Women’s tennis falls to the University of New Mexico 4-3 in a close dual

Coetzee celebrates after a winner in her singles match on Feb. 20.

Alex Behunin, Reporter

The women’s tennis team snaps their two dual winning streak by falling to the University of New Mexico 4-3 on Feb. 20. The Matadors were missing two of their best players, junior Ekatarina Repina and sophomore Jacquie Tan, who were out with the flu. Being down those two players, the Matadors were forced to default the No. 3 doubles and No. 6, which gave the Lobos an advantage.

The afternoon started off with sophomores Jolene Coetzee and Ana Fraile Toboso defeating New Mexico players Natasha Munday and Bronte Murgett 6-2. Coetzee and Fraile Toboso move to 3-1 on the season for doubles. Senior Emma Roenholt and freshman Lisa-Marie Wurst lost 6-3 to Sara Kuuttila-Webbert and Myu Kageyama of New Mexico. The Lobos ended up taking the doubles point due to the No. 3 default.

“There aren’t many teams where you can take your number one and two/three out and have a chance to win,” head coach Gary Victor said. “I’m very proud of how we competed, and I think everyone out here fought hard. With only five players, we gave our chance to win and we just fell a little short. I can’t be mad at that at all, although it would have been nice to have a full team.”

No. 2 Fraile Toboso won the first singles match with a straight set against Murgett, 6-3 and 6-0, which gave CSUN the 1-1 tie.

“It is always tough when you are down to start the match,” Fraile Toboso said. “I was down by three, but I always fight. My opponent was tough. I felt uncomfortable in the beginning, but I got used to her style and I did not lose after adapting.”

No. 4 Wurst was defeated by Munday 6-4 and 6-2, to give New Mexico the lead 2-1.

No. 1 Coetzee went down 4-0 during the first set, however she battled her way back winning the match 6-4 and 6-1 against Webbert. Coetzee would have won the second set 6-0, but she double faulted on the last serve, giving her opponent a point.

“I had to believe in myself to come back after losing four in a row,” Coetzee said. “My opponent was getting frustrated that I wasn’t giving in and I was fighting back. It felt great to come back and win. That is two duals in a row that I have had to fight back. My opponent was a good player, she stays in the point a lot and has a pretty good serve but fitness wise, I feel like she wears down and gets tired.

Coetzee was serving underhand most of the dual.

“I pulled my core muscle serving in my last match, so I decided to serve underhand to not pull it any further,” Coetzee said. “It kind of affected me while I was playing but it really affected me in scoring points, I couldn’t ace.”

No. 3 Roenholt defeated Alisa Manolescu 7-5, 7-6 and 7-3, giving the Matadors the lead 3-2.

No. 5 junior Lauren Anderson returned from injury for her first match of the year. She lost to Hsiang-Wen Huang of New Mexico, 1-6, 6-3 and 6-2.

“Lauren played a great match. She has been out for a while now,” said Victor. “I think Lauren should feel really good about her play and she has every reason to feel good about herself. I’m just proud.”

Because of the default at No. 6, New Mexico defeated CSUN 4-3.

CSUN (3-2) gets a week off due to weather postponement and next play on Feb. 29 at UC Davis (4-5) to open up the Big West for the Matadors.

“UC Davis is a good team. If we are healthy and strong, we are going to be very competitive. It is going to be a tough match for us and then we have Sacramento State the next day, but I keep saying we have a team that is going to fight no matter what,” Victor said.