Tennis Keeps Perfect League Record

    The No. 19 UCSD women’s tennis team faced Cal State San Bernardino twice over the past weekend, completely dominating the two-game series, winning 7-2 in the first contest on April 6 and following up with an even bigger win, 8-1, on April 7. The two victories improved the team’s overall record to 10-7, with a perfect league record of 7-0.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Junior doubles player Justine Ang Fonte and senior partner Christy Knudsen teamed up for 8-0 and 8-1 wins in UCSD’s two wins over Cal State San Bernardino on April 6 and 7.

    The Tritons jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the two matches as all three doubles pairs posted impressive wins on both days. No. 1 doubles pair seniors Marsha Malinow and Ina Dan dominated the opposition 8-1, 8-2. No. 3 doubles pair senior Allison Legakis and sophomore Yekaterina Milvidskaia did just as well, winning 8-3, 8-1. No. 2 doubles pair junior Justine Ang Fonte and senior Christy Knudsen did even better as they overwhelmed their opponents 8-1, 8-0.

    Malinow was very impressed with the team’s performance.

    “”The past two days have been ridiculously great performances by everyone,”” Malinow said. “”CSU San Bernardino isn’t very strong and everyone else just played amazing.””

    Head coach Liz LaPlante agreed that Cal State San Bernardino wasn’t the biggest challenge the Tritons have seen this season.

    “”Honestly, [Cal State San Bernardino] is really weak, except their No. 1,”” LaPlante said.

    During singles play, the Tritons were in control in both matches. In the first match, the team only dropped two points as Legakis, who was playing in the No. 5 spot, lost in a super tiebreaker 0-6, 6-4, 4-10, and No. 1 Malinow lost 4-6, 2-6.

    However, the Tritons bettered that mark the next day as they dropped only one point, with only Malinow losing again, 5-7, 2-6. Though Malinow struggled, Dan and sophomore Tessa Tran both had easy victories of 6-0, 6-0. Not only that, Legakis avenged her loss by defeating her opponent 6-4, 6-4.

    LaPlante was very proud of the way Legakis came back to win.

    “”Allison had a really tough match on Friday, losing that super tiebreaker,”” LaPlante said. “”But today Allison knew what she was up against and beat her.””

    The victory extended the team’s win streak to 37 straight wins in conference play. While the win streak itself is amazing, Malinow cautioned that it does not tell the whole story.

    “”I think it’s a huge streak,”” Malinow said. “”However, if you look at the big picture, our conference matches have been really easy. Compared to the other schools we play, they are a lot weaker.””

    LaPlante put a similar twist to the streak, maintaining that the final goal of the team was to compete at nationals.

    “”The streak is a big accomplishment and it’s great to be able to dominate in the conference,”” LaPlante said. “”We have won the conference three years in a row and we hope to do it again this year.””

    While winning conference is the goal for the team once again, LaPlante says there are more important things ahead.

    “”It’s even more important to maintain our ranking within the region, to qualify for NCAA regionals, get to host and hopefully move on to the final 16,”” she said.

    The team’s matches over spring break seem to backup with Malinow’s statement as the Tritons fell to No. 5 University of West Florida and No. 21 Hawaii Pacific University, but managed to defeat No. 36 University of Hawaii at Hilo.

    Despite the two losses over the break, Malinow was upbeat about the team’s chances at regionals.

    “”I think we all did the best we could have done,”” Malinow said. “”Against Hawaii [Pacific University], I think we can potentially beat them if we see them at regionals. There were a lot of close games that could have gone either way. It was a tough spring break, but in my opinion, everyone put in everything they had. All the girls are playing with a lot of heart.””

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