The UC Davis women’s tennis team had a very difficult fall season that saw them drop out of the rankings with a less-than-impressive record.
But the Aggies have been showing signs of improvement for a while, and some of their best performances of the campaign have come in the recent past.
UC Davis swiped two Big West Conference victories this week, toppling Pacific and Cal State Fullerton to finish the regular season 6-2 in league competition.
The Aggies close the regular season 11-11 overall after winning four straight and six of their last seven to capture the second seed in the Big West.
“Credit goes to our assistant coach Christina Fusano, who’s been saying all year long it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Coach Bill Maze said. “We’ve never had this tough a schedule and we’re definitely peaking at the right time.”
Thursday — UC Davis 5, Pacific 2
The Aggies traveled to Pacific to make up a rescheduled match from March, and left with another win in their pockets.
UC Davis grabbed the doubles point for the third straight time and never looked back. The Aggies took three straight singles matches to bring their total match points to four before the Tigers even got on the board.
Freshman Layla Sanders was off the court first with a 6-0, 6-0 win, followed by sophomores Kelly Chui and Megan Heneghan’s victories on the third and first court, respectively.
Junior Lauren Curry rounded out the Aggies’ 5-2 victory with a 6-1, 6-2 victory. In those four singles matches, UC Davis lost a total of just seven games.
Saturday — UC Davis 6, Cal State Fullerton 1
The Aggies rolled past the Titans to add to the celebrations on a Picnic Day/Senior Day duel.
“There was a great vibe out here, Senior Day, Picnic Day and tennis,” Maze said. “It absolutely lived up to Picnic Day expectations.”
UC Davis swept all three matches in capturing the doubles point, led by seniors Dahra Zamudio and Noelle Eades’ dominating 8-2 performance at three doubles.
The Aggies proceeded to dominate in singles play, taking five straight before the Titans could even get a foot in the door. CSU Fullerton salvaged one win at the No. 2 singles slot, but that was the only point the Titans could muster.
The victory closes out the final regular season for Zamudio and fellow senior Noelle Eades.
“Noelle Eades hit what could be the last shot of her college career for an overhead winner so it doesn’t get any better than that,” Maze said. “Congratulations to our seniors; they’ve been great leaders for us and it’s been good to have them around for four years.”
The Aggies will return to action in the Big West Conference Championships in Indian Wells, Calif. on Thursday.
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at email@example.com.