CSUF tennis fall to UC Santa Barbara 4-3 in Danielle Pham and Isabel Donaldson’s final home match

CSUF tennis fell to UC Santa Barbara 4-3 on Sunday and recognized its two seniors after its final home match of the season.

“We wanted to focus on the way we’re playing and not on the outcome,” said Titans Head Coach Dianne Matias. “Unfortunately, today it didn’t go our way.”

In the match against the Gauchos, Danielle Pham and her partner Masako Makiba were victorious in their match against Amanda Atanasson and Armit Lev Ari after breaking the tie to end the set 6-5.

The win puts the pair 2-0 overall with their other victory on April 14 against Cal Poly.

Duo Genevieve Zeidan and Jadie Acidera were the other Titans doubles team to come out on top in a close 5-4 match against Gauchos Stephanie Yamada and Lise Sentenac.

“Our doubles are slowly starting to come along. We still have a long way to go,” Matias said. “I like how our teams are playing.”

Though Sarah Nuno and Karla Portalatin were unsuccessful in their doubles match, both came out victorious in singles play.

However, losses from Zeidan, junior Luxizi Meng and freshman Caisey Lee Emery secured the Gaucho victory.

The outcome was not what the Titan’s expected, but Pham and senior Isabel Donaldson were pleased with the achievements the team accomplished in their four years of being a Titan.

“Definitely something special,” Pham said. “Our freshman year, we didn’t have a winning record. Sophomore year, we got so much better and we had a winning record. It came to our junior year, we went 19-4, the best in our program history. Now, we’re doing really good and growing together.”

Both Donaldson and Pham were in Matias’ first recruiting class. Whether they’re contributing to the culture change from the 2-6 conference record in 2014, reaching semifinals in the Big West Tournament in 2017 or helping the underclassmen, Matias said they have been key assets to the growth of the team.

“They helped with the growing pains of having a young team. They’re definitely people that the rest of the young players can go and ask for advice,” Matias said.

Donaldson has not competed since the 2016 season due to a back injury that has led to multiple surgeries, but she stayed with the team and became its manager, which has helped strengthen the team’s bond.

“They all mean the world to me. Especially this year, this is the closest that the team has been in my four years,” Donaldson said.

The Titans are nearing the end of the 2017-2018 season and will face their final opponent, Long Beach State, on Friday, April 20 before they enter the Big West Tournament.

“Right now, we have two more weeks. We have to trust the process from here on out,” Pham said.

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