San Diego State women’s tennis kicked off the Fall Classic II with a bang as they found victory in all of their doubles matches and winning six of eight singles matches on Nov. 8 at Aztec Tennis Center.
Nine schools partook in the Classic, including the host SDSU, Air Force, Stanford University, Eastern Washington University, the University of Montana, Northern Colorado University, UC Irvine, Drake University and the University of Denver.
Head coach Peter Mattera was impressed by his team’s strong performance against what he described as a tough field.
“They look like they’ve been playing at a higher level,” Mattera said. “This is a really strong field with several nationally ranked players… day one has been a very good experience.”
SDSU represented well in doubles as no pair donning the Scarlet and Black experienced a loss. In the white draw, the duo of senior Mia Smith and junior Abbie Mulbarger brushed aside Denver senior Serina Chhabra and sophomore Madison Wolfe in a 6-3 victory.
Not far behind them in the same draw was senior Tamara Arnold and freshman Julia Jordan, who took a 6-3 victory against Drake juniors Maria Tatarnikova and Carmen Palumbo.
The lone SDSU team in the Black draw, sophomore Agustina Rimoldi Godoy and freshman Cecile Morin, collected a victory against the Montana team of sophomores Lauren Dunlap and Alex Walker with a 6-1 effort.
In the Red draw, junior Nnena Nadozie and sophomore Alicia Melosch capped off the team’s success with a 6-2 triumph over East Washington juniors Rylee Braeden and Zoey Nelson.
After the match, Nadozie said she shares a strong bond with Melosch and its translation to the tennis court.
“It definitely helps to play with someone for a long time,” Nadozie said of Melosch, her doubles partner of over a year. “We are able to read each other left and right and we know where we are going.”
The Aztecs continued to roll in the singles division as well, with three of the four semi-final spots going to SDSU.
The Red draw saw Melosch secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Palumbo. Jordan followed after with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Northern Colorado senior Sandra Keta.
Both representatives of SDSU in the Black draw saw their matches go into tie-breaking rounds. Rimoldi dropped her match 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 to freshman Olivia Oosterbaan of Montana, while Mulbarger came out on top against East Washington sophomore Louise Waite 5-7, 6-1, 7-6.
“I just kept playing my game no matter what she (Waite) was doing,” Mulbarger said after her match. “It was a battle… I think I really pulled through and did well.”
The White draw had the most players, which meant that it had the most Aztecs partake in it. Each player also competed in two different matches in this draw.
Nadozie kept up her success in the Classic by defeating UC Irvine senior Stephanie Nguyen and Stanford freshman Nicole Mossman 6-2, 6-0 and 7-6, 6-4, respectively.
Arnold moved on to the semi-finals thanks to a 6-1, 6-2 win against Nelson and a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Montana junior Julia Ronney in the quarterfinals.
Joining her in the semis was Morin, who defeated Liza Petushkova in a close 7-6, 7-5 match. Her second opponent, Stanford sophomore Niluka Madurawe, had to forfeit the quarter-final match due to an illness.
The Fall Classic continues tomorrow and will conclude on November 10. The Aztecs will have four doubles teams in the quarterfinals with the possibility of Jordan/Arnold and Smith/Mulbarger meeting in the White draw semi-finals.
In singles play, Morin and Arnold will meet in the White draw semi-finals while potentially facing Nadozie in the Sunday championship match.