Rodionova delivered, and the Kastles topped the visiting Sacramento Capitals, 21-19.
The Kastles trailed by two points until Rodionova closed the night with consecutive wins in women’s singles and mixed doubles.
“There’s no options,” Rodionova said of playing back-to-back matches. “That’s just the way it is and you deal with it.”
She was joined in doubles by Leander Paes, who helped control the match with solid serves and acrobatic returns. He slid six inches to get a ball back on a crucial point, and later kept the team afloat with a leaping return near the baseline.
After each side won four games, the mixed doubles match was forced into a tiebreaker. The Capitals overcame a two-point deficit to take the match, 5-4, and force overtime. The match would continue until the Kastles were able to win a fifth game or the overall team score was tied.
The Capitals won the first tiebreaker before the Kastles rallied behind Rodionova’s accurate serve. The Kastles clinched the match when the Capitals’ Mark Knowles and Yasmin Schanck were unable to return Rodionova’s serve on consecutive points.
“We’re both doubles players, so it’s very easy to communicate and we both understand the game very well,” Rodionova said of Paes. “I think we work on the court really well.”
A native of Russia, Rodionova joined the team this offseason. Her sister, Arina, is in her second year of World Team Tennis.
In women’s singles, Rodionova raced to a quick 3-0 lead against Asia Muhammad before the Capitals subbed in Schanck.
She disposed of Schanck just as quickly, winning the first game, 4-1, and the second, 4-3, for a 5-0 match win. The win erased a two-point deficit and sent the Kastles into mixed doubles, the night’s last match, ahead 16-13.
Rodionova was effective at spreading the court and her speed was equally as effective. When Schanck tried to outwit Rodionova and serve a weak drop shot, the Russian-native quickly raced to the baseline for a winning return.
“It’s a team effort and everyone did their part,” Rodionova said. “We play as a team and we win as team. . . . We’re trying out best to keep it alive and win as many matches as possible.”