March 2, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass to host free concert featuring Kesha, Juicy J to deter students from participating in ‘Blarney’ -

Sunday, March 1, 2015

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to 0-4 with Saturday’s defeat to Brown -

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Strong second half snaps three-game losing streak for UMass -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

‘UMass basketball’ returns in victory over Fordham -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

First quarter woes sink UMass men’s lacrosse in Grant Whiteway’s return -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UMass hockey falls flat in regular season finale to UConn -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UMass hockey stumbles offensively against UConn’s tough defensive corps -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UMass seeks increased energy as it hosts Fordham -

Friday, February 27, 2015

Report: UMass continues search for new athletic director, DeFilippo not an option -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

UPDATE: Police to charge UMass football player with two counts of aggravated assault and battery -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Students for Justice in Palestine, administration react to inflammatory posters -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

UMass falls short, lacks energy in 82-71 loss to Saint Joseph’s -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Drake’s surprise mixtape yields few surprises -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Potential shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security offers chance for Republican legislature to learn from its mistakes -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jose Gonzalez returns with graceful “Vestiges & Claws” -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winless UMass faces Brown -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SGA to host Women’s Leadership Symposium -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

UMass women’s basketball finishes road schedule with matchup against Dayton -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Keystone XL pipeline sparks pollution awareness -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dartmouth and Fordham to start stretch of key games for Minutewomen -

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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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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