After two consecutive losses, the CSUN women’s tennis team got back on track Wednesday with a 4-3 win over visiting Georgia State. The Matadors, ranked No. 73 in the country, swept in doubles play and won three of six singles matches.
Two of the doubles matches went to a 17th deciding game. The No. 1 pairing of junior Victoria Brymer and senior Canna Furuta defeated Martina Nitkova and Katerina Gresova, 9-8 (7-5).
“Tori played great,” CSUN head coach Gary Victor said. “She carried Canna for a while.”
Furuta said the outdoor elements and anxiety played a role in her slow start.
“I struggled in the beginning with doubles,” Furuta said. “I had trouble with the wind and coming off the two losses (last weekend), nerves kicked in.”
In the other thrilling doubles match, the No. 2 duo of senior Kanykey Koichumanova and freshman Brooke Doane edged out Dariana Kozmina and Kiara Powell, 9-8 (7-3).
Freshman Nina Jaworowski and junior Sandra Kukla overpowered Mateja Podgorsek and Rachel Malina, 8-2, to take the No. 3 slot.
“Doubles was really key,” Victor said. “I thought we brought a lot better energy, but we still have a ways to go.”
In singles play, the top two Matadors each lost their third consecutive match. In the top slot, Nitkova defeated Brymer 7-6, 6-2.
In the No. 2 slot, Koichumanova got off to a strong start against Kozmina, winning the first set, 6-3. Kozmina fought back and easily won the second, 6-2. The deciding set came down to a tiebreak, with Kozmina coming out on top, 10-8.
In No. 3 singles, Furuta dominated Malina, 6-1, 6-1.
Furuta said she picked up her singles game after a slow doubles start.
“I felt great and I kept my focus,” Furuta said. “[Malina] started to breakdown and I was able to execute really well.”
After the match, Victor was very complimentary of Furuta’s recent play.
“Canna is one of the top players in the conference,” Victor said. “She is finding her game again.”
After missing the Rice and Furman matches due to illness, Kukla made her return to singles play and easily overpowered Gresova 6-1, 6-2.
The only other singles match to go three sets was the No. 5 between Doane and Powell. Doane won the first set 6-2, and Powell evened the match with a second set win, 6-3. The deciding match came down to a tiebreak with Powell winning 10-8.
In the No. 6 slot, Jaworowski continued her winning streak with a commanding 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Kiera Strickland.
“Nina is showing she has the potential to be a top player,” Victor said. “She’s only at the tip of the iceberg with how good she can be.”
Last weekend might have been just what the Matadors needed to take that next step in the season.
“Now that we have that loss out of the way, all the jitters are out of our system,” Furuta said. “Everyone is more confident going into the matches.”
Northridge (6-2, 4-0 Big West) hosts Texas State on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Matador Tennis Complex.