Jan. 21, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - No. 39 Long Beach State will start Big West conference play this weekend, traveling to Cal State Fullerton for a 1:30 p.m. match on Friday before returning home to host UC Riverside for a noon match on Saturday at the Rhodes Tennis Center.
Last Outing: The 49ers came off an impressive opening weekend to start the 2013 season, posting a 29-3 record during the three-day Beach Winter Invitational. Senior Klaudia Malenovska capped off the tournament with a win over No. 74 Michaela Bezdickova of New Mexico 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 on the final match of play on Sunday. Malenovksa posted a 5-1 record during the tournament, including three doubles victories and two singles wins. Her only loss came at the hands of Julyette Steur of Colorado 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday.
Overall, five 49ers finished the tournament with unblemished records. Sarah Cantlay led the way, going 6-0, while Anne-Sophie Willems and Hazuki Onaga each went 5-0, and Anna Jeczmionka and Eva Rodriguez went 4-0. Freshman Ebba Unden finished 5-1, with her lone loss coming in doubles play against Verberne/Okremchuk of Nevada. Karolina Rozenberg finished 4-2, falling to Verberne/Okremchuk in doubles play on Sunday as well as Carla Mazi Tenorio of Colorado in singles play on Saturday.
Scouting the Titans: Cal State Fullerton opened their season on the road last Saturday, traveling to the University of San Diego to take on the 48th-ranked Toreros before continuing on to San Diego State for a later contest. The Titans were unable to gain victories in either match, falling 5-2 to USD and 6-1 to SDSU. The lone bright spot for CSF came as sophomore Kalika Slevcove produced two wins at the No. 5 spot in singles. The Titans finished 2011-12 with an 8-13 overall record. LBSU ended the season for CSF with a 4-0 win in the Big West conference tournament.
A Look at UC Riverside: The Highlanders were unable to produce a win in their opening 2013 match against San Diego State on Saturday, falling 0-7 to the Aztecs. Sisters Jamie and Taylor Raney will play together at the No. 1 doubles spot for UCR as well as compete in the No. 1 and 2 spots respectively in singles play. The Highlanders finished the 2011-12 season with a 3-15 overall record and fell to Cal State Fullerton in the Big West tournament play-in game.
Controlling the Conference: LBSU has been in control of the Big West Conference for over the past decade, winning nine conference championships in 11 years since 2002, including a span of six straight between 2004-09. The 49ers were perfect in conference play in 2012, going 8-0 during the regular season as well as winning their second consecutive BWC tournament championship. LBSU senior Anais Dallara was named the Conference Player of the Year and head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello received Coach of the Year honors for the seventh time in her career.
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