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Deja Black and Blue: 49ers, Anteaters Meet In Women's Tennis Final For Fourth Straight Year

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The Black and Blue rivalry series between Long Beach State and UC Irvine heats up in the desert as the two rivals will square off for the fourth straight year in the Big West Women's Tennis championship match.  Both teams won by identical 4-1 scores against Pacific and Cal State Northridge in Saturday's semifinal action.


Anais Dallara's hard fought win at No. 1 singles clinched Long Beach State's 4-1 victory against Pacific in the semifinals of the Big West Women's Tennis Championship at Indian Wells Tennis Garden Saturday.

With the win, the 49ers punched their ticket to the championship match for the eighth time in as many years at Indian Wells and 11 straight seasons overall.  Top-seeded LBSU will play UC Irvine in the championship match for the fourth consecutive year.  First serve on Sunday is at 9:00 a.m.

The 49ers raced out to an early 1-0 lead with the doubles point in hand.  LBSU's No. 2 team of Rachel Manasse and Jaklin Alawi, and No. 3 duo of Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar won by identical 8-1 scores.

After LBSU's Klaudia Malenovska retired due to injury, giving Pacific's Julia Hansen the point at No. 2 and tying the match 1-1, the 49ers reeled off three straight wins.

Alawi was the first to finish, defeating Susan Te by a score of 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5.  Cantlay cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 victory against Kateryna Nezhura at No. 6.  In the match clincher, Dallara defeated 2010 Big West Player of the Year Jenifer Widjaja in a 6-4, 7-6 (5) battle.

LBSU improves to 19-5 on the season while Pacific ends the campaign at 9-12.

1. Dallara/Malenovska (LBSU) vs. Widjaja/Hansen (PAC) - DNF
2. Manasse/Alawi (LBSU) def. Eslami/Irvin (PAC) - 8-1
3. Cantlay/Luzar (LBSU) def. Gumenyuk/Te (PAC) - 8-1

Order of Finish: 2, 3

1. Anais Dallara (LBSU) def. Jenifer Widjaja (PAC) - 6-4, 7-6 (5)
2. Julia Hansen (PAC) def. Klaudia Malenovska (LBSU) - 2-2, ret.
3. Deborah Armstrong (LBSU) vs. Olga Gumenyuk (PAC) - DNF
4. Rachel Manasse (LBSU) vs. Shabby Eslami (PAC) - DNF
5. Jaklin Alawi (LBSU) def. Susan Te (PAC) - 6-2, 6-2
6. Sarah Cantlay (LBSU) def. Kateryna Nezhura (PAC) - 6-3, 6-0

Order of Finish: 2, 5, 6, 1


UC Irvine held off Cal State Northridge 4-1 in the semifinals of the Big West Women's Tennis Championship on Saturday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Anteaters advanced to the championship match for the fourth straight year and fifth time in the last six seasons.  Their opponent will be a familiar one.  Long Beach State and UC Irvine have faced off against each other in four of the previous five finals.  In 2010, the Anteaters won their first-ever tournament championship and ended a six-year title run by the 49ers.  LBSU had defeated UCI in previous title encounters in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The previous lowest-seeded UCI team to reach the finals was No. 4 in 2004.  The current team is a sixth seed.

Against No. 7 seed Cal State Northridge, the Anteaters captured the all-important doubles point, recovering from a loss at No. 3 to win in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.

Maria Pistalu tied the match at 1-1 after her 6-2, 6-1 win over UCI's Brooke Schweyer at No. 5 singles.

However, UCI took control of the match as Courtney Byron won 6-4, 6-2 over Brooke Doane at No. 1.  Franziska Goettsching then dealt Nigora Sirojiddinova a 6-2, 6-4 loss at No. 4.  With matches at No. 2 and No. 6 being hotly contested, UCI sealed the deal at No. 3 where Kristina Smith defeated Nina Jaworowski 6-4, 6-1.

UCI is now 12-12 on the season while CSUN concludes its season at 16-10.

1. Holladay/Kwan (UCI) def. Doane/Sher (CSUN) - 8-5
2. Byron/Smith (UCI) def. Pistalu/Man-Son-Hing (CSUN) - 8-5
3. Sirojiddinova/Yang (CSUN) def. Goettsching/M. Young (UCI) - 8-6

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

1. Courtney Byron (UCI) def. Brooke Doane (CSUN) - 6-4, 6-2
2. Rebecca Kwan (UCI) vs. Jennifer Sher (CSUN) - DNF
3. Kristina Smith (UCI) def. Nina Jaworowski (CSUN) - 6-4, 6-1
4. Franziska Goettsching (UCI) def. Nigora Sirojiddinova (CSUN) - 6-2, 6-4
5. Maria Pistalu (CSUN) def. Brooke Schweyer (UCI) - 6-2, 6-1
6. Hannah Holladay (UCI) vs. Lorraine Cheung (CSUN) - DNF

Order of Finish: 5, 1, 4, 3