The CSUN women’s tennis team continued its impressive start to the season by defeating Big West Conference rivals Pacific and University of California, Davis this past weekend. The Matadors (5-0, 4-0 Big West) went into the matches ranked No. 67 in the country.
Due to inclement weather on both days, the Matadors were forced to play inside. Playing indoors proved to be a test for Northridge.
“It was a very fast surface,” CSUN head coach Gary Victor said. “We showed a lot of character against tough tennis conditions.”
On Friday, Northridge defeated Pacific 4-3. After splitting the singles matches, CSUN swept in doubles play to earn that crucial deciding point. Pacific drops to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
The No. 1 singles match featured junior Victoria Brymer against Jolanta Twarowska. Brymer was named the Big West Women’s Tennis Player of the Week on Feb. 20 after her come-from-behind singles victory against Cal Poly’s Brittany Blalock. This weekend she struggled, losing in straight sets, 2-6, 4-6.
In the No. 2 slot, senior Kanykey Koichumanova overpowered Svenja Arens, 6-1, 6-1. Pacific took the No. 3 singles as Olga Gumenyuk defeated junior Sandra Kukla, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4. Northridge bounced back in the No. 4 singles match with senior Canna Furuta dominating Clara Schuhmacher, 6-0, 6-4. The No. 5 singles slot featured the match of the day. It was a freshman showdown as CSUN’s Nina Jaworowski faced Kateryna Nezhura in a three set battle. Jaworowski won the first set 7-5, but Nezhura fought back to win the next two sets, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6). Even though Jaworowski lost, Victor said the match was a growing experience for the young player.
“Nina played an amazing match,” Victor said. “She fought so hard and played such great tennis, despite the loss.”
In the No. 6 match, Northridge sophomore Kristy Fournell defeated Sasha Fisher 7-5, 6-3.
The Matadors dominated in doubles play. The No. 1 team of Brymer and Furuta overpowered Twarowska and Gumenyuk. The No. 2 duo of Koichumanova and sophomore Brooke Doane routed Fisher and Arens, 8-2. The Matadors completed the doubles sweep with Kukla and Jaworowski defeating Nezhura and Schuhmacher, 8-2.
On Saturday, CSUN defeated UC Davis 4-2. With the loss, the Aggies fall to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big West. The teams only competed in singles play due to time constraints at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center.
Brymer continued to struggle in singles and lost to Randi Schuler, 4-6, 2-6.
“Last week she carried the load,” Victor said. “This week, the rest of the team picked it up.”
The Matadors went on to win the next four out of five singles matches. In the No. 2 slot, Koichumanova continued her winning streak as she prevailed in three sets over Robin Guier, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Koichumanova’s only loss of the season occurred in the season-opener against Shelly Injejikian of Fullerton. She is now 4-1 in singles play and 4-0 in doubles.
In the No. 3 match, Kukla outplayed Desiree Stone, 6-1, 6-3. UC Davis’ Herzyl Legaspi won the No. 4 singles meeting over Furuta, 6-4, 6-4. In the No. 5 slot, Fournell outlasted Emma Shapiro, 6-4, 7-6 (4), and Doane defeated Jessica Harris 6-0, 6-3 to take the No. 6 singles match.
“It was fun to see them compete hard and never give up,” Victor said. “I was very impressed on how we mentally hung in.”
The Matadors will play their next four matches at home. On Saturday, CSUN hosts Furman University (4-3) at 11 a.m. at the Matador Tennis Complex. Northridge doesn’t play a Big West opponent until Mar. 15 when the team travels to UC Santa Barbara.