April 28, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge women's tennis team travels to Indian Wells, Calif., this weekend to participate in the 2011 Big West Tennis Championships. The seventh seed in the tournament, the Matadors open the competition against Cal Poly on Friday, April 29 at 9 a.m.
Northridge enters the match with the Mustangs at 15-9 overall and with a 3-5 league record. The Matadors have been playing some of their best tennis of the season recently, winning five of their final six dual matches. That streak includes a 5-2 victory over Pacific in the regular season finale on April 23.
Although the Matadors dropped a 6-1 decision to Cal Poly earlier in the season, Northridge head coach Gary Victor is excited about his team's chances Friday morning.
"I think Friday will be a great match between two very good teams," Victor said. "For us, we're finally healthy, have the line-up that beat San Diego State earlier in the year ready to go and we're playing some of our best tennis of the season."
Individually, several Matadors have had outstanding seasons and should be hearing soon about all-conference recognition. Senior Brooke Doane has posted an impressive 20-4 record in doubles play this season, setting a new school record with 70 career doubles wins and looks certain to earn her third-straight All-Big West Doubles First Team honor.
Doane's teammate for most of the season, Jennifer Sher, has also had an outstanding year in her first season at Northridge. Sher, who was named Big West Tennis Athlete of the Week on April 27, is 20-2 in doubles on the season and leads the team with 16 singles victories. As a tandem, Sher and Doane have teamed up to produce a 15-1 record (.938) at No. 1 doubles.
In fact, doubles appears to be one of the Matadors' biggest strengths entering Friday's match. For the season, CSUN went 52-20 (.722) in doubles play as a team. Individually, both Doane (8-0) and Maria Pistalu (7-0) went undefeated in league doubles play while Sher lost once and Sabrina Man-Son-Hing lost just twice.
In singles, Victor points to the fact that several Matadors are playing their best tennis of the season now. Nigora Sirojiddinova is 5-1 over her last six singles matches and posted an impressive victory at No. 4 in CSUN's win over Pacific.
Another individual playing some of her best tennis of the season as the calendar nears May is freshman Lorraine Cheung. Originally from Hong Kong, Cheung finished the regular season at 13-6, the second-most singles wins on the squad.
Pistalu has also had a nice finish to the year after overcoming some injury issues as the start of the campaign. In her second year at CSUN, Pistalu finished 12-6 in singles in the regular season to improve her career record to 25-10.
At the top of the draw, Doane is coming off a recent seven-matching winning streak at No. 1 singles and Sher has been the most consistent threat in the Matadors' line-up all season.
Completing the line-up for the Matadors is the return of Nina Jaworowski. The senior missed extended time during the season, but has returned sharp and focused for her final run at a league title.
The winner of the Matadors-Mustangs contest will face the winner of third-seeded UC Davis and sixth-seeded UC Irvine. That match will occur on Saturday, April 30 and the tournament champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 1.