UC Irvine 5
The UC Irvine women’s tennis team furthered its winning streak to four games on Saturday by defeating the University of Pacific Tigers, 5-2. The Anteaters’ win against the Tigers also maintained their undefeated record in Big West Conference matches (8-2, 4-0 Big West).
Mike Edles, in his 11th year as head coach, said that the win adds to the team’s confidence. ‘Pacific’s always a strong team and it’s a good thing to get by them,’ Edles said.
The Anteaters took the lead early in the match, winning two out of three doubles matches to capture the first point. Senior Jayme Hu and sophomore Ali Borowicz easily clinched the No. 3 doubles match with a score of 8-1.
The No. 2 doubles match went to Tigers, Svenja Arens and Vana Mrazovic, as UCI junior Jessica Broadfoot and sophomore Heidi Kaloi struggled through an 8-4 loss.
The No. 1 doubles match had its own stressed moments, but junior Becky Bernhard and sophomore Clare Fermin, pulled through with an 8-6 win over Tigers Jolanta Twarowska and Sasha Fisher.
With the one-point lead, the match moved into its singles events and the Anteaters prevailed in four out of six matches.
Sophomore Ali Borowicz, playing in the No. 6 position, came out with a strong 3-0 lead over the Tigers’ Carla Tamborini in the first set. Borowicz continued to lead throughout both sets, and took the point for Irvine at 6-1, 6-2. Anteater junior, Jessica Broadfoot, swept UOP’s Sasha Fisher, in the first set 6-0. Her win of 6-3, in the second set decided the third point for UCI.
Heidi Kaloi, a sophomore in the No. 4 singles position, grabbed Irvine’s fourth point, as she defeated Helen Schneider 6-3, 6-2. With Irvine’s win over the Tigers secure, Inna Agababian, increased the lead to five points when she clinched the No. 2 position at scores of 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 singles player, Becky Bernhard fell 5-7, 5-7 to UOP’s No. 1 Mrazovic. Bernhard played strong in both sets but ran into trouble putting Mrazovic away during critical streches of the match.
Regarding Bernhard’s performance in the dual, Coach Edles said, ‘It’s too bad she couldn’t pull that [win] out, but you have to credit Vana. She’s a very good player and she played a perfect match really. It was a tough match. It really could have gone either way.’
In each set Bernhard came back from being down, and for a time in the second she lead Mrazovic 5-3. Bernhard fought for the lead, but even with some great power shots down the baseline, she could not overcome Mrazovic’s relentless racket.
The Anteaters only other loss was also another hard fight between UCI’s Clare Fermin and the Tigers’ Svenja Arens in the number three position. Fermin rallied back to a score of 4-5 after being down 1-4, but the first set ended up in Arens favor at 4-6. Fermin’s won 6-4 in the second set sent the game into a third set tie-breaker, which Arens’ won 10-8, giving the Tigers its second point.
The fact that it was the entire Irvine team playing well in the 5-2 win showed in the scoreboard and in the team record as well.
Edles said, ‘We’ve been showing a lot of poise, especially at our lower positions. [Our depth] has been a real strength in our lineup and it’s definitely been a key to our success, so far this year.’
The Anteaters are rolling along with the momentum from their wins and staying focused on their goal for a Big West Championship Title. As a team they are finding the confidence to get there.