Women’s tennis continues win streak after defeating UC Irvine

Ana+Fraile+Toboso+during+a+match+against+Jacky+Wagner+from+Azuza+Pacific+University+on+March+19%2C+2021.+Farile+Toboso+split+her+singles+match+against+UC+Irvine%27s+Arianna+Tilbury+with+a+final+score+of+1-1+on+Thursday%2C+April+1%2C+2021.

Sundial File Photo by Kaitlyn Lavo

Ana Fraile Toboso during a match against Jacky Wagner from Azuza Pacific University on March 19, 2021. Farile Toboso split her singles match against UC Irvine’s Arianna Tilbury with a final score of 1-1 on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Maria Medina, Reporter

Women’s tennis head coach Gary Victor reminded his players to mentally escape the nearly 90 degree heat — and just-as-hot competition — by going to their “happy place” during a pregame speech before Thursday’s duel against Irvine.

The Matadors found their happy place after defeating UC Irvine on Thursday when they extended their longest winning streak of the season to 4-0.

CSUN hosted the Anteaters on a warm afternoon that started off with a doubles victory for the hosts who won 3-4, earning the Matadors the first point of the day.

“Our doubles have come up to a different level. Our doubles teams have gelled and there’s this confidence and joy of playing, that’s really what we’re going for,” Victor said.

The home team maintained that momentum going into singles with Ekatarina Repina quickly defeating her opponent Jessica Tsukiji in the first two sets with a score of 6-0 in the first set and 6-2 in the second.

“My expectations weren’t as high today, I think that’s what helped me today. I was more relaxed, I wasn’t that nervous and I just played my game,” Repina said. “We’re a team of fighters who only want to win so that’s why we’re here right now.”

The second victory went to CSUN senior Jenna Dorian, who outscored her opponent 6-3, then 6-0. Dorian was a last minute swap for Jacquie Tan, who sat out after an unfinished doubles match.

Dorian’s victory gave the home team a 3-0 advantage, including the doubles point, over Irvine with the last three matches lingering on as the afternoon grew warmer.

After a long battle against UCI’s Emily Fowler, Sasha Turchak clinched the win for the Matadors when she defeated her opponent in a tense match. Turchak was feeling confident after she won the first set 6-2 against Fowler, but she felt the pressure during the second match when her opponent picked up the pace.

“Toward the end of the second set the clouds went away and it was definitely getting pretty hot. It was just a matter of staying mentally with it because when it started getting closer, I started getting a little more nervous.” Turchak said. “The coaches and my teammates were reminding me to play my game and stay focused, that helped me pull through.”

With the support of her teammates, who were watching the match and cheering her on, Turchak came through with a final score of 6-3 in the second set to win the fourth straight match for CSUN.

“Sasha has been on a roll. She’s such a force, a hardworking person who plays great,” Victor said.

The remaining matches went unfinished with the team’s No.3 spot Magdalena Hedrzak losing in the first, strenuous set, 6-7. Ana Fraile Toboso’s back-and-forth match against her opponent earned them each a point during the first two sets. The match was at 1-1 when they were instructed to abandon the remainder of the third set.

As the Big West tournament approaches, the Matadors will face mostly conference competitors in upcoming matches. The undefeated Cal Poly will host CSUN on Saturday — a match that will test the Matadors’ ability to hold on to their winning streak. The Matadors will play another away game at UC Riverside on Sunday, Apr. 11.

“We need to try to enjoy the process, enjoy being out there. Enjoy the pressure, pressure is a privilege. If they can buy into that, then we’re going to be fine,” Victor said.