Long Beach State Restarts Conference Play By Hosting Cal State Northridge
March 29, 2013
The 49ers protected home court against two more non-conference foes last week, taking down No. 74 Iowa, 4-3 and Wyoming, 5-2 to improve to 9-0 when playing at the Rhodes Tennis Center and extend their winning streak to five matches.
Taking on its third straight ranked opponent, LBSU dropped the doubles point to the Hawkeyes to fall behind 1-0 early but recovered quickly in singles play as Karolina Rozenberg tied the match up at 1-1. Sarah Cantlay then put the 49ers ahead with her win at the No. 3 spot, but the Hawkeyes responded to tied it up again at 2-all by picking up a win at No. 1. Wins by Klaudia Malenovska and Anna Jeczmionka sealed the LBSU victory as Malevnoska won in three sets over Shelby Talcott at the No. 2 spot and Jeczmionka beat Katie Zordani in straight sets.
The 49ers then hosted Wyoming on Friday, who upset LBSU at home last year. The Cowgirls had been ranked every week of the season, but fell out in last week's ITA Tennis rankings. The 49ers started off strong sweeping Wyoming in doubles play and then picking up wins at the No. 1, 2, 3 and 6 spots in singles play. Klaudia Malenovska picked up her third consecutive victory for LBSU and moved to 4-1 at the No. 2 spot.
Currently sitting in second place in the Big West, the 49ers will host fourth-place Cal State Northridge. LBSU hasn't played a conference match since March 2 when it fell 4-3 at No. 30 UC Irvine. The Matadors are currently 9-5 overall and 3-2 in Big West play. CSUN went 1-2 last week, falling to Dartmouth, 7-0 and then Iowa, 5-2before picking up a 6-1 win on Saturday over Middlebury. Cal State Northridge will host Rice University on Friday before traveling to Long Beach State.
Long Beach State will head to Northern California next week for a difficult stretch of three matches in three days. The 49ers will play at Sacramento State in a non-conference match on Thursday before taking on conference foes UC Davis on Friday and then Pacific on Saturday. LBSU will then close out the regular season at home against Cal Poly.
Protecting Home Court:
The 49ers own a perfect 9-0 record when playing at home. LBSU has defeated five ranked opponents on its home courts, including No. 46 LSU, No. 65 Hawai'i, No. 45 Boston College, No. 71 Louisville and No. 74 Iowa. Historically, the 49ers have a 49-12 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 5-2 against ranked opponents this season. The 49ers defeated 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). LBSU then bounced back to defeat No. 45 Boston College, 5-2 (March 8) and No. 71 Louisville 5-2 (March 14). Last week's 4-3 victory over No. 74 Iowa (March 20) was LBSU's third in a row over a ranked opponent.
In the Polls:
The 49ers have been ranked every week this season and remained at No. 41 this week. LBSU began the season off at No. 39 and stayed there for four weeks beforedropping down to No. 46. Last week, the 49ers won their third straight victory over a ranked opponent, but did not move up at all in the rankings. During Hilt-Costello's tenure at head coach, Long Beach State has been nationally ranked each year since the 2000-01 season. LBSU reached a top ranking in 2006, claiming the No. 18 spot early on before ending the season at No. 26.
Cantlay Continues to Climb Up Record Books:
Sevenoaks, England native Sarah Cantlay has continued her quest up the school record books as she collected four more victories last week. Picking up two wins in doubles, the senior has now moved into a tie for sixth-place on the all-time individual doubles wins list with Hannah Grady. Cantlay has been solid for the 49ers in both singles and doubles play. She owns a 13-3 record in singles duel matches and she and partner Klaudia Malenovska are 11-4 in doubles duel matches.
Unden and Rozenberg's Strong Doubles Play
Sophomore Karolina Rozenberg and freshman Ebba Unden have been a dominant doubles force for LBSU. The duo started out the season at the No. 2 spot, going 9-1 before being moved up to No. 1. Rozenberg and Unden at one point won eight consecutive matches before the move. Last week, the pair went 1-1, falling to Iowa before helping LBSU get the doubles sweep against Wyoming. The 49ers are undefeated when Rozenberg and Unden win their doubles match.