Feb. 21, 2006
SAN DIEGO -
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Aztecs Travel to Pepperdine, Host UC Irvine This Week
San Diego State (3-3) looks to get back into the win column this week when it travels north to Malibu for a regional match-up with 24th-ranked Pepperdine (6-0) Thursday, Feb. 23, and returns home to host No. 67 UC Irvine (3-3) at Aztec Tennis Center Saturday, Feb. 25. The contest with the Waves is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. PST start at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, while the Aztecs' match with the Anteaters is slated for noon.
SDSU will be looking to rebound from a pair of consecutive 7-0 losses to Pac-10 Conference members California (Feb. 10) and Southern California (Feb. 14) on Thursday, but that will be no easy task considering Pepperdine has one singles player ranked inside the top-15 and two doubles team ranked inside the top-25.
Following its pair of matches this week, San Diego State will travel to Seattle, Wash., for a neutral-site match against Idaho on March 3 and then face Washington on March 4. Both matches are set to begin at noon.
Thursday's encounter with Pepperdine will not be the first time members of the Aztecs will have faced the Waves this school year as a few have met in the 2005 Wilson/ITA West Region Championships in October at Barnes Tennis Center. Dita Hauerlandova and Sisse Nielsen competed against Silvia Kosakowski and Merve Asimgil in the semifinals of the tournament and lost by a score of 8-4. The Pepperdine duo eventually went on to win the championship. In the same tourney, Hauerlandova defeated Asimgil, 6-3, 6-3, in the round of 16 in the backdraw en route to her winning the consolation crown.
Members of the UC Irvine squad are also very familiar with the Aztecs as they too, saw a lot of each other at the ITA event. Eliska Krausova defeated Claire Fermin in the first round in straight sets, while Hauerlandova-Nielsen beat Jayme Hu-Lisa Shih, 8-3, in the second round. SDSU's only loss to UCI in the fall came when Alesya Vidov-Krausova fell to Becky Bernhard-Ali Borowicz, 9-8(2), in the first round of doubles.
San Diego State's No. 1 doubles team of Dita Hauerlandova and Sisse Nielsen started the season on a roll winning their first four matches of the spring and boast a 4-1 record. The pair was the only bright spot for SDSU on Feb. 10 at California as they registered an 8-4 win over Suzi Babos and Stephanie Kusano.
Coming into the dual-match season, the two were ranked the No. 5 doubles team in the West after a 4-3 showing in the fall and a semifinal effort at the 2005 Wilson/ITA West Region Championships at Barnes Tennis Center after having never playing together prior to the 2005-06 season. As mentioned earlier, the duo lost in the semis to the eventual champions from Pepperdine, Merve Asimgil and Silvia Kosakowski, 8-4.
The Aztecs are getting the most out of their underclassmen this season with four currently holding positions in the singles and doubles lineup. The quartet owns a singles record of at least .500 or better with sophomores Eliska Krausova and Sisse Nielsen at 3-3 this fall, with Krausova playing the at No. 2-3 and Nielsen seeing time at No. 4-5. Freshmen Milana Yusupov and Esther Cadua make up the rest of the lineup with Yusupov (3-3) getting the nod at No. 3-4, while Cadua plays at No. 5-6 and is currently 4-2. Altogether, the underclassmen have a singles record of 13-11.
The Waves are 6-0 this season with five of those wins coming at home, including a 4-3 victory over UCLA. Pepperdine is led by No. 15 singles player Bianca Dulgheru, who along with Eva Dickes, are ranked No. 21 in the latest ITA doubles poll. Merve Asimgil and Silvia Kosakowski enter with a No. 22 doubles rating.
Scouting UC Irvine
UC Irvine comes to Montezuma Mesa riding a two-match winning streak after defeating CS Fullerton and Loyola Marymount on the road. The Aztecs are 28-5 all-time vs. the Anteaters.
Last Time Out
In its second straight test against top-10 opposition, the San Diego State women's tennis team dropped a regional matchup with fourth-ranked Southern California, 7-0, at Aztec Tennis Center on Feb. 14. Four days prior, SDSU lost at No. 6 California by the same 7-0 margin.
The Aztecs lost the doubles point to start the afternoon after the Women of Troy swept all three positions. Unfortunately for SDSU, the trend continued into singles play as USC claimed all six singles victories.
Aztecs At Home
Since Aztec Tennis Center (ATC) opened last season, San Diego State has recorded a 10-4 record at home. UC Irvine will be the second consecutive ranked opponent to visit the ATC, but against ranked opponents, the Aztecs are 0-1 this season and 5-4 overall with wins coming against No. 8 Washington, No. 28 Michigan, No. 57 Tulsa, No. 57 Long Beach State and No. 75 Ohio State (all rankings are at match time).