UMass women’s tennis suffers first dual-match loss of the season at Brown

By Jacob Mackey

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Ruth Crawford prepares to serve in Bay Road Tennis Club on Sunday. (Jong Man Kim/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s tennis team suffered their first-dual match loss of the season on Friday at the hands of Brown University 6-1 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

UMass (2-1) coach Judy Dixon said last week just how difficult the road match would be.

“Brown has always been a problem for us particularly because we always play them at their home courts which are quite fast,” Dixon said. “In order to beat them we have to be firing on all cylinders and deal with more pressure.”

The Bears (2-1) took the first and third double matches of the day with the 45th ranked doubles team in the nation of senior Dayna Lord and junior Alyza Benotto defeating sophomore Ruth Crawford and senior Anna Woosley of the Minutewomen in the first match, 6-2. Minutewomen junior Ana Yrazusta and freshmen Janja Kovacevic earned a second match victory by a decisive score of 6-1.

However, Brittany Collens and Ashley Avery would go on to lose the third doubles match 6-4 to Brown players Devon Jack and Juliana Simon.

In single’s play, UMass struggled to finish the job and get victories. Kovacevic and Woosley were defeated in straight sets in matches two and four. Woosley competed well, losing 6-1, 6-4. However, Kovacevic had a tough go-around against Brown’s Benotto losing 6-0, 6-1.

Minutewomen senior Collens and freshmen Martina Bocchi forced three set matches in singles five and six but fell in the end, which was the story of the afternoon for UMass. Yrazusta was the only player to earn a singles victory for the Minutewomen, fighting back to win two straight matches after dropping the first.

“This was a tough loss for us as the match was very close and definitely within our reach,” Dixon said. “We competed well in most spots and as this was our first tough test I thought that we were on the right track against a top 75 team. I told the team that sometimes coaches accept defeats that were done right more than victories that were sloppy. This was one of those defeats.”

UMass has a quick turnaround as its schedule begins to ramp up. Their next match was held on Feb. 5 with Amherst against Farleigh Dickinson.

“Sunday I am playing two of my players who are not usual starters,” Dixon said. “I am doing this in order to keep all players competitively ready. I know that they are up to the challenge.”

The Minutewomen only have two opponents left on the schedule before Atlantic 10 play begins against George Washington.

Jacob Mackey can be reached at [email protected]