The UC Irvine Women’s Tennis team added another win to its record today by beating Loyola Marymount University 5-2 at Anteater Tennis Stadium.
UCI made strong headway against LMU in the doubles games, beating two out of the three pairs games.
On court one, UCI senior Anna Bentzer and freshmen Inna Agababian defeated LMU’s Kimi Kaloi and Tamara Tanner with an 8-6 win and some searing rallies that allowed UCI to take the lead.
UCI senior Hui Leow and freshman Becky Bernhard went on to defeat LMU’s Serena Fermin and Erin Ivey on court two. UCI dominated early into the doubles game before LMU managed to close the gap in a midway score of 4-3.
However, Leow and Bernhard secured their match with a well-deserved 8-6 victory. Court three was a different case, pairing UCI junior Izabela Mijic and freshman Lisa Shih together for the first time. The two were unable to defeat LMU’s Carla Arguelles and Patrycia Hubl, losing their match 8-5. Bentzer, UCI’s team captain, said that ‘the number three court had a little trouble,’ because ‘[Mijic and Shih] had never played together’ before.
UCI dominated in the singles match, as well, with Bentzer leading the Anteaters on court one by winning two sets in a row, 6-0. 6-0. Bentzer routed LMU’s Fermin with excellent strategy, patiently waiting for the correct opportunity to land a power hit against LMU.
On the number two court, UCI’s Mijic kept Tanner on her toes with a series of very powerful shots from the baseline that sent Tanner scrambling across the court to keep the ball in play.
Tanner, unable to keep up with Mijic’s speed and power, lost the match to Mijic in the first two sets, 6-4, 6-2. On court three Leow played a long and hard game against LMU’s Kaloi. Leow managed to tie both of her two matches at 5-5 but lost them both 7-5, 7-5. The last match was on court four, pitting UCI’s Agababian against LMU’s Ivey.
Agababian, confident after her win in doubles and coming out on top in the first set, 6-4. Despite Agababian’s strong win in doubles and her first set win in singles, however, she lost the second set 0-6.
‘I lost my focus in the second set,’ Agababian said, but went into the third set ‘knowing that I had to get it back.’ After an intense third set, Agababian came out triumphant, beating 7-5.
UCI’s Bernhard defeated Patrycia Hubl on court five in two sets with a 6-4, 6-3 victory while UCI sophomore Jayme Hu was unable to defeat LMU’s Robyn Baker on court six.
Baker won the first set 6-3 and confidently followed through with a 6-1 win in the second set.
UCI Head Coach Mike Edles, in a pregame huddle with the players, instructed the team to ‘play to win,’ and to ‘not let their heads get down.’
The team took Edles advice to heart as it helped them win their sets and matches.
Edles, pleased with the team’s performance, feels that the Anteaters are ‘heading in the right direction but have a ways to go.’ Edles believes the Anteaters need to be more aggressive with the ball and continue to look for and take opportunities on the court.