April 29, 2017

Hornets upended 4-3 by Long Beach State on senior day

Sacramento State junior Ana Loaiza Esquivias backhands the ball during a singles match against Long Beach State Friday at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center. (Photo by Matthew Dyer)

After losing four straight singles matches, the Sacramento State women’s tennis team fell short 4-3 to the Long Beach State 49ers to spoil the Hornets’ senior-day celebration.

With rain pouring throughout the day, the match was relocated to the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in Gold River.

After Sac State (9-15, 7-3 Big Sky Conference) coach Clarisse Baca honored seniors Andie Mouzes, Alina Soltanici and Deimante Bulatovaite in a brief ceremony, the Hornets claimed the doubles point behind the duos of junior Ana Loaiza Esquivias and freshman Sofia Gulnova at the No. 1 spot, and sophomore Sofia Wicker and Carolina Chernyetsky at No. 3.

After Long Beach (14-4, 4-1 Big West Conference) junior Lena Pacholski and senior Laura Eales came back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead, Loaiza and Gulnova held on for a 6-4 victory. Wicker and Chernyetsky started with a 2-1 deficit, but took control of the match to secure a 6-2 win.

Mouzes and freshman Karina Vyrlan trailed 5-4 in the No. 2 doubles match to junior Maeva Razakasoa and senior Julie Gerard before Sac State won the doubles point, leaving the match unfinished.

The 49ers dominated singles play, as the Hornets failed to win a singles match or force any third sets.

“Long Beach has a good team but I think we could’ve won this match,” Loaiza said. “We weren’t completely ready to play singles. We also have had a tough season, (with) so many matches in a row, and we’re tired but I think we definitely could have (competed) a little bit more.”

Loaiza was the only Hornet to score more than 3 points in a set, but the No. 1 singles match went unfinished with Razakasoa holding a 4-3 lead after taking the first set 6-3.

While Baca said after the game that she was impressed with Sac State’s performance in doubles, she said the team was plagued with many of the same issues it has faced all season in singles play.

“It was one of the best doubles that I’ve seen everybody play at the same time,” Baca said. “(In singles) we’re playing too much through the middle — we have to move our opponents — we have to control the point better to be able to win more matches.”

As the only senior to play on senior day, Mouzes lost in the No. 3 spot to Pacholski 6-3, 6-1. Despite the numbers, Baca said she has been proud of Mouzes’ play all season.

“Even though her record doesn’t reflect how well she played, last year she played five and six and this year she played three and four — that’s a big chunk of difference in one year,” Baca said.

Next week the Hornets will travel to Oregon to play its final two games of the season, facing Portland State April 15 at 1 p.m. and the University of Portland April 16 at 10 a.m.

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Will Moon

Will Moon is a junior at Sacramento State, where he is majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology. He enjoys writing about sports, music, politics and anything else he finds interesting. Though 10 years feel like a lifetime away, Will hopes one day he’ll be writing for a major publication and chatting with fascinating people. One of Will’s favorite hobbies is playing drums and he wishes he could play more often these days. He can be reached at [email protected]

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