Senior Anais Dallara won twice to push the 49ers to their second-ever NCAA victory.
May 11, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - No. 46 Long Beach State earned a huge victory for the program, winning in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history with a convincing 4-0 victory over No. 33 Arkansas Friday morning.
For Long Beach State, Friday's win is the second in NCAA Tournament history. Long Beach State has now made nine NCAA appearances, but the victory over the Razorbacks in the first in the national tournament since 2006, when the 49ers defeated New Mexico 4-1.
The 49ers won the doubles point in three exciting matches. Long Beach State lost the first match at No. 1, as No. 84 Laura Bernard and Rachel Manasse were upset 9-7 by Laurie Gingras and Claudine Paulson, but Anais Dallara and Klaudia Malenovska evened up doubles with an 8-6 win at No. 2. Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar then picked up an important victory in a tiebreaker at No. 3 doubles over Kate Lukomskaya and Catherine Parenteau, sealing the doubles point with a 9-8 win after winning seven straight points in the tiebreaker.
Freshman Laura Bernard lost her first set against Paulson, but rallied to win the second and force a third set in the process of holding the Razorbacks without a point.
Meanwhile, No. 102 Dallara was the first 49er to win her first set, defeating Emliy Carbone 6-3 and then winning the 49ers first singles point with a single to 6-4.
Up 2-0, Long Beach State had two more wins to finish off the day. Rachel Manasse won at No. 2 singles, defeating Stephanie Roy 6-4, 6-2, while Karolina Rozenberg was the 49ers' other winner, topping Parenteau 6-4, 6-2 as Long Beach State won 4-0.
In the other matches, Malenovska rallied to defeat Gringas in the first set, while Sarah Cantlay lost her first set in a tiebreaker to Lukomskaya, but both matches were unfinished, as was Bernard's three-setter with Paulson.
With the win, head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello now has 250 wins in her career, improving to 250-122 in her career in 15 years at Long Beach State. She leads all 49er tennis coaches in both wins and winning percentage in her career.
Long Beach State advances to play the winner of No. 1 UCLA and Eastern Kentucky in the second round. That match will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Live scoring will be provided through www.longbeachstate.com
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