Long Beach State comes through in five-hour match to defeat Tulsa
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- It all came down to a tiebreaker in the third set of the deciding match as Long Beach State came through in a marathon match to upend Tulsa 4-3 on Friday at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford.
In a tight match throughout, the 49ers took the first point by taking two doubles matches. At the No. 3 spot, Holly Reid and Karolina Rozenberg easily put away Saana Saarteinen and Maria Sant'Anna 8-3. However, minutes later, the Hurricane won at the No. 2 spot as Carol Benito and Rongrong Leenanbanchong won 8-3 against Maeva Razakasoa and Hayley Thompson. Ebba Unden and Laura Eales then clinched the point in favor of Beach Tennis as they prevailed in a tiebreak versus Marcelina Cichon and Renata Kuricova to win 8-7.
In singles, the back-and-forth match continued as Tulsa won two singles matches at the Nos. 3 and 4 spots to grab the 2-1 lead. Maeva Razakasoa then tied it up for the Beach as she won 6-1, 6-2 against Yelena Nemchen at the top spot. Holly Reid quickly followed that up with a win of her own to give the 49ers back the lead. She downed Maria Sant'Anna 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 6 spot. The Golden Hurricane weren't done yet though as they picked up a win at the No. 5 spot to tie it all at 3.
From there, it was up to Ebba Unden to win the match for LBSU. After an almost two-hour first set that ended with Unden winning 7-6, Renata Kuricova came back to take the second set 6-4. Then in the third, Unden served to begin the match and quickly went 1-0. Kuricova proceeded to take the next three games, putting Unden in a 3-1 hole early. However, she then calmly came back to pick up the next three games and resume the lead.
From there, each player won on serve to force a tiebreak. Kuricova showed early dominance in the breaker as she led early, but Unden didn't give up, fighting back to tie it up at 6-6. She then took the next two points to win the tiebreak 8-6 and take the match.
"We came out and played strong right away in doubles at the No. 1 and 3 spots to secure the first point," LBSU head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello said. "Maeva and Holly then followed that with impressive singles wins and Ebba showed what a competitor she is with her gutsy performance. I'm very proud and happy for Ebba and the team."
The win improves the 49ers' record to 21-2 on the season and is the 12th in a row, the fifth-longest winning streak in school history. It also improves their NCAA tournament record to 3-9 and marks the third time in school history that LBSU has advanced on to the second round.
Maeva Razakasoa's singles victory also moves her into a tie with Anais Dallara for the single-season record as she has recorded 30 wins in her first year as a member of Beach Tennis.