NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Armed with a formidable doubles line-up and a singles line-up full of freshmen and newcomers whom have shown grit and growth throughout the season, the Cal State Northridge women's tennis team heads to Indian Wells, Calif., for the 2014 Big West Tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The Matadors finished the regular season 12-9 overall and 3-5 against Big West opposition to claim the sixth seed in the tournament.
CSUN opens competition Friday, April 25 with an 8 a.m. match against third-seeded Hawai'i. The Rainbow Wahine scored a 4-0 victory over the Matadors on April 20, something Northridge is determined to avenge amidst the desert scenery.
Doubles play figures to be a key to CSUN's success this weekend. As a team, the Matadors were 39-20 (.661) and are annually one of the top doubles teams in the conference.
One of the key reasons for the doubles success in 2014 has been the development of the freshmen team of Kristen Poei and Mickey Hsu. The rookies are a sterling 17-2 on the season, the fourth-best winning percentage for a doubles team in a single season in program history.
Poei and Hsu had an 11-match winning streak at one point during the season and eventually moved up to the top draw as the season progressed. They will be looking to repay an 8-6 loss to Hawai'i in their last match.
In singles action, Lin has played predominantly at the No. 1 draw for the majority of the season. The freshman from Hong Kong has compiled an 11-10 overall record for the season and 4-4 against Big West opposition. She earned two Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week honors during her first season at CSUN.
Hsu and Rodriguez have made up the second and third draw most recently for CSUN head coach Gary Victor. Hsu is 11-8 on the year and has won six of her last seven singles matches. Rodriguez is 9-8 overall and has notable victories over Cal State Fullerton, Boise State and Montana in her first year with the squad.
Poei will probably play at the fourth draw for the Matadors. One of two Matador freshmen from Hawai'i, Poei is tied for the team lead with 12 singles victories. She enters the tournament having one four of her past five singles matches.
Cheung, the team's only senior, also has 12 singles wins on the year. She is likely to play at the fifth draw and has won five of her past seven matches. Warren is 5-7 overall and will likely play at the sixth draw for CSUN.
Hawai'i finished the regular season 10-8 overall and 5-2 in the Big West. Long Beach State enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed while UC Irvine is the No. 2 seed.
The winner of the CSUN-Hawai'i match will face the winner of UC Irvine-Cal Poly on Saturday, April 26 at 9 a.m. The winner of the Big West Tournament Finals, on Sunday, April 27, earns the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.