Sac State women’s tennis buries rival UC Davis 6-1


Sacramento State tennis player Jennifer Ong returns a serve during a doubles match against UC Davis on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. 

Patricia Carpenter

Sacramento State women’s tennis (1-2) pulled out a huge 6-1 victory over causeway rival UC Davis (2-3) for the program’s first win of the season on Friday, Jan. 30 at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club.

Director of Tennis Bill Campbell said he could see the team’s progression in their performance today. 

“I thought the women played really well,” Campbell said. “You can see their improvement, especially the freshmen. They’re definitely playing better, and it makes a real difference having Daria [Savchenko] and Jennifer [Ong] back in the lineup.”

The match started out with the women losing their first point in the doubles (1-2), but the Hornets recovered quickly in singles by sweeping the Aggies 6-0.

Coach Dima Hrynashka addressed his team’s 0-3 doubles recorded and evaluated the women’s performance after the match.

“I was surprised a little bit with doubles and [those results] were not what I expected today,” Hrynashka said. “With singles they came back and showed what kind of tennis they can play. [Today] was mostly successful.”

The Hornets came out swinging in singles as sophomore Deimante Bulatovaite and Jennifer Ong –– formerly Nguyen –– shut down their opponents in quick fashion. In Ong’s first singles match at No. 6, she was able to retire Kamila Kecki 6-1, 6-3 to get the women’s first point. Bulatovaite defeated the Aggies’ Jessie Lee 6-2, 6-1 in position No. 3 to get the second singles win, putting them up 2-1.

Sophomore Alina Soltanici sealed the deal for Sac State as she won her first singles match of the season at position No. 1 to clinch the team’s win. She defeated UC Davis’ Layla Sanders 6-4, 6-4 in a close matchup between each program’s top players.

“I thought it was really important for [Soltanici] to win,” Campbell said. “She just started playing No. 1 and this was her third match in that position. She worked really hard and beat her [Sanders] in straight sets.”

Last year, Soltanici faced Sanders in position No. 2 and lost 2-6, 6-2, 5-7. Campbell said she’s made tremendous progress since that match and it was put on display in today’s performance.

Hrynashka said it was a good sign moving forward, being able to get their first victory in the spring and believes this will help the women in their upcoming matches.

“It’s important for them to start to feel that they can win in each match, each set and earn every point, so they can play with more confidence,” he said.

Juniors Ong and Daria Savchenko were back in the singles lineup for Sac State for the first time this season. This was Savchenko’s first appearance for the team this spring in both doubles and singles.

Savchenko, who is battling a shoulder injury, competed in doubles No. 3 with redshirt freshman Tori Trylovich. The women battled it out against the Aggies’ Kecki and Frederique Sleiffer and forced a tiebreaker, but ultimately fell 7-6 (10-8).

The junior was the only Hornet who didn’t win her match in straight sets. She dropped her first one 3-6 and recovered in her second set with a commanding 6-2 finish. It was a neck and neck matchup in the final set between the two players, but Savchenko was able to down Kristy Jorgensen 6-4.

In doubles, sophomore duo Bulatovaite and Soltanici played together for the first time since last season and captured the only win for the women. They defeated the Aggies’ Lani-Rae Green and Samantha Martino 6-2. In 2014, the two recorded the team’s second best doubles record at 8-2.

Olivia Boija and Anna-Maria Nau collected their first singles wins of the season. In position No. 4, Boija outlasted Sleiffer 6-4, 6-3 and Nau earned her first collegiate victory over UC Davis’ Green at 7-5, 7-5.

Boija and Ong finally dropped their first doubles match of the season at 6-1 when they moved up to position No. 1. In position No. 2 they are undefeated and have an overall record of 2-1.

Sac State open up a six match stretch on the road and will begin conference play on Feb. 13 against Eastern Washington University.

The women won’t return home until Feb. 27 in their match against Long Beach State.

“We’re playing some tough matches on the road,” Campbell said. “This will give us a good chance to knock off some ranked teams.”