The Canadian flag was displayed at Monday’s tennis match, recognizing UMass senior captain and Canadian native Maude Lecluyse on Senior Day. Following an emotional ceremony to recognize Lecluyse’s talent and accomplishments, Lecluyse played in her 109th career match, as the Massachusetts tennis team reclaimed its dominance at home, with a 5-2 victory over Quinnipiac.
“It felt really good and meant a lot to the team to put together a win for Maude on Senior Day,” said UMass coach Judy Dixon.
The squad was coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss last Saturday at the Mullins Courts against Boston University, which halted its four-match winning streak. The loss was a surprising one for the squad, who isn’t used to losing at home. The defeat brought the Minutewomen’s a 6-2 home record.
“We gave BU a little more respect than they deserved,” said Dixon. “I feel like we held back a little and it made them feel like they could win it. It definitely wasn’t the greatest game for us.”
The Bobcats came out strong on Monday, as Adrienne Markison and Mary Wilson defeated Candynce Boney and Lecluyse, 8-4, at No. 1 doubles.
The Minutewomen wasted no time responding, however, and took the two following doubles matches to claim the point. Tanisha Hodgson and Julia Comas defeated Rachel Cantor and Sarah Viebrock, 8-4, at second doubles and Kaitlyn Carpenter and Jocelyn Providence topped Natalie Duckor and Shawna Sarson, winning 8-4 at third doubles.
After securing the doubles point, UMass easily clinched the victory after going up 4-0 with impressive singles play. Freshman Julia Comas continued to show prowess, as she knocked off Wilson 6-4, 6-2, at No. 1 singles after losing the first two games of the first set and coming back to win 12 of the following 15 contests.
“Comas continues to come up with big wins, including the one today, where she came back to shut down Wilson at No. 1 singles,” Dixon said.
Boney also dominated No. 2, as she topped Cantor 6-1, 6-4 and claimed her sixth-straight singles win. After Carpenter defeated Duckor at No 3., 6-2, 6-1, Lecluyse took the court at No. 4 in hopes of taking the win on her special day.
Lecluyse topped Viebrock in three sets, as she unleashed a hard-fought comeback after losing in a first set tiebreak. Lecluyse’s team was waiting anxiously to embrace their captain with a group hug after she claimed the victory.
“Maude went out today and won it. She played like a champ,” Dixon said. “The other girl didn’t lose the match; Maude had to win it.”
The senior has played in the second-most matches of any UMass tennis player in history, and the win was Lecluyse’s 51st career singles victory.
When asked how it felt to pull out the singles victory on senior day, Lecluyse summed up her emotions.
“It felt amazing, there’s really no better feeling in the world. I was really nervous towards the end, but I was so happy to get the win with everyone watching,” Lecluyse said.
With the win, UMass improves to 12-6 on the season, while the Bobcats fall to 8-6.
The Minutewomen’s regular season will come to an end on Friday afternoon when they host Albany. The Atlantic 10 Conference Championships will begin April 22 in St. Louis, MO.
“After we did so well today, there’s no doubt in my mind we can continue winning. I think our chances are just as good as anybody else’s in the upcoming tournament,” Lecluyse said.
Kara Deyermenjian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.