GOLD RIVER, Calif. – Sacramento State, the No. 3 seed for the Big Sky Championship, opened tournament play with a commanding 4-0 sweep of No. 6 seed Northern Colorado in a quarterfinal match on Friday at Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center.
With the win Sacramento State (10-16, 7-3 Big Sky) advances to the semifinal round on Saturday, where it will face 2nd-seeded Northern Arizona (9-14, 8-2 Big Sky) at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday competition in the tournament will be played outside at Gold River Racquet Club.
Back close to full strength with the return of key players Katharina Knoebl, Daria Savchenko, and Alina Soltanici, the Hornets opened by winning doubles while dropping only three games. Savchenko and Knoebl swept the No. 2 doubles match 8-0 and Soltanici and freshman Deimante Bulatovaite won 8-3 at No. 3 to quickly earn the doubles point.
Senior Sophie Lohscheidt and sophomore Olivia Boija did not complete their doubles match at No. 1 but were the first two Hornets to win in singles play. Lohscheidt cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Northern Colorado's Chrissie Hoolahan at No. 3 and Boija beat Hilary Walters-West at No. 4, 6-1, 6-1, to put the Hornets one win away from victory.
Savchenko clinched the match at No. 1, topping the top Bears player Adriana Nieto by a 6-1, 6-2 tally. The singles matches for Soltanici, Bulatovaite, and Knoebl were not completed.
Sacramento State took a 6-1 loss at Northern Arizona on April 13, but the Hornet squad was significantly undermanned in that match. Savchenko and Knoebl both missed that match while Soltanici tried to play through an ankle injury but had to retire in the second set of her match.