MORE BIG SKY TENNIS PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS, THIS TIME FOR STRYHAS AND HELLAND
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For the fifth consecutive week, both a Sacramento State men’s and women’s tennis player have earned Big Sky Conference Tennis Player of the Week honors. This week, the honors went to senior Cecilia Helland on the women’s side, and freshman Anton Stryhas on the men’s side.
Amazingly, a Sacramento State women’s player has received the league’s weekly award nine consecutive times. In fact, the only time a Hornet did not receive the women’s award was Jan. 30, when the team was idle that week. Helland has now received the award twice this season (Feb. 28), and four times during her career.
Stryhas became the fifth consecutive men’s player to receive the honor, and sixth in the last seven weeks. Stryhas was also named Big Sky Player of the Week on March 7. Sacramento State’s men’s team, currently ranked 72nd in the nation, is 14-4 overall and 7-0 in the Big Sky. The Hornet women, currently ranked 52nd in the nation, are 12-6 overall and 5-0 in the Big Sky.
Stryhas led Sacramento State to a 3-1 record last week and a fifth place finish-place finish (out of 16 teams) at the Boise State Spring Break Tournament. Stryhas, who played at both Nos. 1 and 2 singles for the Hornets, posted a 3-1 record in singles play and a 1-1 mark in doubles play. All three of Stryhas’ victories came in straight sets.
The Minsk, Belarus, native opened the week by defeating the nation’s top Div. III player (UC Santa Cruz’s Matt Seeberger) by the score of 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1. At No. 2, he also defeated Central Florida’s Sinan Sudas (6-3, 7-6) and Portland’s Filip Zivkovic (6-3, 6-4). His only loss came to Boise State’s nationally ranked Clancy Shields.
Stryhas has now won nine of his last 10 singles matches, and is currently a team-high tying 15-3 this year. That includes a 2-1 mark at No. 1, 12-2 at No. 2, and 1-0 at No. 3. In doubles play, he is a combined 13-3 with two different partners.
Helland led Sacramento State to a 1-1 record last week after posting two straight-set singles victories. Helland dropped a combined five games during the two matches, and has now won 17 straight singles matches dating back to Feb. 3.
She began the week on Saturday by defeating Harvard’s Rachel Gottlieb at No. 6 by the score of 6-0, 6-0. It marked the fourth time this season that Helland has posted a shutout against one of her opponents. In the Hornets’ loss to 15th-ranked Fresno State on Sunday, Helland defeated the Bulldogs’ Jacqueline Haskett at No. 6 by the score of 7-5, 6-0.
Helland is now 17-1 in singles play this season, with her only loss coming in the season opener to Cal’s Bojana Bobusic. Since then, the Stockholm, Sweden, native has won 17 straight with 15 of those victories coming in straight sets.