Hornets’ women’s tennis sweeps Idaho State 7-0, downs Northern Arizona 6-1

Patricia Carpenter

After losing their Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking, Sacramento State women’s tennis came out blazing in their doubleheader against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks and the Idaho State Bengals, dropping only one point the entire day.

“We knew this doubleheader was going to be like last week’s one, the first [team] would be better, but our coach [DIma Hrynashka] told us at the very beginning we should not repeat last week’s mistakes,” said Hornets’ No. 1 player Alina Soltanici. “Last week it was pretty hard and tough for us. I think it went pretty well [today]. We finished pretty early and most of us played fast.”

The Hornets downed the Lumberjacks 6-1 and their only loss came when Hornets’ junior captain Olivia Boija had an asthma attack during her match against NAU’s Jordan Denesik. Boija lost 3-6, 5-7 after returning from an illness that sidelined her from last weekend’s contests.

Their feats put them at 10-0 in conference and 15-9 overall. They are the only undefeated team in the Big Sky Conference with University of Idaho trailing them in second place (10-7, 7-1 Big Sky).

Sophomore Deimante Bulatovaite said losing their ranking was tough, but the women are confident they can regain it back in the near future.

“I think it’s really good that we got our rank, and we got motivation with that as well,” Bulatovaite said. “I don’t think we should it brought us down that we lost our ranking because we did pretty well in our overall matches and we’re doing well in conference matches. I think we will be back in the rankings.”

NAU was successful in pushing Sac State’s No. 1 and 3 players to a third set and forced a tiebreaker in No. 2 singles. Despite the Lumberjacks’ effort, the Hornets won all three matches effortlessly.

In No. 1 singles, Soltanici moved to 12-10 with her 6-0, 5-7, 6-3 win over the Lumberjacks’ Johanna Vang. Anna Loaiza Esquivias dispatched her NAU opponent 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 in No. 3 and Bulatovaite secured Sac State’s victory in No. 2, downing Hailey Rochin 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

The women collected the doubles point in both competitions at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, sweeping NAU and Idaho State in each set. That feat puts the Hornets at 36-30 in doubles this year.

Boija did not return to the singles lineup in the women’s 7-0 win over the Bengals; however, she did compete with Jennifer Ong in doubles position No. 1, where both junior captains overpowered Kasey Bacon and Marian Tangarife 6-2. Together they moved up to 11-7 overall and 6-6 in No. 1.

Ong dropped out of singles and Tori Trylovich replaced her in position No. 6 for the Hornets. Trylovich’s match was the last to finish after she climbed out of a 1-4 deficit in her first set to win 6-4. In her second set she was unsuccessful and dropped it 4-6, but she put away Laura Gutierrez after nabbing three straight points to win her final set 10-4.

In her second singles match, Soltanici earned a double bagel over the Bengals’ Bacon with her 6-0, 6-0 sweep. She is now 13-10 in position No. 1 for the Hornets.

Redshirt freshman Anna-Maria Nau clinched the win for Sac State with her straight sets dominance (6-0, 6-2) over Idaho State’s Svenja Tegtmeier.

In No. 4 singles, true freshman Loaiza Esquivias moved to an astonishing 16-6 record after dropping the Bengals’ Wiebke Boeckmann 6-1, 6-1. Last weekend the Hornet split her singles matches and said she felt more prepared in today’s doubleheader.

“I feel happy … winning is a good feeling,” Loaiza Esquivias said. “I’m excited the team is doing good this season. I’m feeling pretty confident … this week I played much better, and I was able to win both matches.”

Sac State’s Bulatovaite improved her record and moved past the .500 mark in singles after she outlasted Idaho State’s Tangarife 6-2, 6-0. She said her quick matches this afternoon boosted her confidence moving forward.

“I played really well,” Bulatovaite said. “I did my job [and] I won easily. [There was] no letting up and relaxing, so I just flowed with what happened. It was good.”

With only one conference and nonconference contest left for the Hornets, the women feel they are in a good position as they approach the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

“We proved when we were all healthy we can beat ranked teams,” Soltanici said. “I think last year we had a lot of injuries––myself as well––and it was tough. This year we are healthier and we are taking care of ourselves a lot more. We have a very good lineup … we have pretty good chances to beat any team.”

Next up, the women will close out their final regular season Big Sky match against Weber State at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m.