May 24, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's tennis team enjoyed a stellar 2011 season, finishing with a 16-10 overall record and posting several impressive victories. Led by a pair of dynamic seniors, Brooke Doane and Nina Jaworowski, the Matadors accomplished many notable feats and left an indelible mark in the school record books during the campaign.
For CSUN head coach Gary Victor, his 14th year in charge of the Matadors, the 2011 season represented a testament to perseverance and determination.
"I think this was a very successful season for us, especially if you look at the way we finished," Victor said. "We had a lot of excuses to fold up shop and play out the calendar, but we never did. This team, led by the leadership of Brooke Doane, fought through all the adversity and ended the year on a strong note and set the stage for 2012."
The end of the season certainly provided several highlights for Northridge. The Matadors won six of their final eight matches, including a victory over Pacific in the regular season finale.
That win over the Tigers set up a dramatic result for CSUN at the Big West Championships. As the No. 7 seed in the tournament, Northridge drew nationally-ranked Cal Poly, a squad that had defeated the Matadors 6-1 earlier in the season.
Undeterred by that earlier result, the Matadors stormed out to an early 1-0 lead by taking two doubles matches. They then went on to clinch the match and advance to the semifinals of the event by winning three of the first four singles matches to finish.
Although the Matadors lost in the semifinals to UC Irvine, Victor and the Matadors still had a memorable 2011 campaign. The team had an impressive victory over nationally ranked San Diego State on a neutral court in Hawai'i in March. The squad also posted prominent victories over Nevada, Hawai'i, Georgetown, Columbia and LMU.
The Matadors also pushed eventual league champion Long Beach State to its first league loss in recent memory. The dual match between the two teams came down to a final singles match and although CSUN eventually lost the match, the team sent a message to the rest of the conference with the performance.
As has been the case for the past several years, doubles play led the way for the CSUN attack. As a team, Northridge posted a collective record of 55-22 (.714) for the season as two tandems earned all-conference honors.
At the forefront of this was the play of Doane, who leaves CSUN after four years with the school record for career doubles wins (71) and career doubles winning percentage (.826). Individually, Doane finished 21-5 in doubles play, including a perfect 8-0 record against Big West opposition, and tied a school record for most doubles wins in a season.
For the majority of the year, she teamed with Jennifer Sher to post a 16-2 record in doubles play and earn All-Big West First Team honors. She also worked with Maria Pistalu to finish with a 4-1 record and earn All-Big West Doubles Honorable Mention honors.
"It is not unfair or any stretch of the truth to say that Brooke is the greatest doubles player in school history," Victor added. "She has been an incredible teammate for the past four seasons and her departure leaves a void on our squad that will be hard to replace."
Not to be outdone, Sher finished the year with a 21-3 mark and a 7-1 league record in doubles action. The .875 winning percentage for the year is the sixth-best in school history. Pistalu wrapped up her 2011 season with a 14-5 record for the year and a perfect 7-0 mark against Big West opponents. She is now 27-9 in doubles play in her Northridge career and her .750 career winning percentage ranks third in school history.
Another top doubles player for Northridge was Sabrina Man-Son-Hing, who posted a 17-8 record for the season and a 6-2 mark against league opponents. She worked with Pistalu to post a 10-4 mark on the season. Man-Son-Hing also teamed with Sher on several occasions, posting a 5-1 record.
Towards the end of the season, a strong No. 3 doubles team emerged for Victor: Anna Yang and Nigora Sirojiddinova. The duo finished 9-2 on the season, picking up notable victories over Georgetown, UC Santa Barbara, LMU, Pacific, Cal Poly and UC Irvine.
For Sirojiddinova, she is now ninth in school history with 36 career doubles wins and sixth in school history with a .621 career winning percentage in doubles. For Yang, she ends her second season with a 27-13 doubles record and ranks fourth in school history with a .675 career winning percentage.
Moving on to singles play, Victor juggled his line-up throughout the year due to injury but came away with several impressive performances.
Doane earned All-Big West First Team honors after finishing 11-13 overall and 4-4 in league singles matches. She posted notable wins over Nevada, Long Beach State, Dartmouth, UC Irvine and Cal Poly. At one point during the year she had a seven-match winning streak in singles and leaves CSUN with a 44-40 career singles mark.
The team's other senior, Nina Jaworowski, overcame numerous injuries to post a 4-11 singles mark in her final season. She posted notable wins over Long Beach State and Hawai'i and leaves Northridge with a 38-34 career singles mark.
"Nina had a tough year no doubt about it, but she never gave in to the nagging injuries," Victor said. "Her four years have been defined by hard work, perseverance and determination and 2011 was no different. Her return to action right before the league tourney really kick started the squad and helped spur us to a great win over Cal Poly."
Joining Doane on the All-Big West Singles First Team was Sher, who went a team-best 17-5 in 2011. Against league opponents, Sher was an impressive 6-2 and picked up notable victories over Cal Poly twice, UC Davis, San Diego State, Georgetown, LMU and Pacific. Her .773 winning percentage for the year ties her for 10th in school history for a single season.
Sirojiddinova cracked double-figure wins in singles for the second-straight year, finishing her junior campaign with an 11-13 overall record and a 3-5 mark in league action. She posted impressive victories over Arizona, Hawai'i, Georgetown, Portland, LMU and Pacific. In her three seasons at CSUN, Sirojiddinova is now 41-26 in singles.
Pistalu enjoyed a successful season in her second year at Northridge, finishing with a 13-6 overall record and a 4-3 mark in league action. She posted notable victories over San Diego State, LMU, Pacific and UC Irvine and owns a 26-10 singles record in two seasons at Northridge. That .722 career winning percentage ranks fourth in school history.
A freshman, Lorraine Cheung, provided plenty of optimism for Victor and the Matadors for the future. Cheung finished the year 14-6, the second-most singles wins on the team. She recorded notable victories over Nevada, USC, San Diego State, Columbia, Pacific and Cal Poly.
Yang posted a 7-5 overall record in singles in her second season at Northridge. She was 2-3 against Big West opposition and recorded notable victories over Nevada, Portland and UC Irvine.
Ryma Korab also gave the Matadors several impressive performances in her sophomore season. She finished the year 5-2 in singles action and scored the decisive point in the Matadors' victory over Georgetown on Mar. 6.
Although replacing Doane and Jaworowski will be a tall task for Victor and the Matadors, the team feels confident based on the play of the returning players to that a run at the 2012 Big West Championship is well within their grasp.