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Rakela, Munoz Post Unblemished Weeks


UC Santa Barbara sophomore Cody Rakela and Long Beach State freshman Natalia Munoz did not lose a set en route to Big West Tennis Athlete of the Week accolades.

Rakela Helps Gauchos Dispatch Princeton

UC Santa Barbara sophomore Cody Rakela (Santa Cruz, Calif./Scotts Valley HS) won twice in a non-conference triumph over Princeton, earning Big West Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week honors.

He improved to 10-4 in singles dual matches, winning a tight affair against Princeton’s Luke Gamble, 7-5, 7-6 at No. 4.  Rakela’s win gave the Gauchos a 3-1 lead in a match they ultimately would win by a 6-1 score.

The Gauchos fell behind in the match at the start by losing the doubles point, but Rakela and partner Kristian Prior did their part at the No. 3 spot with a 6-4 triumph over Kial Kaiser and Diego Vives.

Others nominated: None

Munoz Goes 4-0 in Singles and Doubles

Long Beach State freshman Natalia Munoz (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart HS) captured her first career Big West Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week award, going a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles.

It was the third consecutive week that a Beach player was honored, as Maeva Razakasoa (Mar. 15) and Julie Gerard (Mar. 22) also won awards.  The Beach faced tough competition in the form of No. 39 Dartmouth and No. 46 Denver, and came out with a split.

Munoz won both singles matches at No. 5, defeating Dartmouth’s Racquel Lyn, 6-2, 6-3 in an eventual 4-3 loss.  She grabbed another straight set win against Denver’s Gracia Mboko as the Beach prevailed, 5-2.  She improved to 11-3 on the season in singles.

In doubles, Munoz and Maren Helgo won 6-3 and 6-4 against their foes in the No. 3 slot, respectively.

Others nominated: Susanne Boyden (Cal Poly); Camille De Leon (Cal State Fullerton)