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 the win today and they took it.”
Being down 1-0, Long Beach painted its road to a comeback by winning five of the first six sets during singles. The first singles win that tied the match came from 49ers senior Lena Pacholski after defeating Jorgensen in two sets 6-3, 7-5. The second win that placed Long Beach ahead was by Casasampere with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against junior Isabella von Ebbe.
“It was a great battle,” UC Davis head coach Bill Maze said. “Long Beach was too good today. I am sure we will come back stronger next time and hopefully we will play them in the conference championships.”
Devarakonda beat the Aggies’s Tsukamoto in two sets 6-2, 6-4 to put the match 3-1 at that moment so that seconds later Muñoz could make the final point for Long Beach’s fourth conference win and position the team in the fourth seed toward the Big West Tournament.
“It has been a long season,” Muñoz said. “I feel everyone is on the same page and everything is finally coming together. We are so pumped for next game, we are ready to come out, try our best and hopefully come out with another win.”
The 49ers will play their last game of regular season against Cal State Fullerton. The traditional rivalry match will be played at 2 p.m. Friday at the Rhodes Tennis Center.