Tennis goes down against nationally ranked Eagles

ROBERT HUSKEY/ Daily Titan

ROBERT HUSKEY/ Daily Titan

After a perfect 5-0 record in February, the Cal State Fullerton women’s tennis team has now dropped its first two matches in March, including a tough loss to Boston College on Tuesday. The No. 51-ranked Eagles from Atlantic Coast College (ACC) defeated the Titans 6-1 to remain undefeated with a 6-0 record.

The Titans lost every doubles match against the Eagles. Tiffany Mai and Monica Rodriguez went down 8-5, Morgan McIntosh and Kalika Slevcove were downed 8-6 and Emilia Borkowski and Megan Sandford also fell 8-6. The Titans also lost all but one singles match, with Borkowski defeating Marina Vasilyev 4-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (5).

The doubles sweep left many spectators in awe since this was one of the best teams the Titans have played so far this year. CSUF started off strong in doubles play and held the lead in a couple of the matches. McIntosh and Slevcove had the closest doubles match, as they led the match until the a push by Kauppila and Khmylev killed the Titans’ chances of any wins in the doubles duels.

Despite the doubles sweep, Titan Head Coach Bill Reynolds is happy with the team’s improvement.

“Our doubles have gotten a lot better, but the singles we still need to work on a few things,” said Reynolds. “They knew what to expect from Boston College, and knew how good they were going to be. We played up to our potential in the doubles and most of the singles, but we’re getting better.”

Singles play was not much better as the Titans were defeated in all matches except one. Wacnik (BC) def. Mai (CSUF), 6-4, 6-4. Kelleher (BC) def. McIntosh (CSUF), 6-4, 6-2. Kelly Barry (BC) def. Rodriguez (CSUF), 6-2, 6-2. Borkowski (CSUF) def. Vasilyev (BC), 4-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (5). Salonen (BC) def. Slevcove (CSUF), 6-2, 6-1. Wan-Yi Sweeting (BC) def. Sandford (CSUF), 6-2, 6-4. With only one win in the entire match, the Titans are looking forward to get back on the winning side as soon as possible.

Reynolds believes that the team has gotten away from placing the ball in play and has been trying too hard to execute the big plays lately. He talked about the freshman Borkowski, who was the only Titan to win a singles match last afternoon.

“Emily actually turned that around and won it by keeping the ball on the court,” Reynolds said.

The Titan senior Mai is coming off being named Big West Conference Player of the Week, and is playing some of the team’s best tennis right now.

“I knew they were going to be good, especially after the doubles; I saw that this was going to be a tough matchup,” said Mai.

Mai addressed what she thought the team needed to do to get back on track.

“Everyone is playing pretty well. We’ll get better and better as matches go on, and we’ll  click one day soon,” Mai said.

Mai’s consistent play was praised by Reynolds.

“Tiffany is playing the No. 1 spot and that is such a tough position to play, and she will always play the best player on every team we face,” Reynolds said.

Boston College concludes their west coast trip Friday with a match against the Titans’ archrival, the 49ers of Long Beach State, at 1 p.m.

The Titans have another home match Thursday against Stetson University at 2 p.m. before heading off to take on Cal Poly in a Big West matchup on Saturday at noon, and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 1 p.m.

McIntosh is determined to get back on the winning side and believes the team can do it.

“I think to get back on track we need to take what we learned today and apply it,” said McIntosh. “We learned a big lesson that we need to keep the ball in and these girls don’t miss.”

For more information on the women’s tennis team or their upcoming schedule, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Chris Collins