Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Tennis

A last breath defeat for Long Beach State women’s tennis

A perfect March ended for Long Beach State women’s tennis team, as the team suffered a close 4-3 loss Saturday against Purdue at the Rhodes Tennis Center.

LBSU (6-6) and Purdue (7-7) fought until the last game of the match, where 49er freshman Sadaf Sadeghvaziri fell against Boilermakers’ Seira Shimizu in two sets 6-4, 7-6. Sadeghvaziri tied 6-6 against Shimizu in an aggressive and tight second set, but the deciding match point ended up going to the away side.

“I felt I had the opportunity to win this match,” Sadeghvaziri said. “She was a good player, I tried my best. That was my first experience in a match-decider game but I still feel I had the chance to win it.”

Long Beach freshman Carlota Casasampere and sophomore Maren Helgo lost in the first game against Purdue sophomore Alex Sabe and Shimizu 6-2, while senior Lena Pacholski and Sadeghvaziri bested freshmen Ena Babic and Zala Dovnik 6-4.

“We were very close in taking the doubles point,” Pacholski said. “They are a very good team to play against, and I felt me and Sadaf brought a lot of energy in our game.”

The doubles point went to the Boilermakers after sophomore Caitlin Calkins and junior Silvia Ambrosio 7-6 won against 49ers sophomore Natalia Muñoz and freshman Lalita Devarakonda.

“My team fought, dug in and competed when we needed to,” said Purdue head coach Laura Glitz. “I still believe we were a little bit inconsistent on certain courts. Overall today was not one of our best performances despite winning against a great team.”

Long Beach had a three-game winning streak coming into the match it wanted to extend at home, but fell short. During singles the 49ers fought hard but lost 3-1 after defeats of Muñoz and Helgo and a singles win by Devarakonda. Casasampere won against Calkins in two sets 6-4, 6-4, placing the 49ers in a comeback position and extending her personal singles record to four wins in a row.

While Pacholski bested Ambrosio in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and placed a 3-3 tie on the scoreboard for the moment, everything was in Sadeghvaziri’s hands. Unfortunately for Long Beach, she fell short.

“It was a win or lose moment,” Sadeghvaziri said. “I felt a bit of pressure on me, I need to work harder for next time. The matches we have lost this season, in most we have come so close [to] winning. We have to continue to try and get back into winning more matches.”

Despite the frustrating defeat, the 49ers will have the chance to bounce back when they host Dartmouth at noon, March 23 at the Rhodes Tennis Center.

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