SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — In a match that lasted more than five-and-a-half hours, the Dartmouth women’s tennis team defeated Cal Poly, 4-3, on Monday in the second match of its Spring Break trip. Freshman Akiko Okuda (Tenafly, N.J.) clinched the match for the Big Green after battling back from a 5-2 third-set deficit at No. 2 to defeat senior Jocelyn Davis, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, in match that took more than four hours.
Dartmouth improved to 5-7 while the Mustangs, who upended No. 66 Santa Clara, 6-1, in their last match, moved to 7-7.
The Big Green dropped the doubles point 2-1, with freshman Janet Liu (Palo Alto, Calif.) and sophomore Rachel Decker-Sadowski (Santa Barbara, Calif.) picking up the lone win for Dartmouth.
In singles, every match went three sets. Liu put the first point on the board for Dartmouth, followed by classmate Theresa Smith (University Park, Fla.) and Decker-Sadowski, who won within minutes of each other to make the score 3-1. Okuda was just starting the third set when the Mustangs evened the score at 3-3 with victories over junior co-captain Sarah Leonard (Norwalk, Conn.) and sophomore Sabrina Stewart (London, England). Okuda jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Davis fought back to take a 5-2 lead. Okuda kept fighting and chipped away at Davis’ lead, winning five straight games to take the match.
After the match, Head Coach Bob Dallis said, “Dave Jones and I can't remember ever playing a match in which every singles match went to three sets. It was a great team effort today that helped us beat Cal Poly, a team that is well-coached and fights extremely hard. We’ve had close matches with them in the past, but we were happy to finally win one.”
Dartmouth returns to action at No. 37 Long Beach State on Thursday, March 22, at 2 p.m.
Dartmouth 4, Cal Poly 3
1. lost to Alexa Lee 6-2,4-6,6-2
2. defeated Jocelyn Davis 7-5,2-6,7-5
3. defeated Jen Cornea 1-6,6-4,6-3
4. defeated Kathryn Webb 6-3,5-7,6-0
5. lost to Gabrielle Gatewood 4-6,7-5,6-2
6. defeated Ane McPike 6-3,4-6,6-4
1. Okuda/Smith lost to Lee/Davis 8-2
2. Liu/Decker-Sadowski defeated McPike/Webb 8-6
3. Jeri Reichel/Stewart lost to Gatewood/Kuipers 8-5