Sports, Women's Tennis

Beach tennis: one win away from punching NCAA ticket

The No. 1-seeded Long Beach State women’s tennis team is now one match away from earning its seventh Big West Conference title in eight years and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after a decisive 4-1 victory Saturday against the No. 5-seeded University of Pacific at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

With the win, the 49ers will be making their 11th consecutive appearance in the Big West tournament championship.

The Beach received clutch play from its No. 1 singles player, Anais Dallara. The junior avenged her regular-season loss to Jennifer Widjaja to clinch the match, 6-4, 7-6.

Dallara also joined former teammate Hannah Grady as the only other player to defeat Widjaja in conference play.

No. 6 singles action player, Sarah Cantlay, came up big again today, securing a victory against Kateryna Nezhura, 6-3, 6-0.

Meanwhile, sophomore Jakin Alawi made quick work of her opponent, Susan Te, at the No. 5 spot, 6-2, 6-2.

In doubles competition, the ‘Niners earned a quick win for the second day in a row. The No. 2 duo of Alawi and Rachel Manasse ousted Shabby Eslami and Irvin, 8-1, while Cantlay and Julie Luzar beat Olga Gumenyuk and Te by the same margin.

The lone loss of the match came at the No. 2 spot as Klaudia Malenovska was forced to withdraw against Julia Hansen.

LBSU now awaits the winner of the semifinal match between UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge. The Big West championship game will be played at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

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