Women's Tennis Drops Two Semi-Final Matches at ITA Regional Championships

Tamara Culibrk (L) and Miyo Kobayashi
Oct. 24, 2016

STANFORD, Calif. – The San José State women’s tennis team’s impressive run at the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Northwest Regional Championships came to an end on Monday, October 24 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif.

Junior Sybille Gauvain lost a competitive match in the semifinals of the singles bracket to #90-ranked and 5th seed in the tournament, Karla Popovic of Cal, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

“Sybille came out great, she was playing with a lot of confidence,” said SJSU head coach Chad Skorupka. “She had a couple of tough line calls go against her but she came back. In the end, she wasn’t able to keep that high level of play.”

Gauvain came out strong to take the first game of the day and put Popovich, who is unbeaten this season, on her heels. The two players traded the first five games until Gauvain won two in a row to grab the 4-2 lead. After the two traded consecutive games again to bring the score to 5-3, Popovich won four straight games to clinch the first set 7-5.

Popovich continued her streak into the second set and took the first two games. Gauvain, seemingly against the ropes, stormed back to win three consecutive games to take the 3-2 lead. After Popovich won the next game, Gauvain again won three consecutive games and won the set, 6-3.

In the final set, Popovich was on the verge of victory after taking a 5-2 lead against Gauvain. However, Gauvain wasn’t done and grabbed the next two games to come within a game of Popovich, 5-4. Popovich was able to hold on to win the set, 6-4, and the match.

Gauvain, a native of Frejus, France, defeated the 4th, 8th and 9th seeded players in the ITA Northwest Regional Championships on her way to the semifinals.

“It’s great for our program (to get this far) but we are still disappointed,” said Skorupka. “This team is hungry. We don’t want to just get to the semifinals, we want to win the tournament.”

Gauvain also completed a historic run along with freshman Tamara Culibrk and sophomore Miyo Kobayashi who lost in a semifinals match against Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee of Stanford, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday afternoon. This was the first time in Spartan history that San José State University had two entries in the ITA Northwest Regional Championships semifinal rounds.

“In doubles we had a chance to go 5-all in the first set,” said Skorupka. “After (we) lost that first set (we) went a little flat and were out of sync. It’s good getting to the semifinals but we’re disappointed we’re not going to be playing in the finals.”

Monday marked the first time this season that Culibrk and Kobayashi lost as a doubles team.

The Spartans take the court next on Friday, November 4 at the Bronco Invitational in Santa Clara, Calif.

ITA Northwest Regional Championships women's tennis results
Tad Taube Family Tennis Center, Stanford, Calif.
October 24, 2016

Championship Bracket Singles

(SF)   #90-Karla Popovic (CAL) def. Sybille Gauvain (SJSU) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Championship Bracket Doubles

(SF)   Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (Stanford) def. Tamara Culibrk/Miyo Kobayashi (SJSU) 6-4, 6-1.