Coming into last weekend, the Cal Poly women’s tennis team won seven of its past eight matches. No. 38 Long Beach State ended its momentum.
Cal Poly (12-4, 5-2) had only surrendered nine total points at home until Long Beach State (14-3, 6-0) handed Cal Poly its first home loss of the season (7-1) Friday. Long Beach State had only dropped four sets against conference opponents prior to the match.
“We enjoyed a strong performance in the doubles point. I think the players came out strong and focused and really took it to Long Beach State,” head coach Hugh Bream said in a release. “At that point, I don’t think we had seen Long Beach State’s best tennis. We weren’t entirely ready for what they brought and fell behind early, in about four or five matches. This (decision) will help us if we meet Long Beach State during the Big West Tournament. We know the level of focus we’ll need.”
The Mustangs captured the doubles point for the 14th time in 16 spring matches, but could only grab one additional point en route to a 5-2 loss. No conference team has won a higher percentage of doubles points this season than Cal Poly, which has a 16-2 record in spring matches. Cal Poly has swept doubles nine times this season, without being shutout once. The impressive doubles squad is lead by No. 26 combination of Suzie Matzenauer and Brittany Blalock who defeated Jaklin Alawi and Rachel Manasse of Long Beach State, 8-3. At No. 2, Cal Poly duo Steffi Wong and Alexa Lee downed Deborah Armstrong and Anais Dallara, 7-6. Mustangs Diane Filip and Ashley Pane finalized the sweep with an 8-2 victory over Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar.
Cal Poly’s lone singles win came at No. 5 as Lee edged Luzar, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. No. 85 Matzenaur was upset by No. 125 Jaklin Alawi at No. 1, as was No. 86 Blalock who lost to unranked Anais Dallara at No. 2.
With the Mustang loss, the 49ers inched ahead of Cal Poly in conference standings with the win, overtaking first place in the Big West.
After piecing together a win streak against opposition like conference opponents UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis — not to mention No. 38 Dartmouth — the No. 58 Mustangs are now heading in the wrong direction.
With five games left in the regular season, now is not the time to hit a cold streak. But for the Mustangs, the opponents haven’t been easy. The Mustangs have fallen to two nationally-ranked opponents — No. 11 Stanford and Long Beach State.
Against Stanford, The Cal Poly women’s tennis team produced victories against the second-ranked doubles team and No. 40 singles player, but the Mustangs still fell 6-1.
“We had a hard-fought match today and I definitely think we pushed Stanford in the doubles point,” Bream said. “Suzie (Matzenauer) and Brittany (Blalock) have been playing awesome tennis all year long and their doubles win should definitely pop them up in the rankings. I’m proud of the weekend the ladies had.”
The ranked opposition hasn’t stopped just yet; the Mustangs will travel to No. 54 Pepperdine this weekend.
Pepperdine stands at (6-12, 1-1 WCC) and are currently 2-6 on their current eight-game home stand. Eight of the Waves’ losses have been to top 15-ranked teams this season. Freshman Adrinna Colffer is ranked No. 87 in the nation in singles, while junior Anamika Bhargava is No. 120.
No singles players, nor doubles teams on Pepperdine’s team, hold a record above .500. Bhargava leads the team at an even .500 record and Tania Rice is the closest behind with her record with an 11-12 mark of her own. Bhargava and Marie Zazlameda lead the doubles effort with a 7-11 record and are 5-5 in their last 10 matches.
Cal Poly returns to the court to face Pepperdine in Malibu Wednesday.