SACRAMENTO Calif. – The Sacramento State women's tennis team hosted both the UC Irvine Anteaters and the Eastern Washington Eagles Friday and came away with two more wins on the season after an exciting day of tennis.
The Hornets (7-10, 5-2 BSC) fell behind in the first match, giving up the doubles point to UC Irvine (8-11, 0-3 BWC) as the pairs of Ana Loaiza Esquivias/Jenna Dorian and Shamika Dhar/Frana Ugarkovic each fell to their UCI opponents, 6-3.
Despite falling behind, the Hornets ripped off four straight singles wins to clinch the match and the victory. Sofia Gulnova evened the score, winning her match against UC Irvine's Flora Amiri in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Maria Gonzalez was next, also winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 over Stephanie Nguyen. From there, Ugarkovic had a strong win from the number six singles position, 6-2, 6-3 over the Anteaters' Jacqueline Tsodikova. The clincher came from Loazia Esquivias, who battled UC Irvine's number one, Stephanie Hazell, coming away with a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Because of scheduling, the Hornets and Anteaters played to clinch, leaving Dorian's and Dhar's matches unfinished.
Less than three hours later, Sacramento State was back on the courts as they opened a Big Sky Conference match against Eastern Washington (6-9, 3-2 BSC).
For the third straight match, Sacramento State dropped the doubles point as Carolina Chernyetsky and teammate Gonzalez fell 6-0. They were followed by the pair of Ugarkovic and Dhar, who dropped their doubles match, 6-2.
Sacramento State evened the score as Loaiza Esquivias won her match from the number one singles position, 6-2, 6-0, giving her five straight singles wins. The Hornets climbed ahead to 2-1 after Dorian also won, 6-2, 6-1 from the number five position.
Eastern Washington refused to go quietly, taking the next match against Sacramento State to even the score at 2-2. Dhar put Sacramento State back ahead, winning 6-4, 6-2 over the Eagles' Rachel Swindell before Sofia Wicker fell at the number four position, 6-4, 6-4.
With the match even at three, Sacramento State's Maria Gonzalez delivered the match-clincher with a thrilling three-set win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, over EWU's Zoey Nelson.
"We had a really fun atmosphere at home today for a close match," said head coach Cami Hubbs after Sacramento State's big conference win. "Having the support from the home crowd made for a great environment.
"We've very proud of the team for stepping up and playing strong in our third match in the last day and a half."
With the win, Sacramento State climbs to 7-10 overall this season, but more importantly, improve to 5-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Hornets are now third in the conference, trailing just the undefeated Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and are a game back of the Idaho Vandals.
Sacramento State will take to the courts next on the road on Thursday, April 5 as they travel to Cal. That match is scheduled to being at 1:30 pm.