Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 8, 2022 (San Diego) - The San Diego State women's tennis team rallied from two points down to tie the match but was unable to come away with a victory as Princeton, ranked 61st nationally, defeated the Aztecs 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon.
Princeton claimed the doubles points and built a 2-0 advantage before San Diego State rallied to win a pair of three-set singles matches rallying to tie the match at both 2-2 and 3-3 before the Tigers pulled out the victory with a win on court six.
“We put up a good fight today against a very good Princeton team,” San Diego State head coach Peter Mattera said. “It was a very competitive college tennis match and the Aztecs, unfortunately, came up just a bit short.
“There were some definite bright spots at No. 1 doubles with Bunyawi (Thamchaiwat) and Tamara (Arnold) playing very well and Tammy (Arnold), Regina (Pitts) and Alicia (Melosch) playing excellent singles. We will need to learn from this one and quickly move on as we have a good Pennsylvania team coming on Saturday.”
The Tigers, who were ranked 11th nationally before COVID shutdown the 2020 season and, along with the rest of the Ivy League, did not compete in 2021, currently have three nationally-ranked individual singles players as well as a top doubles unit.
The doubles point was highly competitive, with the Aztecs striking first on court one. The pair of Bunyawi Thamchaiwat and Tamara Arnold, who have been outstanding throughout the season once again were strong, posting a 6-1 victory over Neha Velaga and Grace Joyce.
Princeton pulled even with a win at number three. The Tigers team of Stephanie Schrage and Skyler Grishuk defeated Nnena Nadozie and Alicia Melosch and Cécile Morin 6-3.
The doubles point was decided on court two, where the Princeton duo of Brianna Shvets and Nathalie Rodilosso eked out a 7-5 victory against Nnena Nadozie and Regina Pitts.
Princeton increased its lead to 2-0 when Zoe Howard was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Nadozie on court two.
San Diego State rallied to tie the team score at two with hard fought wins on courts three and four. First was Pitts, a 6-3, 7-5 winner at No. 3 against Schrage. That was followed up by Melosch defeating Joyce 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 on court four.
The Tigers went back on top when Maia Sung got past Julia Jordan 6-3, 7-5. The Aztecs tied the score for the second time on the afternoon when Arnold disposed of Neha Velaga 6-4, 7-5, 6-1. The senior improved to 2-0 when playing the top spot in the lineup for the Aztecs this season.
That left court six to decide the match, with Michelle Sorokko outlasting Morin 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 lifting Princeton to the win.
San Diego State continues its five-match homestand on Saturday against Pennsylvania (7-4). Match time is set for noon at the Aztec Tennis Center and admission is free.
Women's Tennis: No. 61 Princeton 4, San Diego State 3
1. Tamara Arnold (SDSU) def. Neha Velaga (Princeton) – 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
2. Zoe Howard (Princeton) def. Nnena Nadozie (SDSU) – 6-2, 6-2
3. Regina Pitts (SDSU) def. Stephanie Schrage (Princeton) – 6-3, 7-5
4. Alicia Melosch (SDSU) def. Grace Joyce (Princeton) – 6-0, 2-6, 6-1
5. Maia Sung (Princeton) def. Julia Jordan (SDSU) – 6-3, 7-5
6. Michelle Sorokko (Princeton) def. Cécile Morin (SDSU) – 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
1. Bunyawi Thamchaiwat / Tamara Arnold (SDSU) def. Neha Velaga / Grace Joyce (Princeton) – 6-1
2. Brianna Shvets / Nathalie Rodilosso (Princeton) def. Nnena Nadozie / Regina Pitts (SDSU) – 7-5
3. Stephanie Schrage / Skyler Grishuk (Princeton) def. Alicia Melosch / Cécile Morin (SDSU) – 6-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 3, 2); Singles (2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 6)
Team Records: San Diego State (6-4), No. 61 Princeton (4-7)