Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Chanel Glasper ties UMass tennis school record in victory

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(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

Senior captain Chanel Glasper is now tied with Jessica Podlofsky for the most career singles victories in school history after the Massachusetts tennis team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson University 6-1 Saturday. And while her team battled to its fourth straight victory, Glasper’s performance was effortless.

Literally.

The Knights fielded a roster of only two doubles teams and five singles players, forfeiting the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles matches, allowing Glasper to pick up two victories – including her record tying 74th singles victory – without stepping onto the court.

Meanwhile, UMass (11-4, 3-0 Atlantic 10) generally dominated play against Fairleigh Dickinson (1-12, 1-2 NEC) who, in contrast to the streaking Minutewomen, have dropped four straight matches. The power duo of Ana Yrazusta and Carol Benito started the day by winning at No. 1 doubles, 8-6. Having already secured the doubles point thanks to the forfeit in the No. 3 spot, Aarzoo Malik and Arielle Griffin won their match handily at No. 2 doubles, 8-1.

“It was an unusual match,” UMass coach Judy Dixon said. “It was one of those matches where I think we did enough to win. We didn’t do more than that. We played well enough and we move on.”

The core of the Minutewomen’s lineup continued to carry the team as UMass won the No. 2 through No. 5 singles matches in straight sets. Anna Woosley and Benito both pushed their team-high season win totals to 19 matches each, winning 6-3, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively. Yrazusta and Griffin added singles wins of their own at No. 2 and 3 singles, 6-4, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0.

With the recent struggles of day-to-day No. 1 singles player Malik – who is mired in an eight-match losing streak at the top spot after a loss Saturday – the lower portion of the lineup has done more than pick up the slack. This season, the Minutewomen are combined 33-10 in the No. 4 through 6 singles matches.

“There’s no reason that Aarzoo can’t be winning these matches,” Dixon said. “The only way you can get confidence is to win … I spent some time with her this morning to refocus her. She has to go out with a belief that every day is a new day.”

Doubles domination

While much has been said about Glasper’s path to history, Yrazusta and Benito are threatening to break a record of their own while fueling the Minutewomen from the No. 1 doubles spot.

With 21 doubles victories this year, the unlikely pairing of the freshman from Spain and the junior transfer from Tulsa are just three wins behind the UMass record for most doubles victories in a season. The current record was set in 2008 by Candynce Boney and Masha Pozar. Yrazusta and Benito are 21-5 together and have won nine of their last ten matches.

“(Yrazusta and Benito) would really like to get a national ranking by the end of the year,” Dixon said. “If we win the doubles point, our chances of winning altogether are really big because we’re very strong into the heart and the end of the lineup.”

UMass teams coached by Dixon have traditionally been formatted to win the doubles point and then secure the victory at the bottom of the lineup, something that this year’s team has excelled at. The Minutewomen lost only once this year after winning the doubles point: a 4-3 defeat against nationally-ranked Dartmouth University on Feb. 26.

With UMass at full strength, the road to the A-10 championships looks smooth for the Minutewomen with three matches left against what have traditionally been lesser opponents.

But first, Glasper will get her initial chance to break Podlofsky’s record for most career singles victories in UMass’ final conference matchup of the regular season against Rhode Island on Wednesday in Kingston, Rhode Island.

Arthur Hayden can be reached at [email protected]

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