Confident from their win at the UC Irvine Invite, the UC Irvine Women’s Tennis team swept UC Davis 7-0 on April 9 at the Anteater Tennis Stadium to add another win to their previous record of 10-8.
The Anteaters started off strong, taking control of all three courts during doubles.
Although UCI already held a better record than UCD coming into the match, UCI Head Coach Mike Edles said, ‘A decisive factor in today’s win was that UC Davis was playing without their No.1 and No. 2 players, which can be devastating.’
Regardless, UCI’s considerable improvement was evident throughout the entire match.
On court one, UCI’s senior Anna Bentzer and freshman Inna Agababian defeated UCD’s senior Amanda Wise and freshman Kaitlin Callan.
Bentzer and Agababian displayed great teamwork, playing aggressively and strategically at the net. The match ended at 8-1, with UCI the winner.
Despite a few disappointing serves, UCI’s senior Hui Leow and freshman Becky Bernhard beat UC Davis’s Ashley Lehman and Audrey Wingo in an 8-3 victory.
Lehman and Wingo provided some challenging quick shots for Leow and Bernhard but UCI was able to return them with ease.
On court three, the confident Anteater team of junior Izabela Mijic and freshman Jessica Broadfoot beat the Aggies Yuka Otaka and Cindy Kitch. Mijic and Broadfoot controlled the pace of the game, and slowed UCD down with their near-baseline hits.
UCI also took advantage of UCD’s later faults, allowing UCI to win 8-1.
The Anteaters kept the intensity up and swept the singles matches without much difficulty.
UCI’s Bentzer dominated UCD’s Wingo on court one, with an ending score of 6-1, 6-0. Bentzer’s forceful serves overwhelmed Wingo, who failed to return on many occasions.
Bentzer said that her performance in singles and doubles was ‘similar,’ in that she was able to keep up the high intensity with which she started. When asked about her improvements, Bentzer said, ‘My serve…It’s definitely a lot better than last year.’
On court two, UCI’s Mijic beat Callan of UCD in a match filled with rallies that went in Mijic’s favor.
Mijic was able to outmaneuver her opponent with quick volleys and other hits to throw Callan off and lead to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
‘I played very well. I was very focused,’ said Mijic. ‘I started the second set a little off, but I came back, and I’m pretty satisfied.’
As far as her improvements go, Mijic said, ‘I’ve started being more offensive. I’m mixing up my game with volleys and trying to make shots where my opponent won’t expect it.’
Leow of UCI outdid Otaka of UCD on court three in a match that ended 6-3, 6-1. Leow pushed Otaka to the edges of the court, making her shots look effortless as she forced her opponent to hustle.
UCI’s Agababian defeated UCD’s Amanda Wise on court four in a gripping game with multiple long rallies which Agababian was able to control.
Agababian’s approach shots passed up Wise whose serves were no match for Agababian’s calculated returns. The final score was 6-3, 6-2.
On court five, UCI’s Bernhard beat UCD’s Lehman, 6-1, 6-1. Bernhard outlasted Lehman in many lengthy rallies. Bernhard’s hits forced Lehman out of the court, resulting in another singles point for UCI.
In an exciting match, UCI sophomore Natalie Jacobs enthusiastically beat UCD freshman Cindy Kitch.
The two played an exhausting game; Kitch took control of the second set, but a determined Jacobs came back to win, 7-5, 4-6, (10-5).
After the game, Coach Edles said that he is ‘happy with the performance, especially with singles. ‘We had a high level of intensity, which was our objective. I’m glad we met that.’