Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutewomen split pair over weekend

By Ryan Fleming, Collegian Staff

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Courtesy UMass media relations

The Massachusetts tennis team came to form on Saturday in its second home match all season, defeating Siena after falling to Brown on Friday.

With an impressive overall team effort, UMass (3-7) shut out the Saints, 7-0. It was the first time UMass had taken every point in a match this season.

The win halted the team’s previous five-match losing streak.

Senior co-captain Masha Pozar teamed up with No. 2 singles player Candynce Boney in the No. 1 doubles match. The two overpowered their opponents and came away with a seemingly easy victory over their doubles opponent, 8-1. It was Pozar’s fifth doubles win this season, which moves her closer to the school record of 67 that is held by Caroline Steele (’94-’98) and Susan Hyams (’00-’04).

Pozar and Boney were victorious in their singles matches as well. Pozar defeated Sarah Mayer in a competitive match 6-1, 6-4. In the match, Pozar displayed some of her overwhelming power with dominant serves and strong, well-placed forehand strokes.

Boney defeated Karina Davis, 6-0, 6-2. Boney showed her fighting grit and speed that her coach commented on later in the match.

UMass coach Judy Dixon talked about Pozar’s recent struggles and her win.

“Right now, Masha is playing at 70 percent of her ability. She’s much better even than what you saw today,” Dixon said. “What she is right now is lacking confidence. She hasn’t gotten the wins that I expected or the wins she has expected herself. She also lacks commitment when she plays because she’s scared; she’s playing with check swings. But we have steps in place that are going to make her better. She has the game in place but the confidence needs to be there.”

“When she wins like this it’s going to help her get better,” she continued. “We have some things in place that are going to help her get better. It’s very difficult to play No. 1. She’s played No. 2 for three years in a row but the confidence needs to be there because you play the best player from every school – you always have to be ready to go.”

Dixon then commented on Boney’s outstanding performance.

“When I recruited Candynce, I expected her to play in the No. 3 slot,” she said. “She’s winning all the time at No. 2 so I can’t move her down. She has some great college tennis ahead of her. She knows how to fight on the tennis court. She knows when to defend on time, she knows when to attack on time. I think her best asset is her movement.”

Tanisha Hodgson was 0-11 before today’s match but on Saturday she overcame her struggles and beat Siena freshman Lauren Moy 6-2, 6-0.

” Today was Tanisha Hodgson’s. She is 0-11 at No. 3,” Dixon said. “Today was her first win. I think the monkey is off her back. I am going to move her down the lineup so I expect her to do much better, so I would say today really goes to her.”

Carly Ludmer and Lauren Mackay, who sparingly get to compete in match play, were fortunate enough to compete on Saturday. The two were victorious in their No. 3 doubles match, winning 8-1.

On Friday, UMass traveled to Providence, R.I., to play Brown.

Since 1980 when UMass first started playing Brown, Brown has won every match, and the past results were the same on Friday, when Brown beat UMass 6-1.

Boney won her team-leading 10th singles match (6-3, 7-5) and claimed UMass’s only point.

Brown owns a 15-0 all-time record over UMass.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at [email protected]

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