2006 San Diego State Women's Tennis Season In Review
June 2, 2006
SAN DIEGO - The 2006 San Diego State women's tennis team continued its tradition of being one of the top Division I programs in the country after being ranked nationally throughout the season and advancing to its second consecutive NCAA tournament and 19th overall. The No. 38 Aztecs finished the season with a 16-9 record and tied for second in the Mountain West Conference after a 6-2 effort.
The season started a bit rocky as SDSU completed its first seven matches with a 3-4 record. The Aztecs opened the campaign by defeating UC Riverside and CS Fullerton, 7-0 and 6-1, respectively, in a lidlifting doubleheader. After dropping a 5-2 decision at No. 57 Long Beach State, San Diego State got back on the winning track by beating Loyola Marymount, 5-2. However, the following three contests took the wind out of the Aztecs' sails as they fell to both No. 6 California and fourth-ranked USC by 7-0 scores and then came up short at No. 23 Pepperdine, 4-3.
As quickly as SDSU's fortunes turned for the worse, it quickly turned for the better as the Aztecs reeled off eight straight victories, their most since the 2003 team accomplished the same feat. It all started with a shutout win over Idaho in Seattle, Wash., and then continued with a 5-2 upset triumph at No. 38 Washington. Thanks to her four combined singles and doubles wins in Seattle, Alesya Vidov garnered her first career MWC Player of the Week award.
After its trip to the Pacific Northwest, San Diego State returned to Aztec Tennis Center (ATC) to begin a three-match homestand. First on the slate was a contest vs. 36th-ranked Oregon. The Aztecs dug themselves early 2-0 hole, which gradually increased to 3-1, but it was at that point SDSU made an impressive comeback. Eliska Krausova cut the deficit to one with her three-set win at No. 3. The victory was followed by a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 effort by Milana Yusupov on court No. 4 to knot the overall team score at three apiece. Then with the outcome on the line, Esther Cadua pulled through to post a 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 victory at the No. 5 position to clinch the match.
Three days later, SDSU notched its third straight upset win when it defeated No. 38 North Carolina State, 5-2, for its fifth consecutive victory. The Aztecs closed out the homestand with a perfect 3-0 mark after cruising to a 6-1 win over Wisconsin heading into conference play.
San Diego State continued its torrid run through its opponents as it defeated Utah, 6-1, and 23rd-ranked Brigham Young, 4-3, in Las Vegas, Nev., to start 2-0 in MWC action. In the match vs. the Cougars, Dita Hauerlandova sealed the victory for the Aztecs with her 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 performance over 18th-ranked Olga Boulytcheva giving the senior her first win against a nationally-ranked opponent. The eight-match winning streak unfortunately came to an end the next day as SDSU could not take advantage of its doubles point win in a 5-2 loss at No. 23 UNLV.
Despite having its winning streak snapped, San Diego State looked to get back into the win column as it played host to No. 19 Harvard. The Crimson claimed the doubles point and never looked back as it defeated the Aztecs narrowly, 4-3, for SDSU's second straight defeat.
After taking a week off for spring break, San Diego State returned home for a trio of matches against the MWC's Front Range schools, in Colorado State, Wyoming and Air Force. The three schools were seemingly what the doctor ordered as the Aztecs improved on its all-time perfect record vs. each school in going 3-0 during the weekend. With her 6-0 combined singles and doubles record against CSU, UW and AFA, Hauerlandova earned her second career MWC Player of the Week award.
Riding a three-match winning streak, the Aztecs rolled into Albuquerque, N.M., with their minds set on claiming at least a share of the league crown. SDSU started in the right direction as it beat No. 48 New Mexico, 4-3. In the process of winning its fourth straight, Hauerlandova and Sisse Nielsen produced one of the greatest victories in program history when they downed third-ranked Iva Gersic-Maja Kovacek, 8-3, to help the Aztecs set the tone and win the doubles point.
The next day in a neutral site match against 20th-ranked TCU, San Diego State's bid to claim the regular season title fell short as it dropped a 7-0 decision to the Horned Frogs. The loss created a three-way tie for second place with BYU and UNLV.
In the regular season finale, which coincided with Senior Day, the Aztecs welcomed cross-town rival San Diego to ATC. The lone senior, Hauerlandova, teamed with Nielsen to upset No. 44 Lauren Perl and Emma Murphy, 8-1, at the No. 1 doubles position. At the end of the afternoon, SDSU beat USD, 5-2, to head into the MWC Championship on a winning note.
At the conference tournament, after tiebreaker rules resulted in a No. 4 seed for the Aztecs, San Diego State opposed New Mexico in the first round. Due to inclement weather, league officials moved the match to ATC where both teams engaged in a heated contest. Rain stopped the contest on two occasions, with the second postponing the match until the following day with score tied at 3-3. Once play resumed in the morning, the Lobos emerged victorious, beating the Aztecs, 4-3.
Despite not winning the league tournament title, the NCAA selection committee awarded SDSU a berth in the NCAA tournament for the 19th time, pitting the Aztecs against 19th-ranked UCLA. The Bruins raced out of the gate pocketing the doubles point and worked quickly in singles to tally a 4-0 victory ending San Diego State's season.
Individually, Hauerlandova, ranked as high as No. 69 in singles and No. 70 in the final poll, earned her third consecutive MWC all-singles award and was named the ITA's West Region recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship & Leadership Award. In doubles, she and Nielsen were honored with all-league doubles recognition, were picked as second alternates for the NCAA doubles championship and held a final national ranking of No. 31.