Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Tennis

49ers falter against Gauchos

Heads hung low and frustrations ran high as Long Beach State dropped match after match in its final home game of the season.

Long Beach (11-4, 4-2 Big West) fell 6-1 against conference rival UC Santa Barbara (8-6, 2-0 Big West) Saturday, struggling to rekindle the magic it found in its recent win streak.

“We had opportunities to go up,” head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello said. “Today as a whole we made a lot of bad decisions that cost us.”

Doubles looked promising after a 6-2 win by junior Natalia Munoz and sophomore Lalita Devarakonda, a matchup that was successful due to the unit’s constant communication.

Eventually the game came down to the wire, with freshmen Wiktoria Rutkowska and Dominique Meyer becoming the 49ers’ only hope. The duo lost 6-4, with the last game ending in a love game for UCSB.

“The last game of their doubles set was definitely deflating,” Hilt-Costello said. “We just didn’t put many balls on the court.”

Long Beach continued to falter as it swiftly lost half of its singles matches. The other half looked much more promising yet only resulted in one win by freshman Emma Bardet.

Despite a couple of close matches, Long Beach couldn’t follow through to the end.

Munoz acknowledged the team could have obtained more, had UCSB not secured four points so early in the game. The four point mark inhibited a full third set, which could have given LBSU an advantage to score.

“I went down pretty quickly in both sets, and I got pretty close towards the end,” Munoz said. “If I could get a better start, then it would be a lot closer than it was.”

Munoz lost her singles match due to her lobs. The slower hits allowed her opponent time to aim the balls across the court from her, making it so Munoz could not run to them in time.

“Granted, I could’ve done the high-heavy a little bit better, but when I gave myself more time I think that let me come back into the match,” Munoz said.

Although Munoz was able to secure the only doubles win earlier with Devarakonda, it wasn’t enough preparation for a second win.

“We got the [doubles] point, which really helped the flow of energy, but that didn’t really translate into my singles match,” Munoz said.

Long Beach State Women’s Tennis will compete 10 a.m. Saturday at UC Davis.

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