The Cal State Northridge women’s tennis team is building up steam heading into the final month of its season. The Matadors won four in a row, with the most recent victory over the Wolf Pack of Nevada March 24 at the Northridge Tennis Complex.
After winning two of three doubles matches, the Matadors (8-5) received pivotal victories from senior YuYu Myinttun and sophomores Canna Furuta and Kanykey Koichumanova to secure the 4-3 win over a surging Wolf Pack team. With the loss, Nevada suffered only its second defeat in its last nine contests, bringing the team’s current record to 9-6.
In doubles, Myinttun and junior Silvia Gutierrez easily dispatched the Wolf Pack tandem of Caroline Bailly and Kristen Davenport 8-1 at the No. 1 position, while Koichumanova and Furuta defeated Fiorella Velez and Audrey Bardot 8-3 in the No. 2 slot. Nevada’s Myriam Bouchlaka and Bach-Lan Pham beat CSUN’s Ana Matijasevic and Olga Yepremian 8-3 at the No. 3 position.
Upon completion of the doubles matches, the Matadors stepped onto the court for singles, only to watch their top players in the month of March fall. But the depth of the Matador team showed its true colors, as CSUN saw convincing victories from Koichumanova and Myinttun, and a remarkable comeback win in the No. 3 slot from Furuta.
Furuta, who in the first set found herself down 5-0, rallied back to win in a tiebreaker 7-6. In the second set, she jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, finishing off Velez 6-3, bringing her singles record to 5-8, including wins in three of the last four matches.
“It was Canna’s day,” said head coach Gary Victor. “She (Furuta) played like the girl from last season, except better. This is a big-picture-type win for her.”
Matador No. 2 Koichumanova railroaded Davenport 6-2, 6-0 to claim her eighth singles win of the season, her fourth straight.
“Kanykey’s grown up so much and is 50 times more mentally tough last year,” Victor said.
In the No. 5 singles slot, Myinttun beat Pham 6-2, 6-2, giving her an 8-5 record, also her fourth in a row.
In the No. 1 position, Gutierrez suffered her third loss of the season (8-3), falling to Bailly 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. The loss also broke a five-match winning streak that stretched back to March 4, while Yepremian lost to Bardot 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 6 position.
In the last match of the day, Matijasevic endured her first loss of the season at the No. 4 position, falling 5-7, 7-5, 10-2 to Bouchlaka. After finding herself behind 0-3 in the first set, Matijasevic reeled off five straight games to get back into the match, but would fall in the expedited third-set tiebreaker. Matijasevic, however, still holds a solid 10-3 overall singles record on the season.
“Besides losing the 10-point tiebreaker, I was pretty satisfied by the way I played,” Matijasevic said.
With just three games remaining at home, the Matadors will spend a large amount of practice time focusing on their strengths and improving their weaknesses, Victor said. CSUN’s next opponent is the Montana Grizzles March 30 at the Northridge Tennis Complex. The Grizzles held a 4-5 overall record as of March 26.
Matt Osias can be reached at email@example.com.