UMass tennis drops close match against Yale

By Jacob Mackey

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s tennis team lost a tight match Saturday afternoon to Yale, 4-3. It was the first time in six matches that UMass dropped its double pairings that ended up costing them the match against a 1-7 Yale team entering the match.

“This is a match that got away and was well within our capability to win,” Minutewomen coach Judy Dixon said. “The loss in doubles particularly at two doubles with Janja [Kovacevic] and Ana [Yrazusta] who were undefeated going into the match hurt us.”

The singles period was the most competitive part of the match. Sophomore Ruth Crawford got the afternoon started for UMass with a win in three sets. Junior Ana Yrazusta and senior Brittany Collens both got victories in double sets. Freshman Janja Kovacevic, who has been possibly the brightest spot on the Minutewomen’s roster this season, dropped her singles match in three sets. In addition to Kovacevic, senior Anna Woosley and junior Laura Moreno suffered defeats as well—Woosley in three sets and Moreno in a double set.

“I think we did not compete well in certain matches making too many mistakes at key moments, not moving well in some matches and not focusing fully,” Dixon said. “This match and the Georgetown match both were 4-3 losses and were within our grasp and we need to win these type of matches if we want to do well.”

This weekend, UMass will take on yet another Ivy League team on the road in Dartmouth.

“Dartmouth is an entirely different picture. They are currently ranked No. 20 in the country and are playing well,” Dixon said. “We are clearly the underdog and will be helped by making individual goals. Again, the doubles are important to get back on track.”

A win against a top-20 team in the nation would be a massive confidence booster for a team coming off a tough loss. This is where Dixon’s coaching comes into play. Woosley alluded to Dixon’s ability to pick team’s up after a loss and build their confidence when they need after the team’s Washington D.C. trip two weeks ago.

“After our loss against Georgetown she was really good at evaluating the match afterwards and not being too tough on us because it was a really tough loss for us, but the next day she was really tough on us against George Washington, and she got us really motivated for that match and we came out with a win,” Woosley said.

Dixon’s words of advice worked on a back-to-back in the nation’s capital against a conference opponent, and now it will have to work against one of the nation’s top teams.  Dixon knows this win could also help catapult the team’s confidence going forward as well, but she is staying on her mantra of taking everything one match at a time.

“There is still a lot of tennis to be played and I am hoping that we learn and put the pieces together in the next few matches,” Dixon said.

Jake Mackey can be reached at [email protected]