No. 70 Cal Poly women’s tennis blanked Big West rival UC Irvine 7-0 on Friday, April 15 at the Anteater Tennis Stadium.
The Mustangs (14-5, 7-0 Big West) have won nine of ten games, with the latest being against the Anteaters (8-12, 1-5 Big West), to sit atop the conference rankings. Their only loss in the last 10 matchups was to No. 18 ranked USC.
As per usual, the Mustangs started off hot with a commanding win in doubles play. The Mustangs are 14-2 in Big West doubles play all season.
The No. 1 duo of redshirt juniors Emily Ackerman and Kim Bhunu followed suit, shutting out their competition. The two have played together since their freshman years and their chemistry shows on the court. They are 10-0 in their last ten matchups and 14-4 overall. Even in the team’s loss to No. 18 USC last weekend, the pair kept their winning streak alive.
In singles play, matches finished on the backend first. No. 6 Peyton Dunkle went 6-0, 6-0 in two sets to clinch the first singles point. Peyton had not only a golden set but a golden game on Friday as she did not drop a single point in any of her sets in both singles and doubles.
Her sister, Delanie Dunkle, followed at the No. 5 spot with impressive 6-1 and 6-2 wins. Delanie was named the Big West player of the week earlier in the week as well. Combined, the sisters are 10-1 in Big West singles play. Peyton accounts for most of this, boasting a 7-0 conference record.
After the sisters, Ackerman secured the victory for the Mustangs with her 6-3 and 6-0 wins at the No. 4 court. Ackerman has moved around a little at the singles spot, playing at three different spots this season.
Despite the win being clinched, the rest of the team finished out their sets and matches. No. 3 LaMette beat Alyssia Fossorier in two sets, both at 6-3 wins. LaMette has contributed heavily this season for a team-best .800 winning percentage in the No. 3 spot.
At the No. 1 spot, Bhunu became the first Mustang to drop a set. She lost her first one 3-6, but bounced back 6-1 and closed out her singles competition 1-0 (10-8) to keep the sweep alive.
No. 2 Bente followed and sealed the sweep. Her first set went long, 7-5, and ended with a 6-2 win in set two.
Cal Poly only lost one set out of the 15 total played. With the win, the Mustangs remain in first place just ahead of No. 25 UC Santa Barbara, which also holds a perfect conference record.
Cal Poly will turn around and face some tough competition on Saturday, Apr. 16 when they take on No. 64 Cal State Fullerton at Titan Courts.