WOMENâ€™S TENNIS FALLS TO TOP RANKED STANFORD IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT; HELLAND EARNS VICTORY
STANFORD, Calif. — The Sacramento State women’s tennis season came to a close with a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Friday at the Taube Family Tennis Center.
With the victory, Stanford improved to 21-1 overall and will face BYU in the second round of the tournament Saturday at noon. BYU knocked off Oregon, 4-0, in the regional’s other first round matchup earlier this morning.
With the loss, Sacramento State, which is ranked 58th in the nation, had its five-match winning streak snapped and finished the 2007 season with a 17-7 overall record. Today marked the second time the Hornets have fallen at Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the Cardinal was also victorious in 2002.
Stanford jumped to a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. The Cardinal’s first win came at No. 1 where Lindsay Burdette and Anne Yelsey defeated Katrina Zheltova and Luba Schifris, 8-4. The match was back-and-forth early on but Stanford extended its 5-4 lead by winning the final three games. The doubles point was clinched at No. 2 when Jessica Nguyen and Lejla Hodzic defeated Joyce Martinez Gutierrez and Karina Jarlkaganova, 8-2. The Sacramento State tandem of Aileen Tsan and Anastassia Lyssenko led Whitney Deason and Theresa Logar, 5-4, when play was stopped.
In singles competition, Yelsey, who is ranked 17th nationally, made the score 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-0, win over Lyssenko. Senior Cecilia Helland put the Hornets on the board with a convincing 6-1, 6-0, win over Megan Doheny at No. 6.
The Cardinal went on to clinch the match by winning at Nos. 4 and 5. Nguyen downed Schifris, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4 while Burdette polished off Martinez, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 5.
Due to NCAA postseason rules, which stops a match once a team has clinched, two singles matches did not finish. One of those matches came at No. 1 where Zheltova was battling eighth-ranked Logar. Despite trailing 5-4 in the first set, Logar rallied for a 7-5 win to take the first set. However, Zheltova led 3-2 when the match was halted.
The loss brings the brilliant intercollegiate career of Helland to a close. Helland, who was a four-time all-Big Sky Conference selection (first team each of the last three years), posted an 80-13 dual-match record during her career at Sacramento State. Her win today stretched her winning streak to 22 consecutive matches.
Helland was one of four Hornets named first team all-Big Sky, joining sophomores Luba Schifris and Anastassia Lyssenko, and freshman Katrina Zheltova. Despite being a freshman, Zheltova was named the Big Sky’s MVP and will represent Sacramento State at the NCAA Singles Championships later this month in Athens, Ga.
Although the Hornets’ season comes to an end, Sacramento State won its sixth-consecutive Big Sky Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-straight year despite a roster that featured six underclassmen (two freshmen and four sophomores) and just one senior. The Hornets have not lost a Big Sky match since the 2002 season, a span of 42-consecutive victories over conference opposition.
Sacramento State has a combined 113-36 overall record since 2002 and has posted at least 14 victories in each of those seasons. The Hornets, who continue to draw the stiffest of competition at the NCAA Tournament, have now lost in the first round of the tournament to Stanford (2002, 2007), USC (2003), Fresno State (2004, 2006) and BYU (2005). All but one of those matches have come against the team that hosted the regional - 2004 match against Fresno State was played in Berkeley.
No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (21-1, 8-0 Pac-10) 4
No. 58 Sacramento State Hornets (17-7, 7-0 Big Sky) 1
1. No. 21 Burdette/Yelsey (STAN) d. Zheltova/Schifris (SAC) 8-4
*2. Leijla Hodzic/Nguyen (STAN) d. Martinez Gutierrez/Karina Jarlkaganova (SAC) 8-2
3. Tsan/Lyssenko (SAC) led Deason/Logar (STAN) 5-4, aban.
Order of Finish: 1, 2
* denotes clinched doubles point
1. No. 8 Theresa Logar (STAN) led No. 111 Katrina Zheltova (SAC) 7-5, 2-3, DNF
2. No. 17 Anne Yelsey (STAN) d. Anastassia Lyssenko (SAC) 6-1, 6-0
3. No. 96 Whitney Deason (STAN) led Aileen Tsan (SAC) 6-1, 5-3, DNF
4. No. 20 Jessica Nguyen (STAN) d. Luba Schifris (SAC) 6-1, 6-0
5. No. 41 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) d. Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (SAC) 6-0, 6-2
6. Cecilia Helland (SAC) d. Megan Doheny (STAN) 6-1, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 4, 5
* denotes clinched match