UMass tennis wins its first conference match in weekend split

By Arthur Hayden

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

The duo of Ana Yrazusta and Carol Benito took home two more wins this weekend in the No. 1 doubles spot for the Massachusetts tennis team, spearheading a UMass squad that is one of the hottest teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Minutewomen took on Fordham Sunday in their first conference match of the young spring season. Yrazusta and Benito, as they have all year, set the tone for the afternoon defeating Fordham seniors Sarah Ali and Elliesa Ball in the No. 1 doubles match, (8-4).

UMass went on to sweep doubles play, securing wins from Arielle Griffin and Aarzoo Malik (8-2) as well as Chanel Glasper and Anna Woosley (8-0).

Yrazusta continued to carry her doubles dominance over to singles, winning at the No. 2 spot, (6-2, 7-6). The win was her fifth in a row and gives her an overall singles record of 12-6 on the season. Griffin, Benito and Glasper all won their singles matches as well, lifting the Minutewomen (5-3) to a 5-2 victory against the Rams (4-2).

“I wouldn’t say we played our best,” UMass coach Judy Dixon said. “(Fordham) comes with no pressure and swinging away. They become very dangerous.”

“It was a really good win and it’s nice to be able to rely on other people…In that way it was a really good team effort.”

The win gives the pairing of Yrazusta and Benito a 15-5 record on the season with a 7-1 mark in dual matches. Dixon knows what an incredible asset she has with her doubles pairing.

“Carol brings a lot of maturity,” said Dixon of the junior transfer, who formally played for nationally-ranked Tulsa. “She knows what it’s like to be in a big-time program.”

Dixon added: “Ana brings the sort of exuberance that you need … Between the two of them, one who’s the steadying influence and the other one who brings a lot of energy, those two have been really critical in instilling that kind of (message). We’re not afraid of anybody.”

With the victory, UMass remains unbeaten at home this season. The Minutewomen’s next match will take them to Providence, Rhode Island, where they take on Providence Friday at 6 p.m.

Minutewomen barely edged by Dartmouth

Despite a victory from Yrazusta and Benito over Dartmouth University’s nationally-ranked No. 1 doubles pairing of Taylor Ng and Kristina Mathis, the No. 22 Big Green narrowly escaped with a 4-3 win over the Minutewomen last Thursday in Hanover, New Hampshire.

“I was really pleased,” Dixon said about the Minutewomen’s competitiveness. “This team really believes that they can beat anybody…We knew we were going to be able to be very competitive in certain situations … I thought we were going to get another win.”

“This is one of those where I’m very happy (about how the team played) in the loss.”

Dartmouth (11-0) nearly suffered its first loss of the season thanks in part to yet another pair of wins from Yrazusta, who also tacked on a win at the No. 2 singles spot against Katherine Yau (6-3, 7-5).

Woosley, who boasts the most singles victories on the team (13), also continued her stellar sophomore campaign with two wins of her own.

Woosley’s first win came at the No. 3 doubles match playing alongside Glasper (6-4), while the second came at No. 4 singles, defeating Dartmouth’s Jacqueline Crawford in a dramatic three-set match (6-4, 4-6, 10-6).

Despite securing the doubles point, UMass only pulled out two singles victories and Dartmouth maintained its perfect record.

Arthur Hayden can be reached at [email protected]