Sept. 20, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State women's tennis begins fall tournament season this weekend, traveling to Las Vegas as one of six teams participating in the UNLV Invitational.
Head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello leads the 49ers into the 2012-13 campaign as Long Beach State looks to defend its 2012 Big West championship and continue the team's success from last season, when the team finished with a win in the NCAA Tournament and a No. 36 final ranking.
Long Beach State will bring seven of its eight players to compete in the UNLV Invitational, where they will be put into four singles flights and two doubles flights, matching up with individual players from five other schools: Auburn, Texas Tech, South Alabama, Northern Arizona, and the hosts, UNLV.
All four returning 49ers will participate, with seniors Klaudia Malenovska, Sarah Cantlay, and Anna Jeczmionka being joined by sophomore Karolina Rozenberg. Malenovska is fully recovered from a season-ending injury from 2011, and the other three will get their chance to impress early against a field that features four teams that were ranked to end the season a year ago, including the 49ers.
Joining the four returnees will be three foreign players, joining Long Beach State in 2012-13. Eva Rodriguez of Spain, Ebba Unden of Sweden, and Anne-Sophie Willems of Belgium will each see their first action as a 49er. Transfer Hazuki Asagi will sit out the fall season due to a knee injury.
Malenovska and Rodriguez will compete in the top singles flight, with Malenovska facing Peun Burgmans of Auburn in the quarterfinals, while Rodriguez plays #105 Rashmi Teltumbde of Texas Tech. Ebba Unden and Sarah Cantlay will participate in the second flight, Jeczmionka and Rozenberg will be in the third flight, and Anne-Sophie Willems will be in the fourth flight, receiving a bye into the semifinals of that draw.
In doubles, Cantlay will start the season paired with Rodriguez in the top flight, facing No. 26 Josifoska and Pavlovic of UNLV, while Malenovska and Unden will also be in the top flight, facing Stone and Lang of Northern Arizona. Bringing an odd number of players means that Rozenberg and Willems round out the 49ers' doubles participants, playing in the second flight against Auburn's Conti and Schippers.
After the UNLV Tournament, the 49ers will participate in three more tournaments in Southern California before finishing the fall season.
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