Women’s tennis takes first two games of the season against Sacramento State and UC Riverside

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Tania Gallardo Avalos

Senior Regina Pitts returns a volley during the San Diego Veterans Tennis Classic.

by Morgan Prickett, Staff Writer

SDSU Women’s Tennis team is back, and with quite the bang also.

San Diego State women’s tennis (2-0) opened up the spring season with two straight wins. They started with a 6-1 win over Sacramento State (0-2) on Jan. 21 and followed that with a win 4-0 over UC Riverside (0-2) on Jan. 22. Both games took place at the Aztec Tennis Center.

Friday Versus Sacramento State

The Aztecs opened their spring season with a doubles match where seniors Bunyawi Thamchaiwat and Tamara Arnold earned the first victory — without allowing a game — with a 6-0 victory. After the match, the Aztecs officially claimed the point when seniors Nnena Nadozie and Alicia Melosch grinded out a 7-5 victory.

SDSU would go on to claim five of the six singles matches. Thamchaiwat began with a win to give the Aztecs momentum once again, posting a 6-2, 6-0 victory over sophomore Tsveti Yotova. 

SDSU’s Melosch also surrendered only two total games in a 6-1, 6-1 win over junior Megan Tagaloa to give the Aztecs a 3-0 advantage over the Hornets.

Arnold would then go on to secure victory for the Aztecs after posting a 6-2, 6-3 win over Freshman Maddy Ferreros while Nadozie recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win over Freshman Weronika Ejsmont.

Sacramento State would then earn their first point when sophomore Paige Alter got past SDSU junior Julia Jordan, 6-2, 7-6 (7). SDSU closed out its season-opening victory when junior Cécile Morin rallied from a one-set deficit to defeat freshman Best Lee, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. 

“I was really proud of the way that the team competed today against a very game opponent,” said SDSU head coach Peter Mattera to goaztecs.com. “Nnena Nadozie and Alicia Melosch at number two doubles were clutch in their hard-fought set which gave us the all-important doubles point and a little momentum going into the singles.

Saturday Versus UC Riverside

On Saturday, the Aztecs tweaked their roster and were still able to come out with a 4-0 win. 

The doubles point came first, but not without a fight from UC Riverside. Freshman Niki Shahbazi and junior Sofia Lazzaroni gave UC Riverside 6-1 victory over Morin and sophomore Alexandria Von Tersch Pohrer. The Aztecs then rallied to take the doubles team point by winning the next two doubles matches. SDSU’s Arnold and Jordan teamed up for a 6-3 win and SDSU clinched the point when Nadozie and Melosch were victorious, 6-3.

Next was singles action. Arnold began the chain of wins for the Aztecs when the senior posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over senior Mahli Silpachai to put the Aztecs up 2-0.

SDSU pushed the lead to 3-0 after Nadozie won straight-sets over senior Hahn Pham, 6-2, 6-3.

The Aztecs completed the shutout and clinched the team victory when Jordan closed out sophomore Serina Saltzen, 6-2, 6-3 at number five singles.

“I am really proud of the team coming out today with great energy after a quick turnaround from yesterday’s win,” San Diego State head coach Peter Mattera said to goaztecs.com. “We raised our level from our opener and played with really good focus and confidence.”

In general, the Aztecs had a strong weekend of tennis. Thamchaiwat — who is currently ranked at 82 in the nation — failed to lose a match alongside Arnold, Melosch, Nadozie, Morin and Von Tersch Pohrer. 

More good news came for the Aztecs as, on Jan. 26, Arnold was named the Mountain West Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week following her performances during the first two home games of the season.

“Our senior leaders, Nnena Nadozie and Tammy Arnold did an excellent job at the top of the lineup and set the standard for the rest of the team,” Mattera said to goaztecs.com in regards to Arnold and her teammate’s performance on Saturday.

San Diego State will conclude its three-game homestand on Jan. 29 against Big West Conference member UC San Diego (1-2). The match is scheduled to begin at noon PT at the Aztec Tennis Center.