History was made this last Friday, when the Sonoma State women’s tennis team defeated UC San Diego for the first time in the program’s existence. After a rough start of losing two of the three doubles matches, the lady Seawolves were able to rally back and sweep all six of the singles matches, making it a final 7-2 victory over the Tritons.
This triumph snaps a previous 0-26 losing streak for the Seawolves when facing off against UCSD. This win also marked the eighth consecutive victory for the 35th ranked Seawolves, who now jump to 13-4 this season, while the No. 17 ranked Tritons fell to 7-11.
“These two teams are ranked ahead of us in the region, so if we can pull out the win-which I think our team is strong enough to do-that would be really cool,” said Lauren Ha in a Q&A with Sports Information Intern Tyler Greene. “This year our team is better than ever, so it would be cool if we went as far as we’re hoping to go. I don’t think I’ve that I’ve ever won a singles match against San Diego, so that would be really cool to win that one.”
The doubles pairing of Leire Martinez and Ha at No. 2 gave SSU an early lead taking the match 8-2. However, UCSD was able to battle back in two hard fought matches at No. 1 and No. 2 to give the Tritons the upper hand going into singles play 2-1.
It was all over from then on. The Seawolves caught fire during singles play starting off with four straight-set wins. Martinez started it off with a win against UCSD’s Paula Cho, taking the match 6-4, 6-0; which proceeded to SSU’s Karlee Budge defeating Shannon Theisen 6-0, 6-3.
SSU’s Sara Celma, who is ranked No. 8 singles player in Division II, continued her dominance on the court by knocking off UCSD’s Kyra Scott 7-6, 6-1. Scott was ranked 26th in Division II singles play before facing off against Celma. However, Celma retains her undefeated record in dual matches at 13-0, and a staggering 20-3 for the overall season.
The winning momentum continued into Saturday, where the Seawolves grabbed a tight 5-4 win against No. 20 Cal State L.A. At No. 6 singles, Ha won straight sets to push the Seawolves winning streak to nine; the longest they’ve had since the 1997 season.
Celma was dealt her first loss in dual matches by Cal State L.A.’s Leora Hemmerich, ranked No. 39 in Division II, and broke her 14-match winning streak. Martinez brought the Seawolves back on top when she defeated Tiffani Shaik; and in doing so has earned her own 14-match streak.
The Golden Eagles looked like they were about to make a comeback when Sonia Landeros defeated SSU’s Kaitlyn Haithcock, pulling the score at an even 3-3. The outcome of the contest came down to a duel between Ha and Cal State L.A.’s Victoria Vo, where Ha grabbed a 6-1,6-4 victory and secured the Seawolves’ ninth straight win. The Seawolves advance to 13-4 in season play, while Cal State L.A. falls to 4-8.
The Seawolves will battle against the undefeated, No. 3 nationally ranked BYU-Hawaii on their home turf this Wednesday at the SSU Tennis Courts at 11 a.m. Five more matches remain until the Seawolves advance to the Pacific West Conference tournament this April in Arizona.