HURRICANE, Utah - The Sacramento State women's tennis team overcame high winds, extreme cold, and an early deficit Friday morning, as they rallied for a come-from-behind, 4-3 win over Southern Utah on the road
With temperatures in the 30's and winds upwards of 20 miles per hour in Cedar City, Friday morning's match was moved to nearby Hurricane High School in order to play in better conditions.
"This was a really great match to coach," said head coach Cami Hubbs after the win. "We showed that we are competitors in any elements."
As has been the case much of the season, the Hornets (8-11, 6-2 BSC) found themselves trailing 1-0 after doubles play. The pairings of Sofia Gulnova/Shamika Dhar and Jenna Dorian/Sofi Wicker each fell to their Southern Utah (11-8, 4-4 BSC) opponents, 6-3. SUU clinched the point before the duo of Carolina Chernyetsky/Maria Gonzalez could finish their match.
After SUU took the first singles match of the afternoon to make it a two-point deficit, the Hornets rallied back in a big way, ripping off three straight wins to claim their first lead of the day.
Dorian scored the Hornets first point with a convincing 6-3, 6-0 win in the number five position while Wicker followed with a strong 6-1, 6-4 win at number four. Ana Loaiza Esquivias, playing in the number one singles position, won her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, to put the Hornets on top, 3-2.
SUU was not about to go quietly, however, taking the number six singles match in back-to-back sets, 7-6(4), 6-2.
For the second time in the team's last three matches, Gonzalez found herself playing in the last match of a 3-3 match. The redshirt freshman was more than up to the task, fending off SUU's Zoe Tanti in the number two singles position and winning in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Just two matches ago, Gonzalez clinched a 4-3 victory over another conference opponent, Eastern Washington, also in three sets.
"The gusty winds combined with the elevation and cold could easily have brought us down, especially after falling behind early," added Hubbs. "But we adjusted well and we played our hearts out today."
This morning's conference match against SUU was just the first of three Big Sky matches in three days for the Hornets, who will next take on Weber State tomorrow at 9:00 am PT before traveling to Idaho State for an 11:00 am match on Sunday. The Hornets are now 6-2 in Big Sky play with three conference matches remaining.
"It was a great start to our trip," said Hubbs. "I'm excited to see how this match propels us into our next two this weekend."