The Sacramento State women’s tennis team snapped a seven-game skid after splitting Saturday’s doubleheader with a 6-1 win over Southern Utah at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center.
Though Sac State coach Clarisse Baca thought the Hornets would finish the day with a pair of wins over Northern Arizona and the Thunderbirds, she was smiling after the second game when the team won its first match since Jan. 20.
“I don’t think we’ve lost against Northern Arizona in the last 15 years at home, so it’s kind of painful,” Baca said. “But it feels finally good to win — it’s good for (the players’) motivation and for their confidence.”
Northern Arizona (2-2, 1-0 Big Sky) handed Sac State (2-7, 1-1 Big Sky) its first conference loss with a 4-3 defeat after the Lumberjacks opened competition with a doubles sweep.
The Hornets dropped the first doubles match as Northern Arizona senior Blanka Szavay and freshman Chiara Tomasetti collected a 6-1 victory in the No. 1 spot over junior Ana Loaiza Esquivias and freshman Karina Vyrlan.
Seniors Marta Lewandowska and Hailey Rochin came from behind to claim No. 3 with a 7-5 tiebreaker win over sophomore Sofia Wicker and freshman Sofia Gulnova.
Senior Andie Mouzes and redshirt freshman Carolina Chernyetsky trailed 6-5 in the No. 2 spot against sophomore Hanneke Lodewijks and freshman Brandy Walker before Walker’s serve hit the net and tied the match at six apiece.
Minutes later, Lodewijks tapped a shot gently over the net and just out of Chernyetsky’s reach to seal the duo’s 7-6 (8-6) tiebreaker win and the doubles sweep.
“I think it all came down in the end to doubles,” Northern Arizona coach Ki Kroll said. “I don’t know if we fought a little harder, but we just pulled things together a little bit at the very end — we stepped it up and we kept the energy up high.”
Sac State had not won a doubles point since the spring season opener, but the Hornets topped Southern Utah (1-5, 0-1 Big Sky) 2-1 to start the second match of the day.
Loaiza and Vyrlan made short work of juniors Mikala Lowrance and Teresa De Enrique Schmidt in the No. 1 spot with a 6-1 win. After Mouzes and Chernyetsky lost the No. 2 doubles match to senior Evgenia Marushko and junior Laura Martin Lozano 6-3, Wicker and Gulnova muscled a 6-3 victory over sophomore Charity Sagiao and freshman Cloe Stocking.
The Hornets claimed five of the six singles matches, led by Loaiza, who beat Marushko 6-2, 6-0 for a win at No. 1 and improved her singles record to 6-1 this season.
Wicker — who had not won a singles match since facing USF in January — beat Sagiao 6-1, 6-2 for her second win of the day following a three-set win over Northern Arizona.
After winning her first set 6-4, Vyrlan came within one point of winning the singles match over Lowrance before the Lumberjack junior won 7-5 to force a tiebreaker round and earn a 10-6 win.
Sac State has a bye next weekend but will return to competition March 4, hosting another doubleheader against Montana (10 a.m.) and Montana State (3 p.m.) at the Campus Tennis Courts.
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