Despite the two-hour postponement due to rainy weather, the No. 68 UC Irvine Women’s Tennis team was still able to mop up a 4-2 victory against No. 73 UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 19. No doubles matches were played, but the Anteaters (4-3) shined during their singles matches.
‘It was odd having to start with the singles, but we made the adjustment and started well in all of the matches,’ said UCI Head Coach Mike Edles.
On court one, UCI senior Anna Bentzer showed nice hustling skills, especially toward the end of her match against UCSB’s Marielle Gruenig. With a lot of strategically short returns, Bentzer outdid UCSB’s Gruenig, 6-1, 6-4.
‘Overall I played well … I’m satisfied,’ Bentzer said. ‘I need to improve on my serve and volley, and staying focused … especially after winning the first set, I need to remember to stay focused on winning the second.’
UCSB’s Chelsea Glynn beat UCI junior Izabela Mijic on court two with a 7-5, 6-1 win. At first, Mijic kept up and put up a good fight, but Glynn was able to pull away, taking the victory. In a long and tough match on court three, UCSB’s Andrea Pintar defeated UCI freshman Becky Bernhard 6-4, 5-7 (10-4).
‘It was a tough match. I was just having an off day,’ Bernhard said. In order to improve, Bernhard feels she ‘just needs practice, and to stay focused.’
In an impressive, fast-paced match between UCI freshman Inna Agababian and UCSB’s Charlotte Scatliffe, Agababian ultimately came out victorious, 6-3, 6-2.
UCI senior Hui Leow played a solid, strong game, beating her opponent, UCSB’s Leslie Damion, 6-4, 6-3.
Leow endured some long rallies but was able to top Damion with her strong swings.
In her first game of the season, UCI sophomore Jayme Hu defeated UCSB’s Mio Fukushima. Hu finally came out triumphant in a seesawing match that ended with sets of 6-4, 7-6(0).
‘It’s nice to have Jayme Hu back,’ Edles said, also adding that Hu is a definite ‘asset to the team.’
Although UCI and UCSB did not compete in doubles matches today, Edles identified these matches as one aspect on which the team still needs improvement.
‘We definitely need to work on our doubles game. We have three new doubles teams,’ Edles said.
UCI now holds a 4-3 record. ‘It’s still early, so we can’t feel too confident,’ Edles said. ‘It’s a nice win but we still need a lot of work to accomplish our goals. We’re on the right track.’