May 27, 2017

Women’s tennis team edged 4-3 by Cal Poly

Sacramento State freshman Sofia Gulnova forehands the ball against Cal Poly Thursday at the Campus Tennis Courts. (Photo by Raul Hernandez)

The Sacramento State women’s tennis team fell to the visiting Cal Poly Mustangs, 4-3, for its second straight loss Thursday at the Campus Tennis Courts.

The match began with the doubles round as the No. 1 duo of freshman Sofia Gulnova and junior Ana Loaiza Esquivias trailed 4-0 against Cal Poly’s Molly Reed and Seriana Saltzen. Gulnova and Loaiza were not able to overcome the deficit and fell 6-2.

The matchup at No. 3 between Sac State (8-12, 6-2 Big Sky Conference) freshman Carolina Chernyetsky and sophomore Sofia Wicker featured a similar slow start as the Hornets trailed 4-1 against Celine Gruaz and Louise Oxnevad before losing 6-1.

Senior Andie Mouzes and freshman Karina Vyrlan kept the Hornets from being swept after defeating Abigail Bacharach and Susanne Boyden 6-1, but the Mustangs (2-11, 0-3 Big West Conference) still took a 1-0 team lead.

Sac State began singles competition with five of its six players losing their first set matches.

Chernyetsky suffered the first loss for the Hornets as she fell (6-1, 6-2) to Gruaz at the No. 5 spot. Wicker also lost in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) against Reed at No. 4 to bring the Hornets’ deficit to 3-0, which put Cal Poly one win away from clinching a team win.

Gulnova, who was the lone Hornet to win her first-set match, finished off Bacharach with straight-set (6-2, 7-5) victories at No. 6. Vyrlan then bounced back after losing the first set (6-4) against Saltzen with 6-1 and 6-2 triumphs at No. 2 to pull Sac State within one team point, 3-2.

However, Mouzes couldn’t keep up with Oxnevad at No. 3 in two sets that both went into tiebreakers — 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) — which clinched a team victory for Cal Poly, 4-2.

Sacramento State junior Ana Loaiza Esquivias prepares to receive the serve against Cal Poly Thursday at the Campus Tennis Courts. Loaiza won her fourth Big Sky Player of the Week honor Tuesday. (Photo by Raul Hernandez)

Despite a guaranteed team victory for Cal Poly, the match between Boyden and the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week, Loaiza, carried on. Loaiza, who lost the first set 6-2, came back with a 7-6 (4) tiebreaker win in set two and a 7-5 clincher against Boyden to improve her No. 1 singles record to 15-3.

“We know (Sacramento is) a tough team, but we were competitive and we came out on top today,” Cal Poly coach Katharina Winterhalter said.

Sac State will be on the road for its next three matches at Idaho (April 1), Eastern Washington (April 2) and Cal (April 5) before returning to the Campus Tennis Courts April 7 against Long Beach State.

Additional reporting by Will Moon

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Alec Romero

Alec Romero is a fourth year student at Sacramento State where he is majoring in communication studies with intended minors in journalism and marketing. Alec joined the State Hornet spring 2017 but prior, he was a sports writer for his high school magazine Shark Attack at Santiago High School in Corona, California. You might have also heard Alec on KSSU, Sac State's student-run radio station where he does a weekly show every Tuesday called The Weekly Sports Report. Currently, Alec is an intern at ESPN Radio 1320. He wants to continue sports writing after college or move into internal professional sports operations such as radio producing, marketing or media relations.

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