Feb. 8, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
No. 39 Long Beach State returns home to play a pair of matches this weekend taking on No. 46 Louisiana State University Saturday, Feb. 9 and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. Both matches will take place at the Rhodes Tennis Center and will begin at 11 a.m.
The 49ers gained another win in Big West conference play in a rescheduled match at Cal State Fullerton on Friday. LBSU picked up victories in all three doubles matches and four more wins in singles play. Klaudia Malenovska captured a commanding 6-2, 6-1 win at the No. 1 spot over Tiffany Mai. Freshman Ebba Unden's match against Morgan McIntosh was suspended due to darkness at the No. 2 spot and Sarah Cantlay continued her strong start to the season with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Monica Rodriguez. Anna Jeczmionka picked up a 6-2, 7-6 (2) win over Megan Sandford and Karolina Rozenberg defeated Malorie de la Crus 6-0, 6-3 to cap off the 49 victory. CSF's lone win came at the No. 4 spot as Emilia Borkowski handed Eva Rodriguez a 6-4, 7-5 loss. The 5-1 win made it 20 straight against the Titans for LBSU, who haven't lost to Fullerton under Coach Hilt-Costello. The 49ers improved to 2-0 in conference play.
On Saturday, Long Beach State traveled to Loyola Marymount for a non-conference match. Malenovska and Cantlay earned the lone victory in doubles play for LBSU with a 8-4 win against Jin/Razzeto while Unden/Rozenberg and Jeczmionka/Willems each fell 8-6 to Bisharat/Parravi and Rohonyi/Kouyoumijan respectively, giving LMU the doubles point, proving to be crucial as the matches progressed. In singles, Malenovksa fell 6-3, 6-2 to April Bisharat and Unden lost to Tory Parravi 6-1, 7-5 in the top two spots. Cantlay picked up a win against Claudia Razzeto 6-4, 6-1 while Eva Rodriguez bounced back to beat Reka Rohonyi 6-3, 6-1. LBSU split at the No. 5 and 6 spots as Anna Jeczmionka fell 6-2, 6-1 to Miya Jin and Karolina Rozenberg defeated Kristine Kouyoumijan 6-3, 7-5. LBSU's 4-3 loss is its first to the Lions since 2007, when it fell by the same score.
The 49ers will host LSU and UC Santa Barbara in a pair of pivotal matches this weekend. The LSU Tigers, ranked 46th in the Jan. 30 ITA Tennis poll, travels to LBSU with a 4-0 record including wins over Northwestern St, Southern, SMU and Tulane. Kaitlin Burns, ranked 112th in the ITA individual rankings is 3-1 for the Tigers when competing at the No. 1 spot this season. The 49ers have twice faced LSU under coach Hilt-Costello, losing both contests, most recently falling 4-0 in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
LBSU will host UC Santa Barbara in a Big West match on Sunday. The Gauchos, 2-1, will play in their first conference match at UC Riverside on Saturday before traveling to LBSU. UCSB, playing under first year coach Simon Thibodeau, started out the 2013 season in high note, gaining victories over Northern Arizona and San Jose State before falling 5-2 to San Francisco in their third match in as many days. The 49ers prevailed in both matches over the Gauchos in 2012, including a 4-3 win at UCSB in the regular season as well as 4-1 victory in the second round of the Big West conference tournament. The 49ers hold the 17-4 advantage over UCSB since Hilt-Costello has taken over the program in 1998, including compiling an impressive 6-1 record over the past five seasons.
Cantlay's Perfect Start
Senior Sarah Cantlay has started out the 2013 season with a perfect record, including going 6-0 in singles play and 5-0 in doubles with partner Klaudia Malenovska. The impressive start for the Sevenoaks, England native has pushed her in to the top-10 in three categories in the school record books, including 7th in overall career wins (137) and career singles wins (67) and 8th place in career doubles wins (70). Cantlay started the season out dropping the first set to Nevada's Sophie Stevens, before rebounding to take the match, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. Since then, she hasn't dropped a set, producing wins over Colorado's Dhany Quevedo (6-3, 6-2), New Mexico's Kristin Eggleston (6-2, 6-1), Natalie McKay of UC Riverside (6-1, 6-4), CSF's Monica Rodriguez (6-2, 6-0) and Claudia Razzeto of LMU (6-4, 6-1). In doubles, Cantlay and Malenovska started the season at the No. 2 spot, producing three victories at the Beach Winter Invitational, before moving up to the No. 1 spot where the pair has earned two more wins in duel contests. Winning almost 65% of her matches for her career, Cantlay put together her best season in 2012, including going 26-12 in singles play, good for 7th all-time in school history as well as going 26-9 in doubles (3rd all-time).
Malenovska Earns Player of the Week Nod
Senior Klaudia Malenovska (Bratslavia, Slovakia) compiled a 5-1 record during the Beach Winter Invitational, capping off the tournament with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 win over No. 74 Michael Bezdickova, earning her the Big West Player of the Week honor, the third of her career. Malenovska has stepped in to the No. 1 spot in singles for LBSU this season, owning a 4-2 record through one tournament and three duel matches. In doubles, she and partner Cantlay proved to be a dynamic duo, capturing three wins at the Invitational at the No. 2 spot before being moved up to the top spot and getting two more wins over CSF and Loyola Marymount. Malenovska was selected to the doubles All-Big West second team in 2012.
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