Women’s tennis completes weekend sweep

By Cameron McDonough

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In what was a complete team effort, the Massachusetts women’s tennis team swept a trio of Atlantic 10 opponents in Philadelphia this past weekend to improve to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play this season.

The weekend started off with a tough matchup Friday against Temple. Despite the home advantage for the Owls, the Minutewomen were able to grind out a big 4-3 victory.

The day started off with UMass claiming the all-important doubles point, with wins by No. 1 doubles Yuliana Motyl and Chantal Swiszcz and No. 3 doubles Sonia Bokhari and Hazuki Onaga.

In singles action, No. 2 Bokhari and No. 6 Chanel Glasper grinded out tough wins, making the matchup at No. 5 singles between Swiszcz and Temple’s Maame Ama Osei the deciding match.

Swiszcz was able to pull off a dramatic come from behind win, defeating Osei 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to claim the victory for UMass.

The Minutewomen then had a Saturday evening matchup with Saint Joseph’s.

The match started at around 7:30 p.m. and right from the get-go, UMass made it look easy.

The Minutewomen swept all three doubles matches and won five of the six singles matches to claim the 6-1 victory. The only player to fall for UMass was No. 1 singles player Yuliana Motyl, who lost in a three set heartbreaker.

Jocelyn Providence produced an impressive win at No. 6 singles in a three set barnburner 6-3, 6-7, 10-4. Providence replaced Swiszcz who had earned a night off from singles play after her big day against Temple.

The Minutewomen didn’t get to sleep until around 1 a.m., according to head coach Judy Dixon, and they had a match just seven hours later the next morning.

UMass proved up to the challenge though and despite minimal sleep, was able to pull off a convincing 5-0 win over Duquesne.

The singles went first in the match in hopes of finishing quickly so that the Minutewomen could head back to Amherst, as soon as possible after their long weekend of A-10 action.

This proved to be a successful strategy as UMass won its first five singles matches meaning there was no need to finish off the last singles match or even play the doubles matches.

The Minutewomen got impressive straight set wins by their No. 3-6 singles players, Jessica Podlofsky, Julia Comas, Glasper and Swiszcz. Motyl also was able to pick up her first singles win of the weekend at No. 1 singles with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

“We have a happy team, we have a tired team, and they did their thing,” said Dixon. “If you were going to characterize UMass tennis right now you would say gritty, [and] you would say passion.”

All in all it was a very successful weekend for UMass, who had suffered three straight non-conference losses to open up the second half of the season.

Up next for UMass will be a matinee match this Saturday, at the Bay Road Tennis Club in Amherst, against non-conference opponent Army.

Cameron McDonough can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @MDC_McDonough.