The Portland State women’s tennis team followed the rest of the Big Sky schools this season when they fell to undefeated Sacramento State over the weekend. The Hornets picked up a 7-0 sweep, leaving the Viks with a desire to redeem themselves on Saturday—and the team did just that.
The Portland State women’s tennis team followed the rest of the Big Sky schools this season when they fell to undefeated Sacramento State over the weekend. The Hornets picked up a 7-0 sweep, leaving the Viks with a desire to redeem themselves on Saturday—and the team did just that. They rebounded to beat the Eastern Washington Eagles on the road in a 5-2 victory. The weekend’s split bumps PSU’s record to 5-12 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
Friday’s match opened with a doubles competition that prompted Sac State to be concerned about furthering their 79 straight Big Sky victories. In the No. 1 position, the duo of freshman Yuki Sugiyama and senior Anya Dalkin came out strong, sending their match into a tiebreaker round. Eventually, they proved their resilience on the court and took the tiebreak 7-4.
In the No. three doubles slot the pair of junior Marti Pellicano and senior Caitlin Stocking pulled off an exciting round, but ended with a 8-5 doubles loss. Pellicano returned in the singles side to bring a competitive game to the court. She was the sole Viking player to score over three points in the match up.
Prior to Pellicano’s performance, Sugiyama was the only other Viking to grab more than two points when she opened singles play with a tough match of her own, losing 6-3, 6-1. The result was just the second conference loss for the freshman.
Following Friday’s defeat, the Vikings took their game on the road when they traveled to Spokane to take on the Eastern Washington Eagles. Unlike Friday’s match, Saturday was all about the Viks.
The Vikings earned the opening doubles point, which was a positive precursor to what was to come in the singles competition. Sugiyama and Dalkin opened the match with an 8-4 victory. The Eagles answered back with a win of their own in the No. two doubles position, but in the end, it was the Vikings with the final say, as Pellicano and Stocking pulled off a solid 8-4 win of their own.
In singles action the Viks proved their worth against EWU. Sugiyama got back to her winning ways as she opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory to start things off. The win puts the freshman’s record at 12-4, which ties her with the most wins in PSU history. She will have one more shot next weekend against Idaho State to make the record her own.
Sugiyama’s doubles partner, Dalkin followed her teammate with a singles win of her own. She opened the match being painfully swept 6-0 by senior opponent Judy Liening, but Dalkin got her feet back after the first frame and finished up the match with a pair of 6-2 set scores.
It was PSU domination for the opening four singles position, with sophomore Nayanatara Vadali and Pellicano rounding off the Viking singles wins. Vadali had three close sets and sent her match into a tiebreaker. The sophomore ended up on top after she took her opponent in a 7-5 tiebreaker win. This was the first conference win for the sophomore this season.
EWU took the final two matches, but by then the Viks had already sealed their victory. The match was competitive on both sides, as PSU and Eastern hold similar records and both teams have a similar level of play.
With the team out of contention for post-season action, it has just one final match to round off the regular season. The Viks are scheduled to take on winless Idaho State this Wednesday.
The Vikings currently stand just one match behind Northern Colorado and Weber State, which both finished the regular season this weekend with a final 3-5 conference record. If the Viks repeat Saturday’s results against ISU this week, they will end the season in a tie for fifth place—the highest finish the team has ended since 2008.
The match against the ISU Bengals is set to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The location was not yet determined at the time of publication. ?