'Dogs Dominate in Home Opener
Feb. 22, 2013
By Stephanie Juncker
By Stephanie Juncker
FRESNO, Calif. --- The Fresno State women's tennis team had a nice welcome home Friday afternoon as the No. 53 Bulldogs beat No. 62 Sacramento State 6-1 at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center. The 'Dogs home opener came after eight straight matches on the road.
"It was good to be home, to have our own fans and to play on our own courts," said first year head coach Ryan Stotland. "I don't think we came out with as much energy as I was hoping, but they all persevered and got the win and we will be ready for tomorrow."
Fresno State got on the scoreboard first by claiming two of the three doubles matches. The duo of Olga Kirpicheva and Anneka Watts won 8-5 on court three tying the doubles score at one after the Hornets had taken court one. Senior Melissa McQueen and freshman Rana Sherif Ahmed clinched the doubles point at No. 2, winning 8-4 for their fourth doubles win of the season as partners.
"She (Rana) always plays huge in the big points and it has been great to play with her," said McQueen.
Moving to singles, the Bulldogs youth played a huge role as four of the singles points came from three freshmen and a sophomore.
A. Watts pushed the scored to 2-0 as she breezed at No. 6 giving up only one game in her two set match. Her twin sister soon followed as Sophie Watts put Fresno State up 3-0 as set held strong in a tough second set to win 6-1, 7-5.
Sophomore Aishwarya Agrawal's first victory of the season came in great fashion as she clinched the match for the 'Dogs with a gritty 6-4, 6-4 victory on court two.
The 'Dogs rounded out the match with two wins in third set, ten-point tiebreakers. Melissa McQueen battled back after dropping the second set and recorded the Bulldogs fifth point on court three winning 6-2, 3-6, 1-0(10-6). Ahmed concluded the afternoon on a high note by notching her first victory at the top spot with a come from behind 6-7(4), 6-4, 1-0 (10-5).
"I think it shows how tough our kids are," said Stotland on getting two wins in third set tiebreaks. "The matched was clinched so they could have given up or come out and try harder and they played to win which is key."
The 'Dogs will hit the courts at the Wathen Tennis Center again tomorrow morning beginning at 10 a.m. as they face UC Davis. The men's tennis team will follow the women's match beginning at 2 p.m. against Pacific.
"They (UC Davis) are going to be a little bit tougher as they just beat the team we just played (Sac. State)," Stotland said after his first career coaching win at home. "They are dangerous but if we come out ready to play and energetic and do what we've been working on in practice this week we will be good to go."
#53 Fresno State 6, #62 Sacramento State 1
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