With a three-team race to the top, Long Beach State has shown why they’re the most reliable team in the Big West.
The Long Beach State women’s tennis team stringed in a couple strong performances early on, allowing that momentum to culminate in a 5-2 victory against UC Riverside in its first match of the season that took place on Saturday. Having won the doubles point, Long Beach (1-0 Big West) continued to succeed in its singles matches, winning four of its six matches against the Highlanders (0-1, 0-1 Big West). “I feel like it was a good start,” head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello said. “There were a lot of nerves that we are working through.” Three of the 49ers’ singles matches finished handily, clinching the win for the women’s tennis team in two sets each: freshman Zara Lennon 6-0, 6-2; sophomore Sadaf Sadeghvaziri 6-2, 6-2; and sophomore Carlota Casasampere 6-1, 6-3. Junior Natalia Munoz struggled against Riverside’s Mahli Silpachai in two sets 3-6, 2-6, earning the first singles loss of the game. Freshman Emma Bardet also suffered a loss to the Highlanders as she lost in a competitive match against Tia Elpusan. With the first two sets having polar opposite outcomes, the third was a tough set that ended in a 6-8 tiebreaker. The final singles win for Long Beach came from
It’s no secret that professional sports has long been a bit of a boy’s club and while the wage gap in sports is slowly closing, the differences in the treatment of men and women in athletics goes well beyond pay. This has been made apparent most recently with professional tennis player, Serena Williams. In tennis specifically, women have a history of wearing skirts, long ones at that. As the time progressed however, so did the style of tennis uniforms and shin-length skirts were replaced by more convenient and shorter tennis skirts and dresses. Williams in particular is not afraid to have fun with her tennis fashion as she has received praise — and some flack — over past outfit choices. After the birth of her daughter, Williams experienced health complications in the form of blood clots and combated this with a full-body Nike “catsuit.” Williams said the suit was created to prevent the formation of blood clots and maintain blood circulation in her legs. "All the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in a middle of everything. That's what this represents,” Williams said in an interview with Tennis
A recent trend among some of the successful sports teams at Long Beach State is the recruitment of international athletes. They travel thousands of miles to devote multiple years of work to a program, while putting trust into a coaching staff they’ve never met in person. The presence of foreign-born players has become impactful for many 49er teams this academic year. Long Beach has teams on both sides of the spectrum, from the California-centered style of recruiting exhibited by baseball to the women’s tennis team being comprised of athletes born outside of the U.S. A team’s need for talent from specific types of student-athletes has played a role in several Long Beach State programs going international to fill those requirements for certain sports. While some teams have a mixed bag of athletes from home and around the world, the women’s tennis team is known for a tendency to travel abroad for its talent. All seven of the team’s players this season were scouted internationally, hailing from countries such as Spain, India, France and Brazil. Head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello said although her team is foreign-born, this was not intentional on her part, or the athletics program. “As a coach, my philosophy
The Long Beach State women's tennis team earned its third consecutive victory after besting conference leaders UC Davis 4-1 Sunday at the Rhodes Tennis Center. After losing the doubles point, the 49ers (10-8, 4-2 in Big West) came back from behind during singles matches and outclassed the Aggies (13-5, 6-2 in Big West). Sophomore Natalia Muñoz clinched the win for Long Beach despite losing her first set 6-4 against sophomore Kristina Bereischer. Muñoz ended up rallying back Bereischer in the next two sets 6-1, 6-0 to celebrate the comeback . "We were all very pumped up and prepared coming into it today," Muñoz said. "I was freaking out a little bit. I had tough first two sets, I saw to my sides and knew I had to get this win for our team. It was great to be out here today." Long Beach lost the doubles point due to defeats by freshmen Lalita Devarakonda and Muñoz and by freshmen Carlota Casasampere and Georgia Gulin. "I am very proud of the girls," Long Beach head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello said. "We let our opportunities slip away in doubles, but this is our home court. They played aggressive tennis, they wanted to take
A perfect March ended for Long Beach State women's tennis team, as the team suffered a close 4-3 loss Saturday against Purdue at the Rhodes Tennis Center. LBSU (6-6) and Purdue (7-7) fought until the last game of the match, where 49er freshman Sadaf Sadeghvaziri fell against Boilermakers’ Seira Shimizu in two sets 6-4, 7-6. Sadeghvaziri tied 6-6 against Shimizu in an aggressive and tight second set, but the deciding match point ended up going to the away side. "I felt I had the opportunity to win this match," Sadeghvaziri said. "She was a good player, I tried my best. That was my first experience in a match-decider game but I still feel I had the chance to win it." Long Beach freshman Carlota Casasampere and sophomore Maren Helgo lost in the first game against Purdue sophomore Alex Sabe and Shimizu 6-2, while senior Lena Pacholski and Sadeghvaziri bested freshmen Ena Babic and Zala Dovnik 6-4. "We were very close in taking the doubles point," Pacholski said. "They are a very good team to play against, and I felt me and Sadaf brought a lot of energy in our game." The doubles point went to the Boilermakers after sophomore Caitlin
Natalie Muñoz has been nothing but clutch for the Long Beach State women’s tennis team this season. Her point in the third singles match against University of Pennsylvania sealed the 4-3 victory Tuesday at the Rhodes Tennis Center. The sophomore delivered for LBSU (5-5) similar to the way she pushed BYU to the brink of defeat in the last set of a home match on Feb. 9. It came down to an intense and long final singles match as she bested Quakers (5-7) sophomore Ashley Zhu in three sets 5-7, 7-6 and 6-3. “It was a tough match,” Muñoz said. “There were a lot of ups-and-downs. I never felt secured and my opponent always tried to come back.” Long Beach disputed a tight match and did well overall to come up on top. “It is a team effort,” Muñoz said. “If we would not have gotten the doubles point, my win would not have mattered. I am just glad I could finish up the effort that everyone did today.” The 49ers began the match winning the doubles point despite a change in the initial line up. Muñoz played her doubles alongside freshman Lalita Devarakonda instead of with her regular