LONG BEACH, Calif. -
Nearly two weeks after its season finale, Long Beach State women's tennis will be back in action at the 2017 Big West Women's Tennis Tournament this weekend in Indian Wells, Calif. The 49ers enter as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, and will open on Friday at 9 a.m. against No. 6 seed UC Davis.
Long Beach State posted a 16-5 record in the regular season, going 6-2 in Big West play. UC Davis enters the weekend at 15-9 overall with a 3-5 conference record. The winner of the LBSU/UCD match will advance to Saturday's semifinals, taking on the winner of No. 2 seed UC Santa Barbara and No. 7 Cal Poly at 9 a.m. The finals will be played Sunday, also set for a 9 a.m. start.
Beach Tennis has won 12 Big West Tournament titles in the last 15 years after claiming its first in 2002. Over the last 16 years, Long Beach State has reached the tournament finals a remarkable 15 times.
For the first time, this year's tournament will have live scoring available through StatBroadcast. To follow along with live results for the entire Big West Tournament, CLICK HERE.
LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State closed the regular season by splitting a pair of home matches against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The Beach claimed a 4-0 win over the Mustangs before suffering a 4-2 setback against the Gauchos.
Junior Lena Pacholski led the way for the 49ers on the weekend, going a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles play. Along with partner Laura Eales at No. 2 doubles, Pacholski earned wins of 6-0 and 6-4. As the No. 3 singles player in the lineup, she won in straight sets over Cal Poly's Louise Oxnevad before knocking off No. 123 Jaimee Gilbertson of UCSB 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 for her first ranked win.
ACROSS THE NET - UC DAVIS
Interestingly enough, the Aggies have already played Long Beach State in a neutral site match this season. The regular season meeting between the two teams was moved up a day and moved indoors to the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center due to inclement weather. LBSU won that match 4-2, which had a 9 p.m. start time on Apr. 7 in Gold River, Calif. near Sacramento.
UC Davis then closed its season with a 4-1 home loss against San Jose State and a 6-1 home win against UC Riverside on Apr. 22.
The last time Long Beach State met UC Davis in the Big West Tournament was in the 2013 quarterfinals, when the No. 2 seed 49ers knocked off the No. 7 seed Aggies, 4-0.
LBSU claimed Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week for three consecutive weeks from Mar. 15-29, with three different players winning the award. First, it was Maeva Razakasoa winning her sixth career AOTW honor on Mar. 15, followed by Julie Gerard on Mar. 22 and Natalia Munoz on Mar. 29.
Gerard and Munoz both won the award for the first time in their careers thanks to 4-0 weeks on the court. For Munoz, her four wins were against players from ranked teams: No. 39 Dartmouth and No. 46 Denver.
100 WINS AND RUNNIN'
With a 6-3, 6-0 win over Georgetown's Victorie Saperstein on Mar. 7, senior Maeva Razakasoa reached 100 career singles wins at Long Beach State. She is the new all-time leader in career singles wins, passing current LBSU assistant coach Anais Dallara.
As of this week, Razakasoa's career singles win total is at 105, bringing her overall wins total at Long Beach State to 178, which places her in a tie for third place all time.
Fellow senior Julie Gerard also surpassed the 100-win plateau, and is currently two wins behind Razakasoa with 103 singles victories over her Long Beach State career.
The 2017 senior class will go down as one of the best in Long Beach State history, and is already the winningest. All four of this year's seniors--Laura Eales, Julie Gerard, Maeva Razakasoa and Hayley Thompson--are in the Top 15 for overall wins in program history. Razakasoa and Gerard are No. 1 and 2, respectively, in singles wins all-time.
Razakasoa is a two-time and defending Big West Player of the Year. She is looking to claim the conference's top honor for the third time this season, which would put her one award shy of LBSU Hall of Famer Hannah Grady.
Razakasoa briefly entered the national singles rankings on Feb. 8, checking in at No. 124 in the country.
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