SDSU Women's Tennis Set to Open 2008 Dual-Match Season With Doubleheader on Saturday

Jan. 23, 2008


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The San Diego State women's tennis team kicks off its 2008 dual-match schedule with a doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 26, against UC Riverside (0-0) and Cal State Fullerton (1-1) at the Aztec Tennis Center. SDSU will go head-to-head with the Highlanders at 9 a.m., before its 2:30 p.m. showdown against the Titans.

This weekend's matches will mark the fourth straight year in which the Aztecs have opened their season with a twin bill featuring the same two Big West Conference opponents.

SDSU will be looking to extend its streak of 12 straight season-opening victories. The Aztecs were last defeated in an opening dual match on Jan. 23, 1996, when they dropped an 8-1 decision at Pepperdine, which was also the last time San Diego State began a season on the road.

UC Riverside returns seven letterwinners from last year's team which posted a 7-12 overall record and an 0-7 mark in the Big West. The Highlanders are led by sophomore Erynne Oki who had a team-leading 10 victories in 2007.

Also in the mix is the Highlanders' lone senior H.R. Espiritu, who recorded seven victories last year and a team-best nine wins in dual-match competition in 2006. Espiritu garnered second-team all-Big West honors in doubles following her freshman campaign in 2005.

Mark Henry enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Highlander women's tennis program.

w Despite their relatively close proximity, SDSU and UCR have only met on three previous occasions and the Aztecs hold the 3-0 advantage in the short series. Last season, SDSU captured the doubles point, then posted victories in all six singles matches en route to its second straight 7-0 sweep of the Highlanders.

Three years ago, the Aztecs yielded the doubles point, but took five of six contests in singles competition to claim a 5-2 win at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Cal State Fullerton head coach Bill Reynolds enters his 19th year at the helm of the Titans' women's tennis program with five letterwinners returning from a 2007 squad that finished the season 6-16 overall and 1-6 in Big West play.

Individually, Fullerton is led by sophomore Brandy Andrews, who posted a team-leading five singles victories during the fall season. Freshmen Karina Akhmedova and Erin Wiesener also added three wins apiece.

Saturday's contest with SDSU will be the Titans' third dual match of the season. Most recently, Fullerton dropped a 7-0 decision to the University of San Diego (Jan. 19). During the fall season, the Titans squared off with NAIA-member Point Loma Nazerene and came out on top 5-2.

This is the fourth consecutive season in which San Diego State squares off against Fullerton after a 19-year hiatus in the series from 1986-2004.

The Titans are one of five teams from the Big West Conference that the Aztecs have an undefeated record against. SDSU has taken all 21 meetings between the two southern California schools. The 21 wins represents the highest total versus an opponent the Aztecs have not lost to and fourth-most against Big West competition.

San Diego State enters the 2008 campaign ranked 48th in the nation according to the first FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings released Jan. 8 by the Intercollegiate Collegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The next team poll is scheduled to be released on Jan. 27.

Individually, freshman Julia Trunk was ranked among the top 100 singles players in the nation, as she came in at No. 61.

Peter Mattera enters his 27th season at San Diego State and 15th as head coach of the Scarlet and Black. In 14 seasons, the Aztecs' mentor has guided SDSU to 10 postseason appearances, compiling a record of 217-146 (.598) in the process. Equally impressive is the fact that 12 of his 14 squads have finished with an overall record of .500 or better despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation on an annual basis.

Lindsey Gamp begins her third season as the Aztecs' assistant coach. A four-year letterwinner at SDSU (2000-03), Gamp played on three NCAA tournament teams and guided the Aztecs to a pair of Mountain West Conference regular season titles and a MWC championship crown in 2003.

Larry Willens enters his 10th season as a volunteer assistant coach for SDSU. He assists the Aztecs with team practices, one-on-one drills, on-court coaching at matches and tournament seeding at the various fall tournaments that SDSU plays host to.

San Diego State had many outstanding individual performances during the fall season. Freshman Julia Trunk defeated a pair of ranked players en route to an appearance in the semifinals at the ITA West Regionals held at Barnes Tennis Center.

Junior Holly Bagshaw captured the Flight 1 singles title at the second SDSU Fall Classic and freshman Olivia Colman went 3-0 at the same tournament to win Flight 4. Both Trunk and Colman concluded the fall with a team-high nine victories.

2006-07 REVIEW
SDSU finished the 2007 dual-match campaign with a 14-12 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs made their 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament and acheived a final ITA ranking of No. 49.

Since the opening of the Aztec Tennis Center in 2005, SDSU has won 68 percent of its home matches, posting a 25-12 record. All 12 defeats have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top 60.

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