Gutsy Effort Lifts UC Davis Over Sacramento State

Melissa Kobayakawa clinched the Aggies win over Sacramento State with her three-set win at No. 4 on Sunday.

Feb. 23, 2014


DAVIS, Calif. – In a rivalry dual that lasted nearly four hours at the Marya Welch Tennis Center, singles victories earned by Layla Sanders and Melissa Kobayakawa helped UC Davis turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory over Sacramento State Sunday afternoon.

With its win, the second 4-3 result over the Hornets in as many seasons, UC Davis improves to 4-5 on the season. Sacramento State slips to 1-5.

Besides defeating their cross-Causeway rivals, the Aggies picked up another five points in the Causeway Cup standings, In doing so, UC Davis crossed the 50-point threshold needed to capture the Cup; with its current total of 51.25 points, student-athletes, supporters and fans of Aggie athletics retain bragging rights for another year. 

Each of the schools' 17 common teams usually compete against each other at least once during the year. The winner is given the pre-determined amount of Causeway Cup points of either five or 10. If the two schools meet just once in a season, then all the points will go to the winning team. But if the teams play each other two times or more, the points are divided by how many meetings occur. 

In the 10-year history of this competition between the area schools, UC Davis now sports a 6-4 edge over the Hornets.

UC Davis started its match by capturing two doubles victories to take an early one-point lead–an advantage that became even more important to the Aggies’ cause as the day progressed.

Nicole Koehly and Sanders, the Aggies’ No. 1 tandem, easily topped Daria Savchenko and Deimante Bulatovaite, 8-3, followed by an 8-5 score posted by Megan Heneghan and Kobayakawa at the No. 2 position.



For the second straight day, Heneghan captured an individual sweep with a 6-2, 6-1 singles victory over Jennifer Nguyen, the Hornets’ No. 1 player.

Sacramento State stormed back to take the next three singles matches, placing the team just one win away toppling the Aggies.

It was then when all the attention of the fans at the Marya Welch Tennis Center shifted to Sanders and Kobayakawa who were each engaged in an exhausting one-on-one battle against Alina Soltanici and Katharina Knoebl. 

With each match extended to a decisive third set – Sanders won her first set 6-2, before falling 2-6 in the second; a 6-3, Kobayakawa first-set victory was followed by a 4-6 score – UC Davis needed both victories to leave the Marya Welch Tennis Center in victorious fashion.

During the final sets of both matches, each player took full advantage of every break possible in an attempt to win the decisive set. Once Sanders grinded her way to a 7-5 set victory, Kobayakawa’s contest quickly morphed into a winner-take-all battle. 

In one of the gutsiest performance every recorded by an Aggie women’s tennis player, Kobayakawa capped her team’s come-from-behind effort by capturing the third set by a 6-1 score.

Sacramento State (1-5) at UC Davis (4-5)
Feb. 23, 2014 – Davis, Calif. (Marya Welch Tennis Center)

UC Davis 4, Sacramento State 3

Singles competition
1. Megan Heneghan (UCD) def. NGUYEN, Jennifer (SAC) 6-2, 6-1
2. Layla Sanders (UCD) def. SOLTANICI, Alina (SAC) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
3. SAVCHENKO, Daria (SAC) def. Nicole Koehly (UCD) 6-3, 6-0
4. Melissa Kobayakawa (UCD) def. KNOEBL, Katharina (SAC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
5. LOHSCHEIDT, Sophie (SAC) def. Tiffany Pham (UCD) 6-0, 6-0
6. BULATOVAITE, D. (SAC) def. Kamila Kecki (UCD) 7-6 (9-7), 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Layla Sanders/Nicole Koehly (UCD) def. BULATOVAITE, D./SAVCHENKO, Daria (SAC) 8-3
2. Megan Heneghan/Melissa Kobayakawa (UCD) def. NGUYEN, Jennifer/LOHSCHEIDT, Sophie (SAC) 8-5
3. SOLTANICI, Alina/KNOEBL, Katharina (SAC) def. Tiffany Pham/Samantha Martino (UCD) 8-5

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,5,3,6,2,4)