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May 18, 2016

UMass tennis splits two weekend conference matches

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts tennis team had little time to recover after a tough 7-0 loss to Ivy League power Dartmouth on Feb. 26 as it headed into a very important weekend of Atlantic 10 tennis.

The Minutewomen rebounded in convincing fashion against Fordham, defeating the Rams 5-2. But followed that up with a 5-2 loss to George Washington on Saturday.

The Minutewomen dropping the doubles matches once again, conceding the doubles point to GW.

UMass couldn’t make up the ground in singles play and came away with just two victories at No. 3 and 4. Aarzoo Malik defeated Stephanie Wei in straight sets (6-3, 6-2), while Arielle Griffin did the same against Egle Jakuciunaite (6-3, 6-3). In fact, all the matches were decided in straight sets, but the Minutewomen found themselves on the losing end of the other four.

“We have some work to do particularly in doubles,” Dixon said. “Historically we have won the doubles point. We typically win matches by winning the doubles matches and then winning matches from the bottom up. This year we aren’t getting the production from our doubles and the bottom of the lineup is not doing what it needs to do to be successful.”

Against Fordham, UMass secured five of the six singles matches to put away its conference foe. Sonia Bokhari sparked the Minutewomen in singles play when she won No. 1 match against Elliesa Ball (6-2, 4-6, 6-3). Yuliana Motyl, Arielle Griffin, Aarzoo Malik and Chanel Glasper all won their singles matches as well.

“At Fordham, we won at the top,” Dixon said. “Against GW we were really outplayed. The team, I know, would like to play them again. I think that, given a few tweaks here or there, we might do a better job…[GW] came out with that kind of fire. We came out thinking that Fordham was the better of the two.”

UMass will have to make another quick recovery as it continues its non-conference slate on Saturday, March 8 in New York where they will face Columbia, a team which Dixon knows has a lot of talent.

“Columbia is going to be the hardest match we’ve played all year,” she said, “But things are going to turn around for this team. …Our schedule is front loaded. We’re going to end up with a very good record.”

            Arthur Hayden can be reached at awhayden@umass.edu.

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