Women’s tennis team wins conference opener

By Michael Zavala

Sandy Kriezel, head coach of the women’s tennis team, isn’t shy
about setting her players against the toughest teams around – the
closer to the season’s beginning, the better.

This season is no different. Cal Poly had strong competition
last week on the road, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was able to
nab a road victory against one of the conference’s best teams.

The Broncos defeated Cal State L.A. Thursday, 5-4. The victory
came one day after Cal Poly was defeated by Division I UC
Riverside, 6-1,

“We’re obviously happy to get a conference win on the road,”
said Kriezel. “When everyone contributes down the line, it’s more
of a victory for us than just getting the W.”

A dominant showing in doubles Thursday helped put Cal Poly over
the edge against Cal State L.A.

The No. 1 team of senior Jenny Tsai and junior Jessica Winkler
defeated Ioana Comsa and Bojana Ducnaovic, 8-6. In No. 2 doubles,
sophomores Fallon Blattner and Kara Fisher combined to win against
Krishana DeSilva and Linda Majzlikova, 8-6.

Sophomore Mallory Brady and freshman Kaitlin Woolridge teamed up
to complete the doubles sweep for the Broncos by defeating Jennifer
Avila and Isis Jackson, 8-4.

The Broncos needed every doubles victory they could get against
Cal State L.A., because the Golden Eagles had their talons ready to
strike when singles play began.

“They were a bit emotionally spent when they came to singles,”
said Kriezel. “We could’ve played a little better.”Tsai had a tough
weekend that didn’t get any better when she lost her second
straight to open the season against Comsa, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 2 DeSilva beat Winkler without losing a game, 6-0, 6-0.
Brady, however, was able to keep Majzlikova from exacting revenge
for the doubles loss and defeated her once again in No. 3 singles,
6-1, 6-3.

Ducnaovic bounced back from her doubles loss to defeat Fisher at
the No. 4 spot, 6-1, 6-1. In the No. 5 match, Jackson defeated
Woolridge, 6-1, 6-1. The deciding point was won by freshman
Michelle Stock in No. 6 singles when she defeated Lana Lamesic,
6-1, 6-3.

Wednesday, the Broncos faced a tough team on the road at UC
Riverside but were able to pick up one solid victory in singles.The
Highlanders’ Erynne Oki defeated Tsai in No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-4.
In the No. 2 match, Winkler won a big match against Donna
McCullough that went to a tiebreaker, 5-7, 6-3, 10-7.

The rest of the matches, though, belonged to UC Riverside.

Nadia Sakahorn beat Brady in No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2, and
Yasaman Sakahorn defeated Fisher in No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-0.

The final two singles matches were close matches that almost
went the Broncos’ way. Roxanne Plata won against Woolridge in No. 5
singles, 6-4, 4-6, 10-4, and Anna Higane beat Stock in No. 6
singles, 3-6, 6-2, 10-4.

In No. 1 doubles, Oki and Plata defeated Tsai and Winkler, 8-5.
H.R. Espiritu and McCullough beat Fisher and Blattner in the No. 2
match, 8-2, while the Sakahorns beat Brady and Woolridge by the
same score in the No. 3 match.

Kriezel sees a lot of potential in this year’s team despite the
tough loss to Riverside.

“I like this group a lot,” said Kriezel. “They have talent and
mental toughness.”

Still, the Broncos have a tough road ahead of them if they want
to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason for the
first time in six years last season. Getting solid conference wins
would be a start, according to Kriezel.

“Hopefully we’ll go 2-0 in conference [when we face UC San
Diego],” said Kriezel.

Cal Poly will take a week off and then return to the court on
the road Feb. 20 at Cal State San Bernardino. The Broncos make
their home debut Feb. 21 against Vanguard and play again at home
Feb. 23 against UC San Diego.

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