The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Women’s tennis slams conference rival Titans

Special to the Daily Sundial

Fresh off its landslide victory over Saint Mary’s, the Cal State Northridge tennis team continued its dominating play, discarding Cal State Fullerton 6-1 on Feb. 7 and proved they are a legitimate contender in their quest for the Big West Conference title.

The Matadors (3-1, 1-1 conference), in their first road match of the 2006 season, won all three doubles matches, achieving the early point. Junior No. 1 player Silvia Gutierrez and senior captain YuYu Myinttun dispatched Fullerton’s top players Ruya Inalpulat and Gina Lee, 8-4.

“YuYu and Silvia played awesome doubles”, head coach Gary Victor said. “They knew what they had to do and we’re all over it.”

Sophomores Canna Furuta and Kanykey Koichumanova also emerged victorious, beating their opponents by a score of 8-4. Junior Olga Yepremian and sophomore Anna Matijasevic also took out their opponent in an 8-3 route.

In singles, the Matadors won five of the six matches, all in straight sets. The sole loss was in the No. 2 position, as Furuta fell to the usual No. 1 Titan player Inalpulat 6-3, 7-6. At 5-foot-6, Inalpulat gave the 5-foot-2 Furuta a considerable amount of trouble, as she hits both hard and flat.

“Canna was a little thrown off by the fast pace of the court,” Victor said. “Ruya is bigger and stronger. Those types of players give her a tougher time.”

In the No. 1 position, Gutierrez held off a second set tiebreaker to defeat Le 6-2, 7-6.

“Silvia has matured a lot,” Victor said. “She stepped up her concentration level and is one of the most talented athletes we’ve ever had. Her court-sense is getting better, and that is something that can’t be taught.”

In the No. 3 position, Koichumanova defeated Mai-Ly Tran 6-3, 6-3, while Myinttun overwhelmed Cheyenne Inglis 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 4 spot. In the fifth position, Matijasevic triumphed over Shelly Injejikian 6-1, 6-2 to remain undefeated on the season. Matijasevic is off to an amazing 4-0 start, as she returned to the Matadors’ active roster after missing more than 16 months with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.

“Ana has really stepped up her confidence,” Victor said. “She is a fighter and she’s earned it.”

Matador sixth position player Sonya Kumar overpowered her opponent, Chip Dunbar 6-0, 6-1 to round out the singles draw.

At this point in the season, the Matadors seem to be not only controlling the tempo of their matches, but unlike last season, close out their opponents as. In CSUN’s 2005 campaign, the team lost five of its six matches by a score of 4-3, a statistic Victor expects will not plague his team this year.

“As a team we are gelling,” Victor said. “We are focusing on staying in each point we play.”

CSUN will face its toughest opponent of the season when they host conference-rival Long Beach State on Feb. 15 at Northridge Tennis Complex at 2 p.m. As one of the strongest teams in the Big West, the 49ers bring a lot of power.

“We’ve got to believe we can compete with them,” Victor said.

Matt Osias can be reached at

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