Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass tennis drops to 1-4 with weekend losses

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(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

In the first of two matches of what proved to be a difficult weekend for the Massachusetts tennis team, the Minutewomen were swept 7-0 in a dominating performance by Brown. Only one match made it past two sets in the loss to the Bears (2-1).

The contest got off to a tough start when Ruth Crawford was defeated in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) and the rest of the match seemed to follow a similar script, as UMass struggled to match the level of competition presented by Brown.

However, as assistant coach Li Xi pointed out, the numbers didn’t tell the whole story.

“A lot of the matches were actually closer than the score appeared. We played tough matches,” Xi stated optimistically.

As for whether or not the match produced concern for herself or head coach Judy Dixon, Xi said it was important to keep early season matches in perspective.

“For our girls to come back from a long break to face three very tough teams, it’s difficult, and we see these losses but we are improving.”

Ana Yrazusta won the only set of the day for the Minutewomen in what proved to be the most closely contested match of the afternoon, when she pushed Brown’w Alyza Benotto to three sets. Yrazusta won the first set 6-2 before Benotto rallied to win the final sets 7-6 and 10-6.

Minutewomen fall to BC 5-2

Much like the initial result of the weekend, Sunday mornings matchup versus Boston College didn’t produce the results that the Minutewomen were looking for, as the Eagles prevailed in a 5-2 victory. However, with two match wins and more competitive performances, Xi viewed the loss to BC as a time for the team to build.

Against the Eagles, the No. 48 team in the nation, UMass undoubtedly showed an improvement in overall play, securing two singles victories and forcing all but one of its losses to the final set.

Anna Woosley (6-1, 7-6) and Laura Moreno (7-6, 6-4) each grabbed victories in their singles matches, with Woosley’s in the number four slot and Moreno at number six. Woosley paired with Ruth Crawford for a 6-4 win in a doubles match as well, but BC would take the other two matches to clinch the doubles point on the day.

“We fought much harder today and we are moving in the right direction,” Xi said.

Across the board, the Minutewomen were more competitive. Even in losses, Aarzoo Malik, Beth Crawford and Carol Benito played tie-breaking final sets.

The loss dropped UMass to 1-4 on the season, but because of the challenging opponents the Minutewomen have faced, Xi was not too concerned by the losing mark.

“I believe you improve by playing against stronger opponents, and that’s why we scheduled three tough opponents early on in the season,” Xi said. “We’re constantly learning, too. Instead of being sorry about the loss, we are learning how to improve.”

UMass will return to action this weekend with home matches versus LIU-Brooklyn and St. Johns on Saturday and Sunday. The matches will take place at the Bay Road Tennis Center.

Christopher Marino can be reached at [email protected]

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