Lauren Rabaino

A week of getting back to basics following four losses in a row paid dividends for the Cal Poly women’s tennis team.

The Mustangs won twice over the weekend at Mustang Courts, 5-2 over UC Davis on Saturday and 7-0 over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.

In the closest match Sunday, Cal Poly’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Brittany Blalock and Steffi Wong edged Marta Simic and Charlotte Scatliffe, rallying for a 9-8 (11-9) tiebreaker victory to go to 13-6 on the season.

At the No. 3 slot, Cal Poly’s Diane Filip and Amy Markhoff topped Tova Hausman and Brittany Kausen 8-4 to stay unbeaten and extend their dual mark to 11-0.

Filip, who later defeated Hausman by herself 6-3, 5-7, 11-9, was the only Mustang to be taken beyond two sets in singles play.

After the victory against the Aggies (11-9, 3-5 Big West Conference), Cal Poly’s No. 3 singles player, Whitney Peterson, said the Mustangs (11-10, 5-3 Big West) were picking up momentum at just the right time, an upswing they carried into the rout of the Gauchos (9-13, 4-4 Big West) the next day.

“The goal is (to succeed at the) Big West (tournament) and I think today has definitely been a step forward in that direction,” she said.

In the closer affair with UC Davis, the Mustangs started off strong by winning the doubles point through securing the first and third matches.

“We really carried a high intensity throughout the entire match,” Peterson said.

“We fought really hard and competed really well to the last point, which was something we had been really working on – just competing from the first point to the last point as hard as we could.”

Cal Poly assistant coach Paige Esparza stressed the importance of the Mustangs’ doubles performances.

“I think we came out tough today, strong in our doubles play,” Esparza said. “They worked really hard this past week and it really showed in the match.”

In singles competition, each of the Mustangs’ four wins ended in two sets.

Since the end of the year is nearing, Esparza said she doesn’t expect significant changes in the Mustangs’ approach.

“(We’re) going to keep playing our games and enjoying every battle that we play in,” she said.

Cal Poly will host Cal State Bakersfield in its home finale at 1 p.m. Wednesday before concluding the regular season by visiting Fresno State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Big West Conference Championships are held in Indian Wells from April 25-27.

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