Cal Poly women’s tennis players Brittany Blalock and Suzie Matzenauer were one game away from taking the clinching third set and becoming the first Mustangs to win a match at the NCAA Championships.
But the Cal Poly doubles team squandered a 5-2 third-set lead over No. 11 Csilla Borsanyi and Lenka Broosova of Baylor and ended up being bounced from Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex with a 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 defeat.
Blalock and Matzenauer, both seniors, were ranked as high as 26th this season in the Campbell’s ITA Rankings and represented Cal Poly’s best chance to get its first Division I postseason victory.
The only other time the Mustangs sent individuals to the national championships was two years ago, when Blalock teamed with Steffi Wong as sophomores. Matzenauer transferred in from Northwestern the following season, and she and Blalock became a powerful combo.
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“They’re two players that are capable of starting and excelling for any team in the country,” Cal Poly head coach Hugh Bream said. “To go out on court No. 1 on the Georgia Stadium to Baylor’s number one team, it’s hard to take, but really I have nothing but pride for their efforts and commitment at Cal Poly.
“There was handful of teams capable of winning this doubles tournament, and I think Baylor was one of them.”
Baylor’s entire team ended the regular season at the top of the poll before falling to eventual national champion Stanford.
Against Blalock and Matzenauer, Borsanyi and Broosova had the advantage early with the 6-3 win in the first set. The Cal Poly duo was able to stave off elimination in the second set before the Bears’ team took a 2-1 lead in the third.
Blalock and Matzenauer then held serve to tie the score and broke the serve of Borsanyi and Broosova twice in a row while also holding serve yet again to go up 5-2.
The Baylor duo then ran off wins in five straight games to advance to the second round.
“Baylor showed their composure and used the lob effectively when they got down and kept us a little more honest at the net,” Bream said. “I don’t feel Brittany and Suzie did anything wrong at that stage, but I do think Baylor upped the ante.”
Track and Field
NCAA West Regional meet
Former Mission Prep star Jordan Hasay easily advanced to Saturday’s women’s 1,500-meter final by posting the top qualifying time of 4 minutes, 20.45 seconds in Austin, Texas.
The freshman was one of three Oregon runners in the top seven. The top 24 advanced to Saturday’s final where the top 12 runners will qualify for the NCAA Championships June 9-12 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
In the men’s shot put, Cal Poly’s Daniel Erdman finished 16th with a personal record of 55 feet, 93⁄4 inches. All of the field events are finals only at the West Regional, and like the running events, only the top 12 move on to the NCAA Championships.
In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Cal Poly’s Eric Suprenant was 41st in the 48-man field with a time of 53.67 seconds.
The West Regional continues today and concludes Saturday.