Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass tennis wins fourth-straight match

Like a college basketball team poised for a deep March Madness run, the Massachusetts tennis team is playing well at the right time.

In an all-around team effort, the Minutewomen (9-7, 2-1 Atlantic 10) easily defeated conference rival Saint Joseph’s (10-7) on Friday at the Bay Road Tennis Center, 6-1.

The day began with UMass securing the doubles point with relative ease. While the No. 1 doubles match was locked in a tight battle, the other doubles matches leaned heavily in the Minutewomen’s favor.

Aarzoo Malik and Arielle Griffin secured the No. 2 doubles match 8-1. Meanwhile, senior Yuliana Motyl, who has been matched with four different doubles partners this year after being part of a nationally-ranked doubles pair last year alongside Chantal Swiszcz, has recently been playing with freshman Anna Woolsley. The two seem dispatched their opponents without dropping a single game, 8-0, securing the doubles point.

“We played really well,” UMass coach Judy Dixon said. “We played what I called a mature match in that we battled really well. We executed in that match.”

Sonia Bokhari led UMass in the singles matches, winning the No. 1 matchup in straight sets against the Hawks’ Aurora Davis (6-2, 7-6). All of the singles matches were finished in straight sets. The Minutewomen secured all but the No. 6 match, cruising to a fourth-straight victory.

“It was a good conference win. It was a good conference statement,” Dixon said.

UMass outlasts Quinnipiac

The Minutewomen’s third-straight victory was not as easily earned, as Quinnipiac put up a fight on its home court in Hamden, Conn. before falling to UMass, 5-2 last Wednesday.

The Bobcats (4-10) came out strong, winning the doubles point despite the efforts of UMass’ tandem of Griffin and Malik, who claimed the No. 1 doubles match (8-6).

Things looked bleak for the Minutewomen as they also dropped the No. 1 singles match, but they came battling back to win all five of the remaining singles matches, dismissing any potential for an upset.

“That was an ugly match for us,” Dixon said. “We were lucky. They really battled us. There were moments in that match where I didn’t think we were gonna have a positive outcome. We weren’t focused how we should have been.”

Griffin and senior Jessica Podlofsky have led the team’s recent resurgence, rattling off four and five straight singles victories, respectively. The team is playing some of its best tennis at a key time, as only three matches remain before the A-10 Conference Tournament.

“I feel like we’ve gotten better and better. I think this is a team that will still be improving when the season ends,” Dixon said. “I think we’re much better than we were when we played (George Washington) earlier in the year…I still know that there’s improvement to be made for sure.”

UMass will look to continue its winning streak on Thursday in Teaneck, N.J., as the Minutewomen take on Fairleigh Dickinson, then travel to Fairfield, Conn. for its final away match of the season against Sacred Heart on Saturday.

Arthur Hayden can be reached [email protected].

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