credit: Will Hollon

It felt “surreal” to compete again, said Yolanda Duron, the Hornets head Tennis coach.

“I’m happy that we were able to come out and play. Everyone on my team was able to play, so I’m really happy with that,” Duron said.

Duron admitted that her team started slow but is optimistic going forward.

Jeanelle Canal hitting a ball during a rally in her singles match.

Jeanelle Canal hitting a ball during a rally in her singles match. Photo credit: Will Hollon

“I think they started nervous, but it was a good first match. This allows them to get their jitters out, and we’ll get stronger moving forward,” Duron noted.

The women’s team will compete at Saddleback on Thursday, while the men’s team will face off at home on Thursday against Saddleback’s men’s team at 2 p.m.

Author profile

Will Hollon (He/Him) is a journalism and communications major from Fullerton, CA. In his free time, he likes to read and exercise.