Coming off a close win last week against Cal State Northridge, the Cal State Fullerton women’s tennis team hosted the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Saturday. The team pulled off a decisive 5-2 victory against the visitors to bring their record to 3-4 (1-1).
The Titans started off slow and lost two out of three in doubles play with the No. 1 team of Morgan McIntosh and Kalika Slevcove coming away with the lone win, 8-5. The doubles tandem had a shaky start but were able to pull out the lone victory in doubles.
Crediting their win to poaching the net against their opponents, junior McIntosh said, “Our coach told us you need to hit volleys, so we were coming in, serving and volleying.”
That seemed to do the trick for the No. 1 doubles team as their opponent seemed to get confused and irritated by the new, quicker style of play the Titans were dictating. At the time McIntosh and Slevcove made the change in strategy they were down 3-1. The duo only lost two more games in the rest of the match.
Emilia Borkowski and Megan Sandford lost Veronika Rogova and Madeline Skaras 4-8, while the No. 3 team consisting of Avriel Tomaiko and Malorie de la Cruz put up a valiant effort despite the loss, 6-8.
The Titans were able to pull it together once singles started and won five out the six matches.
“We fought hard … I was happy with the singles and they played hard right to the very end,” said Head Coach Bill Reynolds.
McIntosh rolled through Olya Kunz 6-1, 6-0 as she consistently returned most of the shots her opponent sent right back.
“Game plan was to keep it away from her forehand, she had a big forehand, but basically to out-rally her because she liked pace so if I just kept getting everything back she eventually made the error,” said McIntosh.
That match set the tone for the rest of the singles matches as the Thunderbirds were not able to keep up with the rest of the Titan women.
Only the upcoming standout freshman Emilia Borkowski lost a tight singles match against Veronika Rogova 6-7, 6-7. A move up to the No. 2 spot for the Titans was just the second loss of Borkowski’s young career at CSUF, which looks to be bright.
No. 3 player Kalika Slevcove outworked her opposition by defeating Alex Ivanova 6-4, 6-4.
“My serve, definitely my serve and overheads. So I would take an overhead from the backline and she would be so not expecting that, but since I can make it, why not?’’ said the sophomore Slevcove.
In the rest of the singles matches No. 4 Megan Sandford won 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 over Madeline Skaras while Malorie de la Cruz won 6-4, 6-1 against Kendra Gleason.
Rebekkah Ermac defeated Afton Staheli 6-0 7-5 to cap it off for the streaking Titans, who have now won two matches in a row.
The Titans look to build off this win as they look to play against the University of Hawaii on Wednesday.
For more information on the women’s tennis team, visit FullertonTitans.comE