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Yrazusta shines for UMass tennis at Big Green Invitational

(Collegian File Photo)

The Massachusetts tennis team finished its fall season last weekend by competing at the Big Green Invitational in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Senior Ana Yrazusta was the star for the Minutewomen. She was named the top player at the invitational after winning all three singles competitions, securing two victories as the top seed and one as the second seed.

Along with her traditional partner Laura Moreno, Yrazusta was also named to the Big Green Tournament’s most outstanding doubles team. The tandem went 3-0 to give Yrazusta a perfect 6-0 record on the weekend.

“[Yrazusta’s] composure was very good in all three singles matches” UMass coach Juancarlos Nunez said. “She was very on and focused and did not drop a set all weekend long and beat some very good players. In particular, the players from Dartmouth and Minnesota. Those are high level opponents who have had good fall seasons.”

Yrazusta started the weekend on a strong note by defeating top-seeded Caroline Ryba from Minnesota 6-4, 6-2 in two sets on Friday. She also was victorious alongside Moreno against the Golden Gopher team of Mehvish Safdar and Caitlyn Merzbacher.

However, those would be the only two wins on the afternoon for UMass, as it dropped seven of eight singles and three of four doubles contests against Minnesota.

The Minutewomen would respond on Saturday by securing a team victory over Ivy League opponent Yale. Nunez cited his team’s ability to compete as a reason for their turnaround.

“I would say the word of the weekend after Friday was ‘compete.’ On Friday, I felt that we did not compete as well as we could have, and the scores showed it.” Nunez said. “We challenged ourselves to not focus so much on the score and to just compete on every game and to not take any points off, and we did that.”

UMass did this by defeating Yale in all three doubles contests and four of five singles matches, including sophomore Martina Bocchi who won at the number five position. She also won alongside her partner, Ashely Avery, besting the Bulldogs’ Sonal Shrivastava and Caroline Amos, 6-3.

Despite a Sunday which saw the Minutewomen lose the majority of matches against host school Dartmouth to drop their overall tournament record to below .500, UMass will still take some momentum into its winter recess.

“All the matches [Sunday] were very competitive and tough. Even though most of the matches did not go our way, I felt like our girls left the court feeling like, ‘we cannot wait to get back on the court when we play these guys in March,’” Nunez said, regarding the Big Green.

The Big Green came out on top in the second, third and fourth ranked singles contests which saw each match require a deciding third set.

Sophomore Janja Kovacevic dropped the first set 7-5 against third-seeded Maddie Hwang, but rallied for a second set 6-4 win. She was narrowly defeated in the tie-breaker 10-6 to lose the contest.

Bocchi, Jovana Bogicevic, Avery, and Meghan Bernard were all beaten as the fifth through eighth seeded players.

UMass will look for its revenge against Dartmouth on March 3 in Hanover.

With the team’s fall tournament schedule behind them, UMass tennis will be able to practice up until Thanksgiving before going on a winter recess which will last through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. They will return in January to begin spring practices.

Their first spring matchup will be against Providence on Jan. 21 in Amherst.

Tim Sorota can be reached at tsorota@umass.edu.

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