The Cal State Fullerton tennis team clinched their fifth-straight win at home Friday, defeating New Mexico State 6-1 to improve to 6-4 on the season.
During warm-ups, CSUF was pumped and ready to play their second match of a back-to-back after topping UCSD 5-2 on Thursday.
At the No. 2 spot, doubles partners Kalika Slevcove and Morgan McIntosh won the first point of the day. The girls dominated their match with strong forehands and earned points quickly.
They had an early 3-0 lead and rallied on their opponents, Ginet Piero and Annemieke Witte, to end the match with a 6-3 win.
The doubles teams continued to show their talent. At the No. 1 spot, doubles partners Tiffany Mai and Monica Rodriguez also commanded the scoreboard early.
It was evident that the two had great chemistry and solid communication throughout the match. Rodriguez had some sneaky shots, while her partner Mai had a few aces that their opponents, Jodie Williams and Denise Van Der Ben couldn’t return.
Mai discussed what makes the team successful.
“The biggest thing for us is that I know that if she misses, I’m not going to get mad, and if I miss, she won’t get mad. We just go onto the next point,” said Mai.
The duo played strong and had an early 4-2 lead. Both could read where the ball was going and had great control, finishing with strong strokes. Rodriguez put the team up 5-2 with a backhand, and soon after, Mai finished with a dagger backhand right down the middle of the court, securing their win, 7-4.
“With Monica, our chemistry just flows, I don’t know how to explain it. We just know each other really well,” Mai said.
“With Tiffany, this is our 3rd year playing with each other. We have an understanding and don’t put pressure on each other,” said Rodriguez.
The last doubles match completed the sweep, winning 8-6. At the No. 3 spot, Emilia Borkowski and Megan Sandford fought against Ros-Polly Nguyen and Lisa Roslanova, keeping the game close throughout. Starting off their game trailing 2-1, the Titans came from behind to win.
After winning all double matches and earning the double matches point, the Titans were on a roll. At No.1 singles, Mai made her opponent chase the ball. Her momentum carried her through points and she outscored her opponent 6-0 in the first and second sets.
When asked about what was key in her wins, it was simple. Mai said the important thing was “being consistent and not missing.”
At No. 3 singles, Rodriguez continued to take over and finished her sets on top, 6-2 and 6-0. The key for her has been “not going for too much, which has been my problem early in the season.”
The last match of the day was McIntosh at No. 2 singles. It was a tough battle between her and Denise Van Der Ben with the score fluctuating, but McIntosh outlasted her opponent.
All single matches were CSUF victories except for one, and the girls extended their winning streak to five games.
Two of those wins were in conference: one against Cal State Northridge (4-3) and the other against Hawaii (4-3).
Mai said that her senior year has been her best year.
“It’s our coach’s last season before retirement so not only do I want it make it the best year for the girls, but also for our coach … The depth in our team is solid,” Mai said.
The Titans will now play the University of Nevada on Saurday, March 2.
For more information on the women’s tennis team, visit FullertonTitans.com.