Minutewomen tennis team extends winning streak

By Scott Cournoyer

Alex Mojcher/Collegian

With three matches against Atlantic 10 opponents now in the books, it’s safe to say that the University of Massachusetts tennis team, if not the perennial favorite to win this year’s conference crown, is a serious threat among the pool of contenders to claim the top spot.

The Minutewomen (11-8, 3-0 A-10) are now on a three-match winning streak, defeating St. Bonaventure and Fairfield on back-to-back days over the weekend.

“I think we’re just getting better and better,” UMass coach Judy Dixon said after the match against Fairfield on Sunday. “And the best thing is that I know that we’re getting better as we go and we’re looking forward to the A-10s like crazy.”

UMass was able to take a combined 13 out of 14 possible points over both matches, including six against the Stags (4-6).

A point of emphasis by Dixon all season long since the start has been to have a consistently strong outing in doubles play match in and match out. Since returning home from their Florida trip nearly two weeks ago, UMass has cruised in doubles, including on Sunday when the pairings of Yuliana Motyl and Chantal Swiszcz (8-2), Candynce Boney and Tanisha Hodgson (8-1) and Jessica Podlofsky and Kaitlyn Carpenter (8-1) all claimed victory.

“I think the team is doing really well,” said Swiszcz after the match. “We [have] a really good chance at winning the A-10s, so if we keep up how we’re playing, I think we’ve got it.”

Boney, a senior out of Las Vegas, Nev., moved up the ladder in the record books with her play over the weekend. With victories in both singles and doubles Sunday, Boney moved into fourth place all-time in the program’s history, passing former UMass star Maude Lecluyse with 61 doubles wins. Boney also moved herself into a tie for fourth place all-time with Susan Hyams in singles victories.

Among the other winners in singles were Julia Comas (6-0, 6-0), Podlofsky (6-0, 6-1), Swiszcz (6-0, 6-3) and Carpenter (6-1, 6-1). The lone winner for Fairfield came in the No. 1 singles match when Sharissa Ryan defeated Motyl, 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets.

UM defeats Bonnies

Prior to the match against Fairfield, the Minutewomen took on St. Bonaventure Saturday, shutting out the A-10 opponent, 7-0.

UMass was able to claim victory in doubles play, as Motyl-Swiszcz (8-0), Boney-Hodgson (8-1) and Podlofsky-Carpenter (8-1) won their respective matches.

Dixon decided to shake up the top of the doubles lineups back in late February, pairing Motyl and Swiszcz together, along with Boney and Hodgson. Since the decision, the Minutewomen have been able to continue their impressive spring performance at home, keeping their unbeaten home streak intact, which now stands at 5-0.

In singles, all six points went to UMass, as Motyl (6-3, 6-4), Comas (6-1, 6-0), Boney (7-5, 6-0), Podlofsky (6-1, 6-0), Swiszcz (6-1, 6-0) and Carpenter (6-1, 6-0) all came out with wins.

The Maroon and White will head to the state capital to take on Boston University on Friday, a top-50 program Dixon says that her team has looked forward to playing all season long.

“They’re a tough team…but the kids have written down [that one] of their goals [has been] to beat BU,” Dixon said. “They feel like they can and I’m right with them.”

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at [email protected]