After losing five straight matches last month, the CSUN women’s tennis team found its winning ways with a second consecutive win. It also didn’t hurt to have three days rest and senior Kanykey Koichumanova and freshman Nina Jaworowski feeling 100 percent.
On Saturday, Northridge defeated non-conference opponent New Mexico State University 4-3 at the Matador Tennis Complex.
Northridge improves to 11-7 overall and 6-2 in the Big West Conference. The Matadors will be the No. 3 seed going into the conference tournament on April 25.
CSUN went 2-for-3 in doubles to win the point, and won three out of six singles matches.
Northridge head coach Gary Victor made some alterations to the doubles teams. Freshman Brooke Doane and Koichumanova debuted in the No. 1 slot and defeated Aleska Costa and Sophia Marks, 8-3. The duo is now 16-1 on the season.
In the No. 2 slot, junior Victoria Brymer played with sophomore Kristy Fournell for the just the second time this season. The pair fell to Zeljka Juricek and Stephanie Eusebe, 8-5. Brymer has been used to playing in the No. 1 slot throughout her career, yet said she will play anywhere to help the team.
“If they want to move the lineup around, that is (the coaches’) choice,” Brymer said. “It is all about what is going to help us win.”
In No. 3 doubles, senior Canna Furuta and Jaworowski topped Anne Fagegaltier and Bianca Discordia, 8-4. This was the first time Furuta and Jaworowski played together this season.
“We needed a fresh start,” Victor said. “Change can be good and can lead to good things.”
In singles, Brymer ended an eight-match skid with a three-set win. She defeated Marks, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“We had a rough half of the season,” Brymer said. “I just decided that I wasn’t losing again.”
Victor said Brymer controlled the ball, did not overhit, took advantage of her opponent’s serve, but most importantly, kept herself composed.
“It was a nice surprise to see (Victoria) keep it together mentally for a long stretch,” he said. “It was a very quality win.”
In the No. 2 slot, Koichumanova upped her record to 8-9 with a win over Juricek, 6-4, 6-0. Furuta fell in straight sets to Eusebe, 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 3 position, and junior Sandra Kukla, the team’s win leader, lost to Fagegaltier, 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth match.
“Canna and Sandra played very poorly,” Victor said. “We need them at their best if we expect to go far in the (Big West) tournament.”
Furuta falls to 7-10, while Kukla drops to 11-5.
In the No. 5 slot, Doane continued her hot freshman campaign with a three-set win over Costa, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2). The match proved to be the deciding point of the day. She is now 11-4 on the season. In the sixth spot, Fournell battled Paulina Zuniga in three sets, but came up short, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“We knew it was going to be a close match,” Brymer said. “This is one of the first close matches we have won in a while, and it was a great confidence booster.”
Northridge hosts Fresno Pacific University (17-0) for a non-conference match on Tuesday at the Matador Tennis Complex. Fresno Pacific is coming off a Golden State Athletic Conference championship. First serve is set for 2 p.m.