WOMEN'S TENNIS OUTLASTS #34 WASHINGTON, 4-3, TO STAY PERFECT ON THE YEAR
SEATTLE — The Sacramento State women’s tennis team remained undefeated on the year as the 40th-ranked Hornets upset #34 Washington, 4-3, Friday afternoon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Hornets improved to 6-0 with the win while the Huskies dropped to 6-2.
With the match tied 3-3, Joyce Martinez Gutierrez overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third set to outlast Aleksandra Malovic, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4). After falling behind early, Martinez won the next three games to tie the third set at 5-5. Malovic then moved ahead 6-5 but Martinez won the ensuing game to force a tie-break where she recorded a 7-4 win.
Sacramento State scored the first point of the match after winning two of the three doubles matches. The Huskies opened play with an 8-6 win at No. 1 from the 28th-ranked tandem of Venise Chan and Denise Dy over Katrina Zheltova and Melissa Valenzuela. The Hornets answered with an 8-5 win at No. 3 from Joyce Martinez Gutierrez and Clarisse Baca and then secured the point with an 8-6 victory by Maria Meliuk and Aileen Tsan at No. 2. In that match, Meliuk and Tsan trailed 5-4 but were able to win four of the next five games.
The Hornet lead, however, was short-lived as UW evened the contest, 1-1, when Zheltova, the 62nd-ranked player nationally, was forced to retire at No. 1 due to illness. Zheltova trailed 53rd-ranked Chan, 3-0, at the time.
The next three singles matches were decided in quick fashion. Meliuk put Sacramento State back on top with a 6-0. 6-2, win over Lina Xu at No. 3. Dy answered back for the Huskies with a 6-2, 6-1, win over Tsan at No. 2 only to have Luba Schifris defeat Samantha Smith, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 4 to give the Hornets a 3-2 edge.
The final two singles matches required significantly more time as both the No. 5 and No. 6 matches were pushed to three sets. At No. 5,Ardies and Baca went the distance in the first two sets. Ardies held on to win the first set 7-6 with a 6-4 win in the tie-break. In the second set, Baca overcame a 6-5 deficit to force a tie-break and proceeded to blank Ardies, 7-0, to force the third set. Baca’s momentum, however, was lost with an early break from Ardies who went on to win 6-2.
Sacramento State will continue its stay in Seattle by taking on Rice on Saturday, Feb. 21. The match against the Owls will begin at 11 a.m.
#40 Sacramento State 4, #34 Washington 3
1. #53 Venise Chan (UW) def. #62 Katrina Zheltova, 3-0 (ret.)
2. #61 Denise Dy (UW) def. Aileen Tsan, 6-2, 6-1
3. Maria Meliuk (SAC) def. Lina Xu, 6-0, 6-2
4. Luba Schifris (SAC) def. Samantha Smith, 6-2, 6-1
5. Joyce Ardies (UW) def. Clarisse Baca, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-2
6. Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (SAC) def. Aleksandra Malovic, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (3)
1. #28 Chan/Dy (UW) def. Zheltova/Melissa Valenzuela, 8-6
2. Meiuk/Tsan (SAC) def. Ardies/Smith, 8-6
3. Martinez Gutierez/Baca (SAC) def. Malovic/Xu, 8-5
Singles Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5
Doubles Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2