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Cal Poly Outlasted by Cal State Fullerton in Marathon Affair, 4-3

Cal Poly Outlasted by Cal State Fullerton in Marathon Affair, 4-3

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – After all but one matchup was settled, all eyes were on the fourth court Thursday afternoon as the Cal Poly women's tennis team fell to Cal State Fullerton, 4-3 at Mustang Courts during Big West Conference action. The match came down to the third and final set between Cal Poly's Hannah Stone and CSUF's Danielle Pham, as the Titan freshman outlasted the Mustang senior at No. 4 (2-6, 6-2, 7-5) to claim the match.

Cal Poly falls to 0-4 in conference play, while the Titans collected their first conference victory of the season. It was the first win for Cal State Fullerton over the Mustangs since 1999. 

Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton each grabbed a doubles matchup to begin the afternoon's action, as the Mustang freshman duo of Molly Reed and Zoe Oedekerk (pictured) downed Emily Borkowski and Jessica Pepa (8-3) in the third position, while Alexis Valenzuela and Pham ousted Cal Poly sophomore Emily Gibbens and Stone. Tied at one apiece, the Titan tandem of Megan Sandford and Camille De Leon outlasted the Cal Poly pairing of junior Dane Joubert and redshirt sophomore Louise Oxnevad (8-6), as CSUF grabbed the doubles point.

For Reed and Oedekerk, it was their fifth consecutive win when paired together, as they remained unbeaten (5-0) in doubles this season.

The Mustangs, however, battled back by collecting three of the first four singles points, including a two-set victory at No. 1 by Oxnevad over Valenzuela (6-4, 6-4) and in the third position by Reed over Sandford (6-2, 6-3). Oxnevad and Reed each cashed in on their second consecutive singles victories, as Oxenvad moved to 4-6 in the first position and Reed improved to 5-1 at No. 3.

Cal Poly sophomore Sayaka Tsugai won her second singles match in a row with a straight-set win over Pepa at No. 6 (6-0, 6-1). Tsugai has gone two matches and four sets during her last two victories having dropped only one set overall (she swept No. 6 singles last Thursday against Seattle's Audrey Scott, 6-0 and 6-0). Gibbens was defeated by De Leon in the second position in three sets (6-2, 1-6, 1-6). During all three of Cal Poly's singles losses this afternoon the Mustangs were taken to a third and final set.

With Cal Poly leading, 3-2, the Titans managed the comeback on the strength of a back-and-forth battle between Oedekerk and Borkowski at No. 5, eventually won by Borkowski (2-6, 6-3, 2-6). CSUF's victory at the fifth position set up the showdown at No. 4 between Stone and Pham.

With all players and coaches witnessing the showcased fourth position and the match tied at three, Stone and Pham made each other work to the tune of a seesaw battle that had everyone on their heels until the very end. Stone used a 6-2 decision in the first set to grab the momentum, only to have Pham fight back with a 6-2 win of her own, knotting the fourth at one-all. Cal Poly's Stone then forced a tiebreak in the third set, but Pham used a 7-5 decision to grab the set – and match – once and for all.

Cal Poly (3-12) entertains No. 74 UC Irvine at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning as Big West Conference play resumes. Attendance at Mustang Courts is free. 

Singles
1. Louise Oxnevad (CP) def. Alexis Valenzuela (CSUF) 6-4, 6-4
2. Camille De Leon (CSUF) def. Emily Gibbens (CP) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. Molly Reed (CP) def. Megan Sandford (CSUF) 6-2, 6-3
4. Danielle Pham (CSUF) def. Hannah Stone (CP) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
5. Emilia Borkowski (CSUF) def. Zoe Oedekerk (CP) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
6. Sayaka Tsugai (CP) def. Jessica Pepa (CSUF) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles
1. Megan Sandford/Camille De Leon (CSUF) def. Louise Oxnevad/Danè Joubert (CP) 8-6
2. Alexis Valenzuela/Danielle Pham (CSUF) def. Emily Gibbens/Hannah Stone (CP) 8-2
3. Zoe Oedekerk/Molly Reed (CP) def. Emilia Borkowski/Jessica Pepa (CSUF) 8-3