Sports, Women's Tennis

‘Niners overcome early woes in Chicago

The No. 44-ranked Long Beach State women’s tennis team opened its three-match road trip in the Midwest with a come-from-behind victory over Illinois-Chicago, 5-2, on Thursday.

The 49ers rallied to win the doubles point before taking four of six singles matches to win the contest.

The Beach fell behind early when it dropped the first match of the day at the No. 1 slot in doubles action. The duo of Mariya Kovaleva and Linda Hricistova of Illinois-Chicago edged Anais Dallara and Klaudia Malenovska, 8-6.

However, the ‘Niners rallied in the next two matches to claim the best-of-three doubles point. Rachel Manasse and Jaklin Alawi narrowly defeated Elissa Simonetti and Teona Tsertsvadze, 8-6, while Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar sealed the point with a 9-7 win over Ilinca Cristescu and Jana Knoppe.

In singles play, the 49ers were able to carry over their momentum from doubles action at the No. 6 as Sarah Cantlay won with relative ease against Hricistova, 6-3, 6-1.

But Illinois-Chicago stormed back into the contest to even the score at 2. Kovaleva downed Dallara 6-0, 6-4, at the No. 1 spot before Simonetti upended Alawi, 6-3, 7-5 at No. 4.

From there, both teams went the distance as the next three matches went into the third set with LBSU coming out on top.

At the No. 2, Malenovska fought off Tsertsvadze, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, while Manasse followed up with a victory over Jana Knoppe 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, at the No. 5 spot.

Armstrong rounded out the comeback with a wire-to-wire victory over Cristescu in No. 3 action, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (4) to seal contest.

The 49ers will continue their road trip Friday at Noon (PT) against No. 19 Notre Dame.

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