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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Tennis loses close match to conference-rival in the O.C.

It was the first point of the day that proved the difference-maker for Matador women’s tennis (4-3, 1-3 in conference), as the team suffered a tough 4-3 loss to No. 67 UC Irvine on Feb. 26 at Anteater Tennis Stadium.

The all-important doubles point was won in convincing fashion by UCI, as the Anteaters (4-4, 2-0 in conference) won all three matches. In the No. 1 position senior YuYu Myinttun and junior Silvia Gutierrez fell to UCI’s Bela Mijic and Jayme Hu 8-5. The Mijic/Hu victory was only their second in the past six matches as a tandem. Sophomores Canna Furuta and Kanykey Koichumanova gave UCI the most trouble falling in a tight 9-7 match to Inna Agababian and Heidi Kaloi. Matador junior Olga Yepremian and sophomore Ana Matijasevic also lost 8-4 to Becky Bernhard and Ashley Siddall.

“I felt like we came out real flat and timid in doubles,” said Matador head coach Gary Victor. “The hole we dug ourselves laid the groundwork for whole day.”

Even though CSUN would go on to lose the overall meeting to UCI, the Matadors had several positive individual match wins. In the No. 3 spot, the often-vocal Koichumanova rallied from a set down to beat Mijic 3-6, 6-4, 10-5.

“Kanykey will fight no matter the score,” Victor said. “She has no quit in her.”

After starting the season losing her first three singles matches, Koichumanova has begun to embrace her newfound intensity, winning the last four, including CSUN’s sole victory over Long Beach State.

“I am growing up and getting much tougher on the court,” Koichumanova said. “I don’t care who I play?I just want to get out there and play.”

Playing alongside Koichumanova in the No. 5 position was CSUN’s Matijasevic, who crushed Anteater Jessica Broadfoot in a lopsided 6-0, 6-1 affair.

“After losing the doubles point, the singles match was my second chance,” Matijasevic said. “I just wanted to finish strong and continue to build my role on the team.”

The win lifted Matijasevic’s singles record to a team-best 6-1 for the season.

“Ana has a belief that will not bend,” Victor said. “I really hope it becomes contagious.

Matijasevic, who recently returned from a knee injury that kept her out of the lineup all last season, had a brief scare midway through her match.

“I was going for a forehand and rolled my left ankle,” Matijasevic said. “I fell on my hip. I’m sure it will bruise and turn black, but I’ll be fine.”

CSUN senior Myinttun, who beat out Siddall 7-6, 6-2 in the longest of the singles matches, was the only other victory for the Matadors.

“I kept it low, forcing her to pop up easy shots which I put away,” Myinttun said. “I knew exactly how I wanted to play and I stuck with my game the whole way through.”

In the No. 1 position, Gutierrez lost to UCI’s Bernhard 6-1, 6-3, while Furuta struggled against Agababian, falling 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 2 spot.

“She played really well,” Furuta said of Agababian. “I just need to get on the practice court and work on my game.”

And in her first match since Jan. 24, junior Kasia Krasinska fell to 1-1 on the year, losing to UCI’s Ali Borowicz 6-0, 6-1 in the sixth and final position.

With the loss, CSUN dropped to sixth in the Big West Conference, while UCI improved to third, behind only No. 46 Long Beach State (8-2, 2-0) and Cal Poly (4-4, 3-0). The Matadors will travel to Santa Barbara for two weekend matches. The first will be against Furman (3-3) on March 4 at 1:30 p.m., while the second will be on March 5 at 10 a.m. against UCSB (5-4, 2-1).

Matt Osias can be reached at

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