Minutewomen look to end skid against Columbia

By Jeffrey Okerman

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Maria Uminski/Collegian

Following a pair of 6-1 losses against Boston College and Harvard, the Massachusetts tennis team will again be on the road in search of its first win since the season-opening victory over Connecticut in the fall.

The match against Columbia this weekend is the second in a long string of matches where the Minutewomen will be traveling away from Amherst. The team will play 12 consecutive matches away from home beginning on Saturday.

Following its initial home-opening victory, UMass coach Judy Dixon called for a major improvement in the doubles performances. There was an initial response against Fordham, but the team has since been unable to claim the point from the doubles portion of dual-matches

Coming up against Columbia, Dixon continues to expect a better showing in the doubles portion. The key, she said, is in her team’s aggression. She said she believes that by coming out on the front foot and being better technically, her team can succeed in an area that has been shaky at best in recent memory.

Amongst the struggles, however, Chanel Glasper has maintained a streak of four straight doubles victories. The freshman was the lone singles victor in the two previous matches, and also a member of the doubles team that was closest to any sort of victory against the Eagles.

Dixon will have the opportunity to tinker with her lineup over the weekend. Hazuki Onaga, a sophomore who missed the fall portion of the season, participated in the doubles matches in the pair of losses.

The Lions have yet to participate in a dual-match, but will open up their own schedule against Hofstra before they welcome the Minutewomen to the Dick Savitt Tennis Center.

The Lions are a team that graduated three seniors following the 2011 season. They won their first six home dual-matches last season, but subsequently went on to lose the last four in a row to end the year.

This season, the Lions have participated in a few invitationals and also competed at the ITA Regionals – a competition that UMass also entered. Julia Comas produced a singles victory at that meet, but Columbia was represented by two athletes in the round of 16, as well as the tournament champion, Nicole Bartnik.

After this dual-match, the Minutewomen will restart their A-10 schedule with competitions against Temple, St. Joseph’s and Duquense.

Glasper wins A-10 ROW

Glasper was awarded the honors following her two singles victories against Boston College and Harvard. In her freshman campaign, Glasper has amassed a 12-3 singles record, including four victories in dual-match play.

After losing the first set 6-7 against Eagles opponent Sarah Dalton, Glasper came storming back, claiming a 6-1 second set win, and then 10-7 in an extended third set to finish off the comeback.

Hannah Morrill was her next target. This time Glasper claimed the win in straight-sets, 7-5, 6-2.

Glasper has been a fixture in Dixon’s squad all year, building a strong partnership with Jessica Podlofsky in doubles and performing at the top of her game in singles throughout the year.

Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.