UMass tennis falls to red-hot Richmond Saturday

Richmond dominates UMass 6-1

By Timothy Flaherty, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts tennis team faced off against Atlantic 10 opponent Richmond on Saturday morning, which came into the match on fire as winners of four of its previous five.

The Minutewomen were unable to match the intensity of their opponent, falling 6-1 to the Spiders and falling to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in A-10 play, while Richmond continues its hot streak and improves to 6-10 overall and 3-1 in conference.

UMass coach Juancarlos Nunez cited the weather as one of the major challenges for the team.

“It was the hottest match that we had played in this year by about 20 degrees, so that was definitely a big challenge,” Nunez said. “It is a different game going from indoors to outdoors.”

Aside from the weather, Nunez also attributed the team’s inability to establish momentum as an issue they faced. “We made a few mistakes early on and kind of got behind the eight ball,” he said, “and at that point, it was hard for us to come back.”

In doubles action, Ana Yrazusta and Laura Moreno picked up the No. 1 victory, winning 7-5. However, Ruth Crawford and Ashley Avery were unable to perform well in the doubles, losing 6-0. As for Janja Kovacevic and Martina Bocchi, they fought back hard but were unable to best their opponents, losing 7-6.

In singles play, UMass was only able to secure one win out of six. While Yrazusta battled her opponent with back-and-forth action, she fell short in the third set, losing 7-6.

The sole win came from freshman Anna Napadiy, who serves as a bit of a silver lining for the team as she continues to gain confidence and perform well as of late.

After a rough start to the season, Napadiy has put together a string of dominant performances, showing progress in her first year on the team.

“She had a bit of a rough patch during the beginning and middle of the season, but she works hard and is a very competitive kid and loves to compete,” Nunez said. “She has put in the extra work on her own in the past month or so, and that has paid off as she has gotten back to the player that we know she can be.”

The Minutewomen’s 11-match road trip has finally come to an end, as they face Rhode Island at home Friday afternoon, their final match before the A-10 tournament in Orlando.

Timothy Flaherty can be reached at [email protected]