The UC Davis women’s tennis team traveled to the Aloha state over spring break, but by no means was this a vacation.
The Aggies battled with 53rd-ranked Hawai’i and then faced off against Division II powerhouse Hawai’i Pacific on back-to-back days. After splitting the weekend matchups, UC Davis holds a 6-10 record with six matches remaining in the regular season.
Friday – Hawai’i 4, UC Davis 3
The contest with the Rainbow Warriors was the Aggies’ first competition in almost a month, but they found themselves in a battle right from the start.
UC Davis was swept in the doubles competition to surrender the doubles point to Hawai’i, and that turned out to be the difference maker.
After falling behind 1-0, the Aggies surged ahead to take a 3-2 advantage, getting wins from junior Ellie Edles, sophomore Megan Heneghan and freshman Layla Sanders at their respective singles spots. Two matches remained on court and UC Davis needed just one for the victory, but the Aggies could not scrape out the final point.
Senior Dahra Zamudio fell 7-6(5), 6-4 after holding a set point in the first, and junior Lauren Curry was outlasted by Hawai’i in the decisive third set with a match score of 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
“I’m so proud of the team; they fought hard,” said coach Bill Maze. “All the matches were close and it came down to Curry’s match, but everyone put in a great effort.
“We hadn’t played a match in a while and, out in the heat and humidity, I saw we were in great shape. I thought we did everything we could do to win but just didn’t pull it out.”
Saturday – UC Davis 4, Hawai’i Pacific 3
The Aggies had another tight match on Saturday, but this time ended up on top. Despite losing the doubles point once again, UC Davis rebounded nicely to sweep four straight singles matches.
“We lost the doubles point; it’s really been our Achilles heel, but we’re a great singles playing team,” Maze said. “We won four out of six singles and that’s what put us on top.”
Curry and Zamudio put the Aggies on top with two quick victories to start singles play. UC Davis then clinched the match with two more wins courtesy of sophomores Kelly Chui and Nicole Koehly at the three and six singles slots, respectively.
Having already recorded four points, the Aggies claimed the victory but dropped the final two singles matches on court in close third sets to make the total match score 4-3.
“Hawai’i was a tough one to lose because they’re a good team and we were so close,” Maze said. “We came such a long way to play here; it’s good to get a win in one of these close matches.”
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at email@example.com.