March 6, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - No. 41 Long Beach State will play out the month of March at home, beginning its six-match homestand against Eastern Michigan Thursday at 2 p.m. and No. 45 Boston College Friday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Rhodes Tennis Center.
The 49ers saw their 15 regular-season conference winning streak come to an end in a 4-3 loss at No. 30 UC Irvine Saturday. In a battle for first place in the Big West, LBSU fell behind early before rallying to tie the match up at 3-all with the deciding point coming down to the No. 1 singles spot.
In doubles play, the Anteaters earned the first point of the match at they claimed victories at the No. 3 and 1 spots. In singles, UCI won the second point as Eva Rodriguez fell 6-0, 6-2 to Sarah Gong. Karolina Rozenberg then got LBSU on the board with her win over Ali Facey at the No. 5 spot. The Anteaters then went up 3-1 as Sarah Stadfelt won 6-4, 6-1 over Anne-Sophie Willems, but victories from Sarah Cantlay and Ebba Unden tied the match up at 3-3, making the No. 1 singles spot the deciding point. Klaudia Malenovska won the first set against No. 125 Kristina Smith 6-4, but was unable to close out the second set, falling 6-4 and then 6-1 in the third deciding set. The loss puts the 49ers in fourth place in the Big West and ends a four-match winning streak against UCI, dating back to the 2010 conference tournament championship match. The 49ers are now 2-2 against ranked opponents this season.
After playing four matches on the road, LBSU returns home to the Rhodes Tennis Center for six matches in a row, beginning with Eastern Michigan on Thursday. The Eagles, who own a 6-6 record, will travel to California for three matches against Big West foes, taking on Cal State Northridge Tuesday where EMU won 5-2, before coming to Long Beach. The Eagles will close out their road trip at UC SantaBarbara. EMU is 2-3 on the road this season and have suffered losses against both ranked opponents they have faced, including falling 7-0 to No. 17 Nebraska (Jan. 12) and No. 71 DePaul, 6-1 (Feb. 3). This match marks the fourth meeting between the two teams with LBSU leading the series 2-1. In the last decade, the two teams have played just once with the 49ers winning 6-1 in 2010.
On Friday, LBSU will host its fifth ranked opponent of the season, taking on No. 45 Boston College. The Eagles are 6-0 on the season, boosting wins over Dartmouth, Syracuse, Maryland, Brown, Harvard and Cal State Fullerton. Members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, BC is both 3-0 in road matches and matches decided by one point. The series between the two schools is tied at 3-3, with the Eagles last winning 4-3 in 2011.
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 No. 25 Nebraska.
Against Ranked Opponents:
LBSU is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 46 LSU, 5-2 (Feb. 9) and No. 65 Hawai'i, 4-3 (Feb. 16) at home before losing 6-1 at No. 75 North Carolina State (Feb. 24) and 4-3 at No. 30 UC Irvine (March 2). The 49ers also posted a 6-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 10, who wasn't ranked at the time, but is now up to No. 56 in the ITA Tennis rankings.
In The Polls:
Long Beach State has been ranked every week of the season comes in at the No. 41 spot this week. The 49ers came into the season ranked 39th and stayed there for four weeks before dropping to No. 46. LBSU climbed back to No. 39 in last week's rankings going 2-1 in its North Carolina road trip. 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.
Cantlay Continues to Climb School Records:
Senior Sarah Cantlay's strong singles play continues to move her up the school record books as her win over UC Irvine's Franziska Goettsching put her in a tie with Sandra Rocha for No. 6 on the overall wins list with 147 and also a tie with Stephanie Bengson at No. 5 with 73 individual singles victories. The Sevenoaks, England native is currently on a five-match winning streak and is 9-2 in dual competitions this season.
Rozenberg's Solid Play:
Sophomore Karolina Rozenberg has been a steady constant for LBSU, owning an 18-5 record for the 2012-13 season and is 9-2 in duel match play. After starting 3-0 at the No. 6 spot, the St. Petersburg, Russia native moved up to the No. 5 singles spot and has six victories and only two losses. Even more impressive for Rozenberg is that each singles victory has been in straight sets. Partnering with freshman Ebba Unden in doubles play, the duo has been a roll, going 9-1 in duel match play and owning a perfect 5-0 record in the Big West. The pair is currently on a seven-match winning streak.
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