Photo by Noelle Davis
PASADENA (Mar. 11, 2017) – Sophomore Kana Moriyama (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) led Caltech women's tennis to its second victory over a nationally ranked opponent in a 6-3 win over No. 38 Hardin-Simmons University on Saturday.
After earning a crucial win at #1 doubles to take a 2-1 lead into singles, Moriyama fought back from a first-set defeat to win 10 straight games, including a 6-0 third set, to clinch the match and put Caltech firmly on the national ranking bubble.
The sophomore paired with classmate Julia Reisler (Plano, Texas / Greenhill) in a tremendous 9-7 go-ahead win at #1 doubles following rookies Alexandra Bodrova (Russia / Kurchatovskaya School) and Angelica Zhou (Temple City, Calif. / Arcadia), who recovered after an early break at #2 to win, 8-6. Third doubles proved to be extremely tight as well, with a 7-6 Beavers lead slipping away in a 9-7 defeat.
As they have so often in their debut season, Zhou and Bodrova locked up their first sets at #3 and #4 with ease. Bodrova quickly finished off the 6-0, 6-0 win for Caltech's third point, with Zhou not far behind at 6-1, 6-0 to put Caltech within one point of the victory.
Still, down a set on the top two courts and trailing early at the bottom two as well, the Beavers by no means had the match decided with momentum appearing to swing HSU's way. Moriyama dug in at that point, however, rallying from a 2-3 deficit to win the next four games and then bagel her opponent in the third set. Junior Erin Wang (Auburn, Calif. / Del Oro) worked similar magic as she came back from a 7-5 loss in the first set to force a superbreaker, which she dominated 10-2.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers, who are back above .500 at 5-4 overall and 2-4 vs. nationally ranked competition, can enjoy a 10-day break from competition before hosting their fifth straight nationally ranked foe in the University of the South-Sewanee (5-2) on Wednesday, Mar. 22.