Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass tennis prepares for Dartmouth

Big Green with a 5-5 record on the season

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(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Timothy Flaherty, Collegian Correspondent

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The Massachusetts women’s tennis team concluded the fall season with an impressive showing at Dartmouth’s Big Green Invitational, where senior Ana Yrazusta was named the top player of the tournament, going 3-0 in singles competition and 3-0 in doubles alongside senior Laura Moreno.

Both coach JuanCarlos Nunez and the Minutewomen left the tournaments feeling confident in their ability to compete against tougher matchups as the spring season approaches.

“Our players are really coming out of this tournament feeling like we belong out here with the best in the region,” said Nunez. “With the results that we have had this week and also in the previous tournaments, they have been really good, and that when they step out onto the court, they can get it done against anybody.”

These tournaments set the tone for the spring, as they looked to come out of the gates with strong performances to kickstart the season, with a rematch with Dartmouth on Saturday.

“I think that we are a top 10 team in this region,” Nunez said. “My message to them was no matter who we are playing, you’ve got to go out there with the same mindset and focus and just go out there and compete. Whether we are playing singles or doubles, I think the players have really bought into that message, and it has really shown up on the court and in the results.”

UMass fell against tough ACC opponent Boston College in the opening match of the spring season, losing 6-1. However, they rebounded the following day dominating Bryant in 7-0 win.

The Minutewomen found their stride in the following weeks, splitting their next four matches. They have turned it around since then, coming off a strong weekend performance where they secured two sweeps over Army West Point and conference opponent St. Bonaventure.

UMass sits with a 5-3 record at this point in the season, nearing the most important stretch of its schedule, where they will face Atlantic 10 opponents in five of its next 10 matches.

The Minutewomen look to keep the ball rolling this Saturday as they face Dartmouth, a team they have struggled against in the past. The Big Green (5-5) are coming off of a disappointing matchup against Duke, where they were swept 7-0.

UMass is set to face conference rival Davidson on March 16, a matchup that will be a huge test for the Minutewomen as they near the near the final stretch of the season.

Davidson (7-2) is hot right now as they have won their last four matches. Its only losses have come at the hands of very strong teams, No. 5 ranked North Carolina and Winthrop (5-2).

Timothy Flaherty can be reached at [email protected].

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