The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors defeat Cal Poly Mustangs 4-3

The CSUN women’s tennis team had its first test of the season Saturday at the Matador Tennis Complex. Senior co-captain Canna Furuta was out with a foot injury, two players were under the weather, five of the eight starters were underclassman and the team got down early 3-1. Despite the challenges, Northridge defeated Cal Poly 4-3 in its Big West home opener.

Under the direction of head coach Gary Victor and assistant coach James Ciuffo, the Matadors are 3-0 on the season, while the Mustangs fell to 4-6.

The deciding match was between the No. 1 singles, s CSUN senior Victoria Brymer and Cal Poly sophomore Brittany Blalock. Brymer got down early, losing the first set 3-6. She came back to win the second, 6-2 and with her Northridge teammates and coaches cheering courtside, Brymer took the third set, 6-3. This was Brymer’s first dual match in more than a year. She said jitters definitely played a role in her slow start.

“I told myself to work out of it and go after every point,” Brymer said. “I tried putting more and more balls on the court and it just worked out.”

In doubles play, the No. 1 team of Brymer and sophomore Kristy Fournell fell to Blalock and Steffi Wong, 8-3. The No. 2 duo of senior Kanykey Koichumanova and freshman Brooke Doane defeated Amy Markoff and Shannon Brady, 8-4. The Matadors won its second doubles match with the No. 3 pair of junior Sandra Kukla and freshman Nina Jaworowski overpowering Diana Filip and Maria Malec, 8-4.

In singles play, Koichumanova defeated Wong, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to take the No. 2 match. The No. 3 match was one of the more intense of the day. Kukla cruised to a 6-1 first set win over Brady. In the second set, she had trouble with her accuracy, and frustration settled in, with Kukla throwing her racket in aggravation. She composed herself just in time to take the second set in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-3).

Cal Poly took the next five singles matches. In the No. 4 match, Fournell fell to Whitney Peterson, 6-1, 6-3. Jaworowski lost to Filip 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 5 slot. In the No. 6 match, Malec outlasted Doane, 6-1, 7-5. In the last two matches of singles play, freshman Whitney Paluch fell to Markoff, 6-3, 6-3 and Poly’s Brooke Pletcher outplayed sophomore Ashley Macias, 6-1, 6-2.

Victor knew he had a talented team, but since the season is still young, he did not know how tough his group was until they were put to the test.

“I am just thrilled with how competitive our team is,” Victor said. “They never say die.”

Despite the team’s 3-1 deficit late in the match, Victor was confident the Matadors would prevail.

“We were going to play and play hard and fight through it,” Victor said. “This is a total team victory.”

The Matadors are on the road for their next two matches. They battle Big West rival Pacific (2-4) on Feb. 23 in Stockton at 1 p.m. The next day the team travels to Davis to battle another Big West foe, UC Davis (3-4) at 11 a.m. CSUN returns home on Mar. 1 for a nonconference match against Furman at 11 a.m. at the Matador Tennis Complex.

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