WOMENâ€™S TENNIS FALLS AT 15TH-RANKED FRESNO STATE, 5-2
FRESNO, Calif. -- Nationally ranked Melanie Gloria, Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova each posted singles victories to lead 15th-ranked Fresno State to a 5-2 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference women’s tennis match Sunday afternoon at the Wathen Tennis Center.
With the victory, Fresno State improved to 13-3 overall and 8-0 at home. The Bulldogs and Hornets have built a rivalry that has included a series of close matches over the last three years, and Fresno State is now 4-2 against Sacramento State over that span.
Sacramento State dropped to 12-6 with the loss as eight of the team’s 18 matches this season have come against ranked opposition. The Hornets, ranked 51st in the nation, are 2-6 in those matches, including three losses to teams ranked in the top 20. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranks the top 75 Div. I programs.
Sacramento State has played just four matches at home all season, and has just three tuneups remaining on the regular-season schedule before the Big Sky Tournament begins on April 27.
With three ranked players on Fresno State’s roster, it was important that Sacramento State begin the match by winning the doubles point. However, that did not happen as the Hornets top two tandems of Anastassia Lyssenko/Katrina Zheltova and Karina Jarlkaganova/Aileen Tsan were each defeated 8-2. The Hornets’ Luba Schifris and Joyce Martinez Gutierrez won at No. 3 by the score of 8-5 but Fresno State already had the necessary two victories to pick up the doubles point.
Gloria, who is ranked third in the nation, defeated Zheltova at No. 1 by the score of 6-3, 6-2. That victory gave the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead and clinched the match. Kucerkova (ranked 71st) defeated Aileen Tsan at No. 2, 6-0, 6-0 and Petukhova (70th) defeated Lyssenko at No. 3, 6-3, 6-3.
Sacramento State’s Luba Schifris battled at No. 4, before falling in three sets to Tinesta Rowe. Sacramento State picked up both its points from the Nos. 5 and 6 positions as sophomore Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (6-3, 2-6, 7-5) and senior Cecilia Helland (7-5, 6-0) both won their matches.
Helland continues to impress in singles play this year, as the team’s lone senior is now 17-1, and has won 17 straight matches after losing the season opener to Cal’s Bojana Bobusic. What makes the streak even more impressive is the Stockholm, Sweden, native has won 15 of those matches during the streak in straight sets.
The Hornets return to action for their final regular-season home match of the season against Pacific on Saturday, April 7, at 1 p.m.
#15 Fresno State 5, Sacramento State 2
Doubles (Fresno State wins double point)
1. No. 41 Gloria/Rowe (FS) def. Lyssenko/Zheltova (SAC), 8-2
2. No. 50 Kucerkova/Petukhova (FS) def. Jarlkaganova/Tsan (SAC), 8-2
3. Beatty/Heroux (FS) def. Schifris/Martinez Gutierrez (SAC), 8-5
Order of completion: 2, 1, 3
1. No. 3 Melanie Gloria (FS) def. Katrina Zheltova (SAC), 6-3, 6-2
2. No. 71 Renata Kucerkova (FS) def. Aileen Tsan (SAC), 6-0, 6-0
3. No. 70 Anastasia Petukhova (FS) def. Anastassia Lyssenko (SAC), 6-3, 6-3
4. Tinesta Rowe (FS) def. Luba Schifris (SAC), 5-7, 6-2, (10-7)
5. Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (SAC) def. Danon Beatty (FS), 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
6. Cecilia Helland (SAC) def. Jacqueline Haskett (FS), 7-5, 6-0
Order of completion: 2, 3, 6, 1, 4, 5