With only the Big West Conference Tournament standing in their way, the Cal State Northridge women’s tennis team finished off the regular season strong, beating both UC San Diego 7-0 and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6-1, giving the team a 15-6 overall record, including a 12-2 performance at home.
And the team had to do it without juniors No. 1 Silvia Gutierrez and Ana Matijasevic, the team leader in wins with 15
On April 22, against UCSD, the Matadors came out energized, taking two of the three doubles matches. The No. 2 duo of senior YuYu Myinttun and junior Olga Yepremian won easily 8-2, while the No. 3 tandem of sophomore Maria Martinez and junior Kasia Krasinska won 9-8.
At the No. 1 doubles slot, Katie McKee and Kristin Bronowicki stole a victory from sophomores Kanykey Koichumanova and Canna Furuta 8-5, however CSUN claimed the initial point.
In singles, the Matadors won all six matches, with two stretching to a full three sets. Winning in straight sets were Koichumanova at the No. 1 position 6-4, 6-2, No. 2 Furuta 6-1, 6-1, No. 3 Myinttun 6-4, 6-1 and No. 6 Krasinska 6-2, 7-5.
In the No. 4 position, Yepremian emerged victorious against Triton Justine Ang Fonte in a 6-3, 0-6, 11-9 marathon match, while junior Sonya Kumar rallied from a first set loss to win 6-7, 6-2, 10-2 over Molly Sullens in the No. 6 spot.
With the loss, the division II Tritons dropped to 13-7.
Just a day earlier, the Matadors squared off against the Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at the Northridge Tennis Complex. CSUN secured all three doubles matches to take hold of the initial point. No. 1 Koichumanova and Furuta won 8-4, No. 2 Myinttun and Yepremian claimed an 8-0 win and No. 3 Krasinska and Martinez won 9-7.
In singles, Koichumanova won 6-0, 6-3, No. 3 Myinttun won 6-1, 6-0, No. 4 Yepremian won 6-3, 6-3, Kumar won at the No. 5 spot 6-1, 6-1 and Martinez grabbed a 6-3, 7-5 win at the No. 6 spot. The Athenas’ did, however, take a win in singles, as Yassie Entekhabi defeated No. 2 Furuta 6-2, 6-1.
On April 28, the Matadors will enter the Big West Tournament as the No. 5 seed and face rival UC Santa Barbara (13-8) in the first round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells. The last time the Matadors faced the Gauchos, CSUN fell in a hard-fought third set tiebreaker, losing the overall contest 4-3.
If CSUN can outlast UCSB, it would more than likely meet the No. 1 seeded Long Beach State 49ers in the second round, a team that is currently ranked No. 27 in the nation and controls a 18-4 record. The Matadors fell to the 49ers 6-1 at Northridge back Feb. 15.
For the season, Gutierrez finished with a 12-5 record in singles and a 9-6 in doubles.
Koichumanova closed out the year with a 15-6 singles record and a 14-3 doubles record. Koichumanova also was honored with the Big West Player of the Week award just two weeks ago.
Furuta had a 10-11 singles record and a 15-5 doubles record. Matijasevic dominated the No. 4 position, ending the regular season with a team-best 15-4 singles record and a 12-6 doubles record.
The lone senior on the team, Myinttun notched a 12-8 singles and doubles record.
Yepremian was nearly perfect at the No. 6 slot, claiming an 11-1 singles record and a 12-6 doubles record. Kumar was 6-2 in singles, Krasinska finished 2-1 in singles, 3-2 in doubles and Martinez closed the season 2-1 in singles and 3-1 in doubles.
Matt Osias can be reached at email@example.com.