MATCH POINT – The College of Staten Island women’s tennis squad made it five straight victories to start the 2015 season, scoring a 5-3 win over Farmingdale State College in a non-conference match that started outdoors and then moved indoors in time to see CSI senior Madiha Mulla score the game-winning fifth point. CSI improved to 5-0 with the win, while the Rams fell to 4-2.
It was great play at the top of the lineup that got CSI through this match, but it was not easy. In doubles, CSI got off to a 2-1 lead, thanks to a pair of 8-3 wins by their top two teams. Mulla was instrumental, coming back after missing a match earlier this week. She teamed with Sabrina Bragerton-Nasert in the top flight to score victory. One flight lower, Nozima Toshpulatova and Michelle Kushnir were winners as well. Farmingdale countered with a gritty, 8-5 win, by Carolann LaMonica and Madison Schrader.
In singles play, the flights were again competitive, and it forced a make-or-break situation with the score 4-3 in favor of the Dolphins with play moved indoors because of the darkness setting in. By that time, FSC had won the fourth and fifth singles flights, but CSI countered with determined wins at the top. First, Bragerton-Nasert survived a 7-5 first set against Priscilla Signore and then won her second set, 6-1. One flight lower, Toshpulatova came back to score a much needed 7-6 (8-6), 10-5 win over Tatiana Rosamilia, making it a 4-3 score.
That left things up to Mulla and Samantha Mazier, in the No. 6 spot. Mulla took to the indoor courts first. She dropped the first set to FSC’s Michelle Fredericks, 6-3, but Mulla powered to a 6-1 win in set two. In the 10-point tiebreak that followed, Murray took a commanding 9-1 lead. Fredericks battled to score five-straight points, but then Mulla forced an unbalanced Fredericks to hit one wide and Mulla won, 10-6. With CSI having clinched, the teams decided to suspend the No. 6 Singles match leaving it unfinished. Farmingdale was ahead on the scorecard, 6-0, 4-3, at the time of the stoppage.