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Cal Poly women’s tennis wins Big West to advance to NCAA Tournament

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – It was an ending so perfect that not even an Academy Award winning writer could have scripted it any better.

With the Big West Championship match all knotted up at 3-3, Cal Poly’s hopes of a conference title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament all came down to the No. 5 singles match and graduate student Melissa LaMette. Fortunately for the Mustangs, LaMette is as clutch as they come.

After losing the first set and falling down 5-2 in the second set of her match, LaMette rallied to claim a dramatic 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 victory at No. 5 to propel the Cal Poly women’s tennis team to a 4-3 win over Cal State Fullerton in the Big West Championship match on Saturday at the Barnes Tennis Center.

The thrilling triumph allowed the Mustangs (13-8-1) to secure their second Big West Championship in program history and first since 2003. With the win, Cal Poly booked its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in Division I school history and for the first time since 2011.

Thanks to some gritty singles play, the fifth-seeded Mustangs were able to avenge a 4-3 defeat to No. 6 seed Cal State Fullerton during the regular season to claim conference glory.

The Mustangs started the match strong, securing the doubles point thanks to victories at No. 1 and No. 2. Fifth-year Delanie Dunkle and junior Peyton Dunkle dominated at No. 1, cruising to a 6-0 win to improve to 14-5 on the year — tied for the seventh most dual doubles victories by a pairing in a season in Division I program history. For Delanie, the win allowed her to surpass Chelsy Thompson and Brittany Blalock for the most career dual doubles victories in Division I program history with 55.

LaMette and Mosse clinched the doubles point for the Mustangs with a 6-3 victory at No. 2, moving to 10-7 together this season.

In singles, the Titans (17-9) evened the match at 1-1 with a win at No. 3, but Mosse quickly put the Mustangs back in front with a commanding 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 4. She improved to 17-5 on the season with the win, tied for the seventh most dual singles victories in a season in Division I program history.

Cal Poly took a 3-1 lead thanks to Peyton, who grabbed a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 2 to secure her fourth straight win and move to 12-6 on the year.

Delanie (No. 1) and sophomore Kennedy Buntrock (No. 6) fought extremely hard in a pair of three set matches, but CSUF won both to tie the match at 3-3. That’s when LaMette stepped in to deliver a Mustang victory.

LaMette secured the match clinching point for Cal Poly in all three of its Big West tournament matches. Her singles win Saturday allowed her to move to No. 3 in Division I program history in career dual singles victories with 48.

The Mustangs will learn who will they face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament during a selection show that will air on NCAA.com on Monday at 3:30 p.m.

(Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics)

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