Feb. 20, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - No. 46 Long Beach State will travel to North Carolina for three matches in as many days starting this Friday when they play at UNC Greenboro at 11 a.m. pacific time. The 49ers will then play at Wake Forest on Saturday and finish up the road trip at No. 73 North Carolina State on Sunday.
The 49ers earned two key victories over the weekend, including a 4-3 win over No. 65 Hawai'i, keeping their perfect conference record in tact. Long Beach State traveled to San Diego State on Friday for a non-conference match with the Aztecs. The 49ers started strong, jumping out to a 2-0 start behind the doubles sweep point as well as a win from Anne-Sophie Willems at the No. 6 singles spot. SDSU then got on the board as Sarah Cantlay fell at the No. 3 spot. Ebba Unden earned LBSU's third point with a straight set win, but the Aztecs would rally back, earning wins at the No. 4 and 5 spots to tie the match up at 3 all. Senior Klaudia Malenovska won the match for the 49ers with her 6-3, 7-5 victory at the No. 1 spot.
LBSU then returned home for face its second ranked opponent of the season as Hawai'i visited the Rhodes Tennis Center. The 49ers earned all four points to win the match before the Rainbow Wahine were able to score a point. LBSU swept Hawai'i in doubles play, getting the 1-0 lead going in to singles play. Karolina Rozenberg bounced back from a loss on Friday to win easily at the No. 5 spot. Anne-Sophie then won the third LBSU point with a straight set victory and Sarah Cantlay clinched the win with her 6-3, 7-5 victory over Martina Kostalova. With the match decided, Hawai'i took the final three singles matches at the No. 1, 2 and 4 spot.
The 49ers will travel to North Carolina for three non-conference matches in three days. LBSU begins their road trip at UNC Greensboro for the first meeting ever between the two schools. The Spartans, a member of the Southern Conference, own a 2-2 record so far, losing to North Carolina and North Carolina State to start the season before gaining wins over Campbell and Wake Forest. In 2012, UNCG compiled a record of 18-6, including going a perfect 10-0 in regular season conference play. The Spartans missed going to the NCAA Tournament, falling 4-0 in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship match against the College of Charleston. UNCG is coached by Jeff Trivette, who is in his 14th season at the helm of the program.
Long Beach State will then travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a match against Wake Forest on Saturday. This is also the first meeting between the two schools. The Demon Deacons have a 1-4 record, with all four losses decided by one point. Wake Forest picked up a win against Richmond before losing to Elon, Winthrop, Virginia Commonwealth and UNC Greensboro. The Demon Deacons will look to improve upon last season's 3-18 record as they were also winless within the ACC conference (0-11). Wake Forest is coached by Jeff Wyshner, who is in his second season as the head coach.
In their final match of the road trip, the 49ers travel to Cary, N.C. for a meeting with the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who have not dropped a match so far (4-0). NC State swept its first two opponents, East Carolina and UNC Greensboro, before winning its next two matches 6-1 at Charleston Southern and No. 67 College of Charleston. Junior Joelle Kissell is currently ranked No. 40 in the ITA Individual rankings. Kissell has not lost this season, competing at the No. 1 spot in all four matches. Kissell was selected as a third-team All-American in 2012. The Wolfpack were 8-16 last season and 3-8 within ACC conference play. Hans Olson is in his twelfth year as the head coach for NC State.
Matches against Wake Forest and North Carolina State will have live scoring available for fans to follow.
LBSU at Wake Forest, 9 a.m. (PT) Saturday: http://www.wakeforestsports.com/livestats/w-tennis/xlive.htm
LBSU at North Carolina State, 7 a.m. (PT) Sunday: http://www.gopack.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm
In The Polls:
Long Beach State has been ranked by ITA Tennis every week of the season, holding down the No. 39 spot for four weeks before dropping four spots to No. 43 last week and three more spots to No. 46 this week, despite beating ranked Hawai'i. During Coach Hilt-Costello's tenure at head coach, the 49ers have been nationally ranked every year since the 1999-00 season. LBSU reached a top ranking in 2006, claiming the No. 26 spot.
Doubles Sets Match Tone:
LBSU has used doubles play to set the tone for the match as it has claimed the point in all six victories on the season. In the lone loss for the 49ers, Loyola Marymount was able to win the doubles point, proving to be critical as LBSU fell 4-3 to the Lions. Since the loss, LBSU has only dropped one doubles match, which occurred at the No. 1 spot against No. 46 Louisiana State University, and gained sweeps against UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and No. 65 Hawai'i.
Protecting Home Court:
The 49ers own a perfect 4-0 record when playing at home. LBSU has defeated two ranked opponents on its home courts, including No. 46 LSU and No. 65 Hawai'i. Historically, the 49ers have a 44-12 record when playing at the Rhodes Tennis Center, which opened in the fall of 2008. Long Beach State last lost at home on March 20, 2012 against Nebraska.
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