UMass women’s tennis team sweeps matches over weekend

By Arthur Hayden

UMass senior  Jessica Podlofsky sets up a serve. (Rehan Talat/Daily Collegian)
UMass senior Jessica Podlofsky sets up a serve.
(Rehan Talat/Daily Collegian)

After dropping its first two matches of the spring season last weekend to Harvard and Brown, the Massachusetts tennis team had its first chance to bounce back from the losses with two home matches over the weekend.

After cruising to a 6-1 win over Bryant University on Saturday, the Minutewomen were back in action again Sunday against Long Island University and were as equally impressive in their second match in two days, securing a 6-1 victory over the Blackbirds on Sunday, for its 16th-straight home victory in the process.

Senior Yuliana Motyl led the charge, defeating LIU’s Sanne Louwers in straight sets to take No. 1 singles. Freshman standout Aarzoo Malik, who was out with an injury for the match against Brown last weekend, and Arielle Griffin finished the weekend with perfect 4-0 records. Each won both of their singles and doubles matches.

Jessica Podlofsky couldn’t break Michele Spiess’ school record for career singles victories, falling to LIU’s Marine Dans 7-5, 6-2, but she’ll get another shot at claiming the record outright when the Minutewomen face Army at home on Friday.

If these two victories were not impressive enough, consider the fact that the Minutewomen were without one of their best players in senior Sonia Bokhari, who coach Judy Dixon said has been in and out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury, UMass’ regular No. 2 singles and frequent doubles player.

Injuries have been constant issues for this year’s squad as the Minutewomen have yet to reach a point where the entire roster is healthy, but Dixon is still optimistic about their chances to compete for the rest of the season.

The UMass squad will continue their homestand against Army on Friday and then Boston College on Sunday.

“We’ve got some momentum”, Dixon said. “It would really do us well to beat Army…Army is always going to be mentally tough. They’re always going to be physically fit, but we have the talent to win…Now we get to find out who we really are.”

Podlofsky ties wins record 

In its first match of the weekend on Saturday, UMass dominated Bryant en route to a 6-1 victory.

Senior Jessica Podlofsky was the story of the day, as she tied Spiess’ UMass record for career singles victories with 67. She did so in straight sets as well, defeating Bryant’s Rosie Bird 6-1, 7-6.

UMass’ sole loss on the day came in a hotly contested No. 1 singles match between senior captain Juliana Motyl and Bryant’s Marion Bouillin. Bouillin barely edged Motyl in a deciding tiebreak 11-9; however, the tables were turned in No. 1 doubles as Motyl teamed up with sophomore Arielle Griffin to defeat Bouillin and her playing partner Ryan Brown (6-2).

Arthur Hayden can be reached at [email protected]