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March 22, 2017

Spring break road trip ends in a win for the Minutewomen

Collegian file photo

The Massachusetts tennis team spent its spring break on a road trip through South Carolina, going 1-2 against three schools from the area. UMass lost to Charleston Southern and the College of Charleston, but ended on a high note with a victory over Presbyterian.

The 6-1 victory snapped a five-match losing streak for the Minutewomen and improved their record to 8-6 on the season. Five of the six losses have been to ranked opponents.

UMass earned its first point by sweeping the three doubles matches. Candynce Boney and Maude Lecluyse defeated Heather Heusel and Paige Oelke, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles, while Julia Comas and Tanisha Hodgson beat Olivia McMillan and Virginia Waldron, 8-3, at No. 2. Jocelyn Providence and Kaitlyn Carpenter finished up by defeating Megan Davis and Lindsey Krause, 8-5.

In singles play, Comas had her first victory at No. 1 singles this season as she knocked off Heusel, 6-4, 6-3. Other notable UMass victories include Boney’s 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Olivia McMillan at No. 2 singles and Providence’s 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 triumph over Cara Caruso at No. 6 singles.

Presbyterian fell to 2-9 on the season with the loss, although it now stands at 3-9. They earned their first conference victory of the season on Friday when they defeated Liberty, 4-3.

The Minutewomen began their trip with a valiant effort against Charleston Southern, but ultimately fell 5-2. The victories for UMass came from Boney, who knocked off Brooke Pletcher, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7, and Providence, who beat Susita Das, 6-3, 6-4. Lecluyse took her match against Marija Dzakovic into a climatic tiebreaker, but lost 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 10-4 in the end.

The Buccaneers entered the contest 6-0 in dual match play, with victories over No. 66-ranked UNC-Greensboro, UNC Asheville, and Liberty to their credit. They also sport a perfect 3-0 mark in league play.

With the win, the Buccaneers moved into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Poll for the first time this year at No. 65.

Next, the Minutewomen traveled to the College of Charleston. UMass lost 6-0 in a rain-shortened event that saw the teams only play the singles matches because of the inclement conditions. The brightest spot for the Minutewomen was Lecluyse, who took her match to a tiebreaker for the second straight time. However, Lauren Borza ultimately triumphed 4-6, 6-0, 10-5. No other UMass player took their match to three sets.

With the win, the College of Charleston raised its record to 11-8. The victory was the Cougars’ fourth sweep of the year, with the others coming against conference opponent Western Carolina as well as non-conference opponents Case Western and Charlotte. They are now ranked at No. 58 in the country and have a perfect 4-0 record in the Southern Conference.

The Minutewomen will return to action Saturday as they hit the road to play the New Jersey Institute of Technology at 10 a.m.

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

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