Final match win puts women’s tennis in the records

The women’s tennis team made it to the record books when they beat the Idaho State Bengals on Wednesday morning.

The women’s tennis team made it to the record books when they beat the Idaho State Bengals on Wednesday morning. The win was the third conference win for the Vikings, the most in the history of the team. The 5-2 victory ends Portland State’s season in a three-way tie for fifth place with a 7-11 overall, 3-5 conference record. Regardless of the results of the final few matches from other Big Sky schools, the Vikings are guaranteed a sixth place finish.

Against Idaho State, the Vikings came out and played like it was their final match of the season. Senior Anya Dalkin and freshman Yuki Sugiyama opened the day with a decisive 8-1 doubles win over the Bengals. In the No. 3 position, junior Marti Pellicano and senior Caitlin Stocking continued the Viks’ momentum, attaining an 8-2 victory over their opponents.

The momentum continued into the start of singles competition. Sugiyama pulled her 13th overall season victory when she took junior Katharina Marsela in 6-1, 6-3 set scores. The win puts Sugiyama in the record books for the most wins in the No. 1 position. She beat the record set in 1998, which was 12 wins in the No. 1 position.

The freshman also ended the season just one match short of the overall singles victories, with the record standing of 14 set in 2003.

Following Sugiyama’s win, the No. 2 and 3 positions of Dalkin and sophomore Nayanatara Vadali faltered to the Bengals, dropping both of their matches, thus leaving it up the final three positions to secure a victory for the Viks.

Pellicano, who has lost heart-breaking matches over the past two weekends, went out in the best way she could, with a perfect sweep of her opponent, redshirt junior Risa Fujiwara. The win puts Pellicano’s personal record at 6-11 overall and ties her with freshman Marina Todd for the second best Viking record this season.

After Pellicano did away with her opponent, her doubles partner, Stocking, followed suit. The senior ended her career at PSU with a near sweep, recording a 6-1, 6-0 win. Stocking leaves PSU with a 5-9 overall record her senior year, a notable improvement from her three wins last season. The senior also grabbed a 5-7 overall record in doubles with partner Pellicano.

The last position for the match was the only match that ended in a three-set total. Todd lost her opening frame in a close 4-6 score, but she came back in the second set, winning it 6-3. The final set was a battle to the end, as the freshman edged out her opponent 11-9 in a tiebreaker.

In a statement released by the school, head coach Jay Sterling summed up the end to a successful season.

“I’m very proud of the girls,” Sterling said. “It was awesome to win the match and have the kind of a season we had this year after last season.”

After a difficult finish to last year that landed the Vikings in last place in the standings, a possible fifth place finish is a prize worth celebrating. While the team has to say goodbye to senior players Dalkin and Stocking, new faces are filling in the ranks. The major question in need of answering is who will fill in at the No. 1 position to replace Sugiyama, who is heading back to Japan next year. Still, the Vikings have plenty of younger talent ready to step and help the team keep heading in the right direction. ?