UMass dominates weekend by picking up two victories

By Kara Deyermenjian

Coming off a solid win last Thursday against Presbyterian that halted a five-match losing streak, the Massachusetts tennis team was able to string together two more victories over the weekend against the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Hofstra.

“I really feel like we are back on track,” said UMass coach Judy Dixon. “We knew the middle of the season was going to be tough as we faced off against five nationally ranked teams, and unfortunately we were unable to knock any of them off. It felt great to start winning again and have our confidence restored. As far as the Atlantic 10 goes, it’s wide open. The team feels like we have just as good of a shot as anyone.”

The Minutewomen wrapped up a six-match road trip with the match against NJIT, defeating the Highlanders 6-1.

UMass came out strong as senior captain Maude Lecluyse and junior Candynce Boney matched up with Nina Mayevska and Isha Toor for the first round of doubles, easily securing the 8-1 victory.

Jocelyn Providence and Kaitlyn Carpenter were set to take on third doubles, but it turned out they didn’t even have to take the court for the Minutewomen to claim the point as the Highlanders lost by default for only having five players.

Freshman Julia Comas also had a notably strong performance, defeating Nina Mayevska in a close third-set tiebreak, 6-7, 6-2, 10-6.

Sunday’s match against the Pride at home was the first time in over a month that UMass had played on the Mullins courts, as well as its first outdoor match of the season. The Minutewomen started off the outdoor season with a bang as they dominated the entire afternoon, not losing a single set in either singles or doubles play.

“Playing at home makes a huge difference,” Dixon said. “We have a very strong fan base and playing at home definitely makes everyone feel more comfortable and confident.”

Boney and Lecluyse set the tone early in the first doubles set, locking in an easy 8-0 win against Zoe Taylor and Malissa Gilanchi. The second doubles spot was a nail-biter, however, as Tanisha Hodgson and Comas barely defeated Sonia Tsay and Lauren Clifton, 8-7. Next up were Kaitlyn Carpenter and Jocelyn Providence who were also successful in their doubles competition, taking another one-sided 8-0 victory.

UMass swept all six singles matches and was able to continue a season-long tradition of unfaltering singles play. Comas, Boney, Lecluyse, Carpenter, and Providence were all undefeated this weekend with several straight-set victories. With the string of wins, Boney’s record improves to 4-2 in singles play, including an impressive and hard-fought win Saturday against NJIT’s Ana Lidon.

Newcomer Comas also continues to show promise with her second consecutive straight-set victory in first-singles matches as she managed to sneak by Taylor, 6-3, 6-2.

“Julia Comas recently stepped up from second singles to first singles, and it was a great feeling to see her deliver. She filled that role very well and had extremely positive results,” Dixon said.

With the three-match winning streak under their belts, the Minutewomen improve their record to 10-6.

Next up, UMass goes back on the road as they travel to Sacred Heart on Thursday to take on the Pioneers at 3 p.m. Last Saturday, Sacred Heart ended a five-match losing streak with a 7-0 sweep of Hartford

Kara Deyermenjian can be reached at [email protected]