San Francisco, Calif.----- The San Jose State University women's tennis team got off to a strong start on opening day with a pair of singles victories in the Battle of the Bay tournament at the Cal Club.
Sophomore Tamara Culibrk was a straight-set winner over Santa Clara's Katya Taberchuk, 6-4, 6-4. Culibrk is one of four returning players and three starters from last season's Mountain West championship squad.
"Tamara played solid singles today. Her serve was great today and that helped her in some tight situations," said Chad Skorupka, beginning his third season as the San Jose State head coach.
Laura Malsert, one of four freshmen joining the Spartans, needed three sets in her major college debut for a 6-0, 6-7 (5), 7-5 win over San Francisco's Hanna Borjeson.
""Wow! Laura was up, 6-0, 3-0, and then lost the second set in a tiebreaker. In the third set, she was down, 5-2, and then won five straight games to 7-5 in the final set," said the Spartans head coach. "Laura battled and found a way at the end to win her first collegiate match."
The two Spartans advanced to the championship quarterfinal round on September 23 and will play the tournament's top-two seeds, both from the University of Southern Calfiornia. Culibrk takes on top-seeded Madison Westby at 12:30 p.m. and Malsert, from France, faces second-seeded Rebecca Weissmann at 1:00 p.m.
Culibrk saw Weissmann in her first match of the day in doubles. Weissmann and her partner, Angela Kulikov, the number-one seeded doubles team, topped Culibrk and freshman Julie Vereecke from Belgium, 8-5.
"We had some opportunities to make the doubles a little closer at the end. We will learn form this match an improve moving forward," Skorupka said about the Culibrk and Vereecke playing together in doubles for the first time in competition.
The three-day tournament continues on September 23 and concludes on September 24. Live streams are available each day starting at 9:00 a.m. (PT) through www.usfdons.com.
Battle In The Bay women's tennis tournament
Cal Club, San Francisco, Calif.
September 22, 2017
Day 1 Results
Tamara Culibrk (SJSU) def. Katya Taberchuk (SCU), 6-4, 6-4.
Laura Malsert (SJSU) def. Hanna Borjeson (USF), 6-0, 6-7 (5), 7-5.