Matadors defeated by Boise State, 5-2

Donna Gould

The CSUN women’s tennis team lost back-to-back matches for the second time this season.

On Sunday, the No. 70 nationally-ranked Matadors lost to No. 46 Boise State University (13-4) at the Matador Tennis Complex, 5-2.

“Experience played a key role,” senior Kanykey Koichumanova said. “They always play higher ranked schools and we don’t.”

Northridge feel to 9-4 on the season, but are still undefeated in the Big West Conference.

Despite the team’s loss, one streak was kept alive: Koichumanova and freshman Brooke Doane won their doubles match 8-4, and are now a perfect 12-0 on the season.

“We try not to think about the streak,” Koichumanova said. “If you think about it too much, there is pressure and that takes the fun away from playing.”

Originally, CSUN head coach Gary Victor wanted Koichumanova and junior Victoria Brymer to play together, but they did not mesh on the court. Doane did not feel comfortable playing No. 1 doubles, so Victor decided to try Doane and Koichumanova together in the No. 2 slot. The decision has paid off.

“They are two extremely good players who enjoy playing with each other,” Victor said. “Brooke could go down as our best doubles player ever.”

In the two other doubles matches, the No. 1 team of Brymer and senior Canna Furuta lost to Pichittra Thongdach and Polina Kokoulina, 5-8. The pair is 6-5 on the season. The No. 3 duo of junior Sandra Kukla and freshman Nina Jaworowski had a strong lead late in the match, but couldn’t hold on. They fell to Laura Baum and Klaudia Wlodarczyk, 7-9. Kukla and Jaworowski have a record of 8-3 overall.

In singles play, Brymer lost her No. 1 match to Thongdach, 5-7, 2-6. In the No. 2 slot, Koichumanova battled a familiar face in Kokoulina. The two players competed in the same junior’s tournament six years ago in St. Petersburg, Russia. Koichumanova and Kokoulina did not play against each other in that event, so Koichumanova did not know her opponent’s game. It didn’t seem to matter. Koichumanova easily won, 6-4, 6-2. Koichumanova said the win was bittersweet.

“It was my day and my shots were there,” she said. “It’s hard though because I won, but the team didn’t.”

In the No. 3 slot, Kukla was the only other Matador to win her singles match.