Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey loses ninth straight, falls to No. 9 BU 6-3 -

February 5, 2016

UMass hockey can’t heed coach John Micheletto’s warning in 6-3 loss against BU -

February 5, 2016

Jury convicts Patrick Durocher of rape, assault and battery -

February 5, 2016

UMass student dies Friday morning -

February 5, 2016

Puck Talk: UMass prepares for the Terriers -

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Third and 20: the Super Bowl -

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UMass women’s basketball set to take on Fordham at Mullins -

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UMass investigating alleged misuse of campus resources within Physical Plant -

February 4, 2016

Closing arguments delivered as Patrick Durocher trial moves toward resolution -

February 4, 2016

UMass football announces 30 members to its 2016 recruiting class -

February 4, 2016

Dean’s Beans founder speaks at first MassPIRG meeting of semester -

February 4, 2016

UMass revises guest policy for Super Bowl weekend -

February 4, 2016

UMass graduates are ‘attractive to employers’ -

February 4, 2016

IT to host open forum, discuss new acceptable use and confidentiality policies -

February 4, 2016

Herrell’s hosts event to support Whole Children -

February 4, 2016

UMass police chief hiring procedure involves input from across campus -

February 4, 2016

UMass men’s and women’s track and field set to perform this weekend in preparation for the Atlantic 10 championships -

February 4, 2016

Heather MacLean shines in junior season for UMass track and field -

February 4, 2016

UMass hockey squares off with No. 9 Boston University Friday night -

February 4, 2016

UMass women’s basketball blows lead, loses in overtime -

February 4, 2016

Weekend pair on tap for Minutewomen

The Massachusetts tennis team looks to keep its home winning streak going in a pair of weekend matches against St. John’s and Army. The Minutewomen have won three straight games at home.

St. John’s currently holds a 1-5 record on the young spring season. The Red Storm defeated Colombia on Jan. 31, but have fallen to Buffalo, Syracuse, Boston University, Dartmouth and Stony Brook as well.

No. 1 singles player Ira Aleksova echoes the difficulty St. John’s has had thus far, sporting a 0-6 record in dual match play. The lone bright spot for the Red Storm is sophomore Joanna Zwirbulis, who has gone 4-2 in singles action. Other than Zwirbulis, no St. John’s singles or doubles competitor boasts a winning record.

However, the Minutewomen (2-1) must stay wary of the Red Storm because on Nov. 6th, St. John’s defeated UMass, 7-2, in tournament play.

Sophomore Magdalena Ploch was the star of the day for the Minutewomen, winning her singles match over Aleksova, 6-4, 6-2, while teaming up with freshman Julia Comas to beat sophomores Ece Firat and Jenny Yonkus, 8-1. Both Comas and junior Tanisha Hodgson played competitively in singles as well, falling in three sets to Firat and sophomore Nakita Austin.

The Red Storm finished 9-13 last year, including a 5-6 mark in Big East play. Since 2003, UMass is 3-1 against St. John’s.

On Sunday, the Minutewomen will also match up with the Black Knights. Army currently has a 4-3 record on the season, holding victories over Sacred Heart, Seton Hall, Fordham and Connecticut, which UMass also defeated earlier this year.

The Black Knights are headlined by Anne Houghton, a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year. Houghton holds the single season record for dual match singles victories for Army with 18. She also became the first player in Patriot League history to garner Player and Rookie of the Year awards in 2008. Houghton also defeated Candynce Boney, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles in the 2009 spring season.

Houghton and Ploch have matched up before this season, with Ploch holding a 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 victory over Houghton at the ITA Regional Championships. Ploch went on to upset the No. 3 seed from Harvard, Hideko Tachibana, 6-2, 6-2 in that tournament. The upcoming matchup this Saturday will be the first meeting between Ploch and Houghton since their previous encounter.

Other notable players for the Black Knights include senior captain Kristin Beehler, who has been an All-Patriot League competitor each of her three previous seasons. She teamed with Houghton last year to lead the team with a 20-5 mark in doubles action. Beehler was also a Co-MVP of the Patriot League Championships last year after winning two singles matches and one doubles match during the tournament.

UMass is looking to stop a losing skid against Army this weekend. Since 2003, the Minutewomen have gone 1-5 against the Black Knights, including two 4-3 losses in the last two years. The last UMass victory against Army took place in March of 2007, as Michele Spiess led the Minutewomen past the Black Knights, 4-3.

Both matches will take place at the Bay Road Tennis Club this weekend. The match against St. John’s will be at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the match against Army will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Ben Lambert can be reached at wlambert@student.umass.edu.

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