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Elk Grove Citizen

Gorbunova Takes Home Big Sky Weekly Honors

Mar 12, 2024 02:55PM ● By Sacramento State Athletics News Release

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento State senior Mayya Gorbunova was named the Big Sky Conference women’s tennis player of the week on Tuesday after helping the Hornets continue one of the best starts in school history with a pair of victories.

Gorbunova becomes the second Sacramento State player to earn weekly honors from the league office this season after teammate Irene Riva took home her first career award back on Feb. 28. This week’s honor is the fourth of Gorbunova’s career in the green and gold, putting her in a tie for sixth on the school’s all-time list dating back to 1992.

Gorbunova finished 3-0 in two matches on the week, helping Sacramento State bring home victories over Pacific (4-3) and Utah State (5-2) and improve to 9-3 overall on the season — the program’s best 12-match start since opening the 2008 campaign with an 11-1 record. In the process, the Hornets have won their last seven straight for the program’s longest winning streak since claiming eight consecutive victories from March 24-April 22, 2012.

The senior opened the week by coming up clutch at Pacific, outlasting the Tigers’ Klara Kosan for a three-set, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3, clinching victory at the No. 1 singles position to help Sacramento State rally for a 4-3 road win. Gorbunova’s win alongside Lou Baudouin in doubles clinched the doubles point for the Hornets for the 1-0 lead in the match, but Sacramento State trailed 3-2 late in singles before rallying.

Once teammate Irene Riva rallied for a three-set win at No. 5 to tie the dual, Gorbunova jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and went ahead 4-2 in the third before closing out Kosen with wins in the final two games to clinch the match. She nearly had the match won in straight sets, coming back from down 5-1 in the second to make it 5-4, but lost the final game to send it to the decisive third set.

On Monday against Utah State, Gorbunova easily defeated the Aggies’ Zeynep Naz Ozturk, 6-1, 6-2, to improve to 7-1 overall on the year in singles — all at the No. 1 spot in the lineup — and has won her last five straight. She, along with Baudouin, was leading their doubles match, 4-3, before the Hornets clinched the point.

Sacramento State returns to the court on Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m., continuing a seven-match homestand with its Big Sky opener against Weber State.